Hand cut dovetails were used to hold the sides of drawers together, but also to join the structural members of case furniture. Most antique furniture tends to be purchased by ordinary everyday people, rather than dedicated antique furniture collectors. Antique Furniture Joints — Determine the quality of your antique furniture. The type of wood is the final clue. With the pursuit of ever finer tolerances, the exposed drawer front end-grain of an otherwise smooth-running drawer could, in winter, absorb enough moisture to expand in height, causing the ends to foul the carcase, or even become stuck fig.
The is the earliest type of furniture on record, seen as far back as the 13th century. In old furniture with drawers, the underneath side of the lowest drawer should be darker than the underneath side of the highest drawer Fig. The side that faces the inside of the drawer— which would be touched, etc. . They are English made and have a swinging locking arm that locks all the compartments with one key.
Their presence allows dating of the furniture chest to 1880 — 1900, usually of the Victorian, Renaissance Revival or Eastlake styles. There are many different styles of furniture, and each type has distinguishing features. Do not use a thick wedge since it may split the grain of the tenon beyond the shoulder. Antique gate leg tables are characterized by their hinged leaves, which allows flaps to be supported properly when the gate-leg is rotated through 90 degrees. The drawers may have been dipped in stripper or refinished, various pieces could have been replaced or repaired, the drawer can be original to the piece but put back in the wrong order, the entire drawer might have been replaced or the entire piece might be new. Doweled Rabbet Image info : Resolution:1024x768 Size:52kB 8.
The important thing is to suspect a drawer made entirely of one species of wood. On a really good day, the machine could turn out 200 or more and work more than one shift, if necessary. Lock Joint Holds Drawers Tight Image info : Resolution:705x463 Size:155kB 4. If not, a new piece of wood should be spliced in and the mortise re-sized to fit the tenon. Real antiques and many reproductions are extremely valuable, but there are also many imitations. It has two over three graduating oak lined drawers with quality brass handles and key escutcheons with key and working locks. The antique coffer is the earliest type of furniture on record, seen.
I will say this, I find that if I need to disassemble a drawer made from this joint, it does a pretty good job of staying together! After several minutes the joint will be loose enough to pull apart. An effective interlocking mechanical joint replaced the lapped and nailed joint around 1660 and quickly gained broad acceptance: Dovetails were simple to form with existing tools and provided excellent pulling resistance without the need for additional nails or pegs. This enabled the rails to become increasingly thin and still a good sturdy construction. Were these carefully considered dovetails created purely for their appearance, how can one explain and fig. There was resistance - in England, carpenters unions went on strike over the use of electric saws, fearing the end of their livelihoods.
Such thin drawer linings could no longer be channelled on the sides, and from the mid 17th century runners were placed beneath the drawers at each side; these ran on further bearers attached to the inside of the carcase. Antique Furniture Joints — Determine the quality of your antique furniture. If the slot is stripped, a screw extractor is a last resort. Mortise and Tenon Joint The mortise and tenon joint is one of the strongest antique furniture joints, and its use usually signifies quality furniture. On the outside it has the beauty, patina and feel of a true Queen Anne piece but with the cleanliness and tidiness found in a piece from the early 1900s. Mostly what we see are dovetails of a sort.
They were highly French polished with Inlay depicting shells and floral designs. If the piece of furniture is very dirty or encrusted with wax, clean it first with a mixture of denatured alcohol, white vinegar, and kerosene, in equal parts. This produces the characteristic wear pattern shown exaggerated in Fig. The fixed traditional form was very fashionable with ornament but it was not so adaptable to the smaller, lighter tables required for occasional use. As I started the job of cataloging the photos, I came across this photo of a drawer in an old cabinet from the 1800s. Technically, an antique is a piece of furniture with special value because of its age, particularly those pieces embellished with fine artistry.
With furniture, as with anything else, one person's junk is another another's treasure. Because it didn't make any economic sense to smooth a surface nobody would ever see. If not, there's probably some hidden fastener. And a round, technical looking, obviously machine made drawer joint just did not fit that image. Earlier models are in walnut with feather banding, overlapping drawer mouldings and bun or bracket feet. Lap-dovetailed and japanned drawers, circa 1690.
At about the same time machinery that did simulate the handmade dovetail was perfected and by 1900 the Knapp joint had completely disappeared from the American furniture scene. Dovetails Dovetails are another classic joint that form a mechanical lock in addition to the glue bond from the mating wood surfaces. There are far too many idiots in the antique trade. Drawers from these periods have hand cut dovetail joints and old clout nails in the back boards. To clean the hole run a drill bit the correct diameter backwards.
Sirs I am the secretary of our local woodworking guild in Pietermaritzburg in South Africa. To learn more about this topic or The Wood Works, Inc. She received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Houghton College and a Master of Arts in church history from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. If you were making lots and lots of drawers, an ounce of stain saved on every drawer could mean considerable extra profits. A real antique is very rarely perfectly cut; a reproduction with the same components will be because a machine will have cut it.