Types of Dovetails in Antiques

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Staple (fastener)

European history of log cabins[ edit ] A timber cutter’s mountain log cabin at the Museum of Folk Architecture, Pyrohiv , Ukraine. Construction with logs was described by Roman architect Vitruvius Pollio in his architectural treatise De Architectura. He noted that in Pontus modern-day northeastern Turkey , dwellings were constructed by laying logs horizontally overtop of each other and filling in the gaps with “chips and mud”. Although their origin is uncertain, the first log structures were probably being built in Northern Europe by the Bronze Age about BC.

Weslager describes Europeans as having: Their log building had undergone an evolutionary process from the crude “pirtti”

As solid as dovetails, Knapp joint solidly dates antique furniture drawers By: Fred Taylor | January 13, One of the first things to be looked at when trying to determine the age of a piece of older or antique furniture is the type of joinery used in the construction of the piece.

Through dovetail joints are most commonly used on box construction and carcass. Through dovetail joints are referred to as English dovetail joints. Half-blind Dovetail Joints or Single-lap Dovetail A half-blind dovetail joint also known as the single-lap dovetail joint is exactly opposite of a through joint because the end grain is not visible on the boards. Sockets house the tails at the end of the boards so the dovetail ends are invisible. Half-blind dovetail joints are commonly used for attaching drawer fronts.

Half blind dovetail vs. Secret Mitred Dovetail Joints A secret mitred joint is also know as a full-blind mitred dovetail and full-blind dovetail joint. Secret mitred joints are used in box work and cabinet construction and offers the best strength out of all of the dovetail joints. These joints are used for box work or fine cabinet construction where strength is needed without a joint you can see. Secret double-lapped joints are used for box construction and carcass construction to hid the dovetails.

Sliding Dovetail Joints The sliding dovetail joint is created by joining 2 wood boards at 90 degree angles, where the they intersect different than other types of dovetail joints.

How to Identify Furniture of the 1800s by Its Dovetailing

Methods[ edit ] The dovetail joint is very strong because of the way the ‘tails’ and ‘pins’ are shaped. This makes it difficult to pull the joint apart and virtually impossible when glue is added. This type of joint is used in box constructions such as drawers, jewellery boxes, cabinets and other pieces of furniture where strength is required. It is a difficult joint to make manually, requiring skilled workmanship. There are different types of dovetail joints.

Through dovetail joints are referred to as English dovetail joints. Half-blind Dovetail Joints or Single-lap Dovetail A half-blind dovetail joint also known as the single-lap dovetail joint is exactly opposite of a through joint because the end grain is not visible on the boards.

Types[ edit ] A mortise is a cavity cut into a timber to receive a tenon. There are several kinds of mortise: Stub mortise a shallow mortise, the depth of which depends on the size of the timber; also a mortise that does not go through the workpiece as opposed to a “through mortise”. Through mortise Wedged half- dovetail a mortise in which the back is wider, or taller, than the front, or opening. The space for the wedge initially leaves room to insert the tenon.

The wedge, after the tenon is engaged, prevents its withdrawal. Through-wedged half-dovetail a wedged half-dovetail mortise that passes entirely through the piece. A tenon is a projection on the end of a timber for insertion into a mortise. Usually the tenon is taller than it is wide. There are several kinds of tenon:

Stonehenge

Types of Dovetails in Antiques By Bethany Seeley ; Updated April 12, When appraising or inspecting a piece of antique furniture, a dealer or prospective buyer will look closely at the drawers. The style of dovetailing used by the maker can provide clues as to the age of the piece, as well as reveal whether it was made in the United States, Canada or Europe. Dovetailing is a method of precisely cutting two boards so that they can be interlocked securely together. Dovetailing typically requires no nails or other hardware.

Heroes and Villains – A little light reading. Here you will find a brief history of technology. Initially inspired by the development of batteries, it covers technology in general and includes some interesting little known, or long forgotten, facts as well as a few myths about the development of technology, the science behind it, the context in which it occurred and the deeds of the many.

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Mortise and tenon

Dovetails – A Clue for Dating Antiques by Ken Melchert Dovetail joints often hold two boards together in a box or drawer, almost like interlocking the fingertips of your hands. As the dovetail joint evolved through the last one hundred thirty years, it becomes a clue for the age and authenticity of antique furniture. The type of dovetailed joint, especially in drawers, reveals much about furniture construction and dating. With just a little study of these examples, it is easy to spot true hand made construction vs.

The earliest examples are from furniture placed with mummies in Egypt thousands of years ago, and also in the burials of ancient Chinese emperors.

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I have researched the type and use of some of these materials and provided a summary of each further on in this section. Smart materials are those that change in response to changing conditions in their surroundings or in the application of other directed influences — such as passing an electric charge through them. Modern products increasingly use them as imaginative designers see the potential they offer. Shirts that change colour with changes in temperature and thermometers that are in the from of printed strips use thermochromic inks whilst Photochromic inks respond to changes in light conditions.

Clothing also uses inks that have this characteristic and have patterns that change with altering light conditions. To be considered smart, a material has to have one or more of the following features: Some examples are as following: Piezoelectric materials are materials that produce a voltage when stress is applied. Since this effect also applies in the reverse manner, a voltage across the sample will produce stress within the sample.

Suitably designed structures made from these materials can therefore be made that bend, expand or contract when a voltage is applied. Shape memory alloys and shape memory polymers are materials in which large deformation can be induced and recovered through temperature changes or stress changes pseudoelasticity. The large deformation results due to martensitic phase change. Magnetic shape memory alloys are materials that change their shape in response to a significant change in the magnetic field.

Dovetail joint

See Article History Stonehenge, prehistoric stone circle monument, cemetery, and archaeological site located on Salisbury Plain , about 8 miles 13 km north of Salisbury , Wiltshire , England. As a prehistoric stone circle, it is unique because of its artificially shaped sarsen stones blocks of Cenozoic silcrete , arranged in post-and-lintel formation, and because of the remote origin of its smaller bluestones igneous and other rocks from — miles — km away, in South Wales. Sunlight shining through a portion of the stone circle at Stonehenge, Wiltshire, Eng.

The Hand Tool List It’s a great time to be a hand tool woodworker. There are a ton of great resources out there along with an increasing amount of options for tools.

Dovetails are interlocking carved wood joints used in cabinetry to connect two pieces of wood — drawer fronts and sides, cabinet or cupboard corners. The technique produces a sturdy, long-lasting connection. Examining these joints helps determine the age of old furniture. It’s called a “dovetail” joint because the flat-bottomed triangular shape of the wood insert looks like a dove’s tail. Whether that tail is fat, skinny, symmetrical or used sparingly reveals a clue to the origins of the piece.

The Pharaoh’s Footstool Egyptian pharaohs were buried with fine furnishings and chests of valuables and rare spices to accompany them to the afterlife. Boxy shapes with joined wood angles were connected by dovetailing, a fact that contributed to the intact state of the grave goods when the pyramids and burial chambers were excavated. The massive horizontal stone lintels at Stonehenge were connected by dovetailing, more rounded than triangular.

Mortise and tenon

You’ll also be signed up to receive e-newsletters from Antique Trader and partners. Fred Taylor May 26, In an effort to determine the range of the age of a piece of furniture, we have the beginnings of a built-in time line if the piece has drawers. The concept of the modern chest of drawers as we know it, a case containing a series of more or less matching drawers, became a reality in the latter part of the 17th century.

Today, dovetail joints are machine made, and that fact is what helps to pinpoint the age of the chest of drawers from the attic. Machine-made dovetails are thicker than graceful, asymmetrical hand.

All have single-graded cuts which were probably produced by use of a chisel and then hardened using powdered antler or horn, a practice described by Theophilus. Other Types of Tools There are a few types of tools for which we do not have surviving examples in the archaeological record. However, workshop debris and literary references provide additional clues. Pole Lathe Diagram of a Pole Lathe We know that the Viking Age woodcrafter had access to a medieval type of “power tool” which is known today as a pole lathe.

A pole lathe is a simple wood turning lathe which is itself made of wood. The tool is powered by the springiness of the “pole” or green limb, and the action of a person’s foot on the treadle. The motive power is a foot, with a return spring the pole to counter rotate the work.

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You’ll also be signed up to receive e-newsletters from Antique Trader and partners. Fred Taylor January 13, One of the first things to be looked at when trying to determine the age of a piece of older or antique furniture is the type of joinery used in the construction of the piece. Knowing the history of the technology of various periods goes a long way toward explaining clues about the age of furniture and none is more important or accessible than the type of joint used to secure a drawer.

Mostly what we see are dovetails of a sort. The interlocking dovetail joint came into general use in the William and Mary period in the late s and very early s and for the first time allowed the construction of reliable drawers, a device with extremely limited use or convenience until then. Before this innovation most furniture consisted of simple boxes called coffers or some type of open shelving arrangement and cabinets with shelves behind doors such as the old court cupboard.

Tools. The character and nature of any type of handicraft is profoundly affected by the tools the craftsman has available. To start our examination of Viking Age woodworking, let us look first at the tools of the Viking wood crafter.

By Bob Flexner Pages A while back, my wife and I were visiting friends who wanted to show us their collection of antique furniture. At one point we went into their bedroom and I headed directly for a very old-looking chest-of-drawers. I just wanted to date the piece by how the drawer was made. Construction Drawer construction has changed several times in the last years. Simply pull a drawer out a few inches, glance at the joinery on the side and feel the drawer bottom underneath — essentially a single motion.

In addition, the wood used for the drawer sides and bottoms helps determine whether the furniture is American or European. How a drawer is constructed and the woods used is revealing, but there are two important caveats. First, dating furniture is a fine art. Seldom does one clue provide confirmation of anything. Also important are style including hardware , shrinkage, nails, screws, locks, the primary and secondary woods used, the type of finish, tell-tale tool marks, areas of wear and general appearance.

Any technique or machine that was once used could still be used, and often is used, for example, by many readers of this magazine who build reproduction furniture. On the other hand, machine-cut dovetails definitely establish that the furniture is no older than about , when the dovetail-cutting machine was invented. Joinery Three clearly distinct drawer joints have been used on quality furniture:

Hand Cutting Dovetail Joints