What Is Meant By Dovetail In Antiques?

What does dovetail mean in furniture?

Dovetail refers to a type of joint in which two pieces of wood interlock. Joints that have been dovetailed are extremely strong and secure. They are usually used to construct drawers. Dovetail drawers are recognized by their distinct pattern at the outside corner of a drawer.

Are dovetailed drawers better?

Dovetail drawers provide the homeowner with the strongest drawer joints, ensuring the drawer won’t come apart even when used every day. They are a good choice for closets and kitchens, because of the heavy use placed on drawers in these applications.

Why is it called dovetail?

Dovetail joints are made up of two parts called pins and tails. When a master craftsman wants to marry two boards together, they cut a series of pins on one board and matching tails on the other. They are trapezoidal in shape, resembling the tail feathers of a dove (hence the name dovetail ).

What is a dovetail dresser?

‘ The dovetail ‘locking joint’ is constructed from wedge-shaped channels cut into the wood, that interlock with one another from either side of the drawer, creating a box. The advantages of dovetail drawers are in the construction of their joints. They offer a stronger drawer, with a larger holding capacity.

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How old is furniture with dovetail?

Hand-cut dovetailing was the default until 1860 when uniform machine-cut joints were introduced. But fine cabinetmakers persisted in fitting their joints by hand until the early 1900s, and cabinetmakers in Europe cut dovetails by hand well into the 1930s.

How can you tell how old furniture is?

How to Determine the Age of Antique Furniture

  1. Look Past the Style of a Piece.
  2. Examine Bottoms, Insides, and Backs.
  3. Check for Perfectly Matching Elements.
  4. Try to Figure Out What Tools Were Used.
  5. Look at the Wood and Upholstery Fabric.
  6. Investigate the Screws and Other Hardware.

What is the strongest wood joint?

One of the strongest woodworking joints is the mortise and tenon joint. This joint is simple and strong. Woodworkers have used it for many years. Normally you use it to join two pieces of wood at 90-degrees.

Are dovetail drawers a sign of quality?

Quality furniture will generally be constructed using dovetail joints. The dovetail joint is excellent for increasing the resistance against being pulled apart, also known as tensile strength, and is the most common joint construction found in quality made furniture.

What are the disadvantages of a dovetail joint?

The disadvantages of dovetail joints are that they can be fairly difficult to mark out and cut, and if they are made badly these joints lose the advantages listed above. Depending on the project, function, and design, there are a number of different types of dovetail joints to choose from.

What is the most common dovetail angle?

Lower (7° to 9°) angles are often advised for joining hardwoods, while higher angles (10° to 14°) are recommended for softwoods and even higher angles (14° to 18°) for half-blind dovetails.

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Is dovetail joint strong?

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.

How old is the dovetail joint?

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.

Which is better English or French dovetail?

English dovetails are the most common. They have interlocking joints and allow the most amount of space – usually several more inches of room than you would get with French dovetails. A piece of furniture with a curved front will always have French dovetails, because English dovetails will not work with that shape.

What does dovetail drawers look like?

Dovetail drawers are secured together by a series of pins cut to extend from the end of one board interlock with a series of tails cut into the end of the other board. The pins and tails have a trapezoidal shape.

When did they stop putting wooden wheels on furniture?

Even though wheels (and therefore casters ) have been around for quite a while, they weren’t officially used to move furniture until the 1870s.

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