Dating furniture by dovetail


This new type joint, which went into production soon after the war, consisted of interlocking “fingers” cut alternately from the drawer side and the drawer face, each of which then engaged its opposite number, interlocking with each other, producing a joint held together by surface tension and the force of hide glue.

This was a neat, quick joint, easily produced by the machinery of the period because it required only a uniform series of straight cuts.

– The dovetail drawer joint, from the earliest crudely cut, single-pin joint of the 17th century to the highly refined, machine-made dovetails of the 20th century, has been the joint of choice for most American cabinetmakers.

But the dovetail joint is not the only way to make a drawer work.

There was nothing from the Colonial era that resembled it, and it certainly did not look like the handmade dovetail joints of the period furniture.



As the price of the machine itself became more affordable, its use spread throughout the East and made modest gains in the Midwest, where it was used by Nelson, Matter in Grand Rapids and Mitchell and Rammelsberg in Cincinnati.The company immediately hired Knapp as a consultant and then hired a Northampton machinist named Nathan C.


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