Quick Answer: 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.

What are dovetail items?

A dovetail joint is made from a set of hand cut interlocking wedges that fit together, joining two pieces of wood without the need for additional dowels, screws, or nails. It is a type of wood joint that takes great skill and is very difficult to master.

When did they stop making dovetail furniture?

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.

Are dovetail joints better?

The dovetail had the disadvantage of having fewer fingers than the box joint and not having the fingers go all the way through the piece of wood. But the thing is, it’s so much easier to make box joints go all the way through. For this test, the box joint proved stronger.

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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.

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.

What does dovetail look like?

Dovetails are interlocking carved wood joints used in cabinetry to connect two pieces of wood — drawer fronts and sides, cabinet or cupboard corners. It’s called a “dovetail” joint because the flat-bottomed triangular shape of the wood insert looks like a dove’s tail.

Why is dovetail better?

But why such high praise? The dovetail joint that hold the sides of the drawer together consists of interlocking “tails” on one side and “pins” on the other, cut at precise angles that fit tightly together. This creates high tensile strength, which means the joint is extremely resistant to being pulled apart.

What are the different kinds of dovetail joints?

Types of dovetails

  • Through dovetail.
  • Half-blind dovetail.
  • Secret mitred dovetail.
  • Secret double-lapped dovetail.
  • Sliding dovetail.

How can you tell how old furniture is?

Look carefully at the bottom, sides, and back of the drawer; if the wood shows nicks or cuts, it was probably cut with a plane, a spokeshave, or a drawknife. Straight saw marks also indicate an old piece. If the wood shows circular or arc-shaped marks, it was cut by a circular saw, not in use until about 1860.

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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.

What age is vintage furniture?

Vintage furniture is anything that’s at least 20 years old. If a piece of furniture is at least 20 years old, but has been restored, it’s still considered vintage. Within the vintage category, newer pieces, especially those dating from the 1950s to1980, are generally considered retro.

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.

Is dovetail or finger joint stronger?

Frid wrote that finger (or box) joints are stronger than through dovetails because the fingers offer much more glue surface.

When would you use a dovetail joint?

Dovetail joints are commonly used to build boxes, drawers, and cabinets. The shape of the “tails and pins” in the joint make it nearly impossible to break. Glue is used to strengthen the joint but no screws or fasteners are necessary.

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