This post covers what a dovetail joint is, how it is made and different types of dovetail joints.Use the navigation below to guide you to the section of this page you are interested in.
The joints are seen exclusively on the furniture from 1870-1900 ( Victorian and Eastlake styles) but fell out of fashion with the Colonial Revival trend and the fact that newer machines were finally able to imitate the traditional dovetail.
So, these joints( also known as half-moon), used almost solely in North America, are a reliable way to date a piece.
Here’s what they look like: I painted the dresser with General Finishes “Driftwood” milk paint then applied a white wash with chalk paint.
It’s my first time using this paint and although it isn’t a true milk paint because it has acrylic in it, it does create a nice opaque finish and is easy to work with.
First, the age of the piece: it’s maple, looks hand-made and it has pin and cove joints.
Pin and cove joints or Knapp joints were used during a very short window of time, between 18.
They were an upgrade in terms of ease from the hand-cut joints that were used earlier because they were created with a machine that had been invented by Charles Knapp.
Apparently, inventors had been unsuccessfully trying to perfect a machine-made dovetail but Knapp solved the problem by creating a new type of dovetail altogether.
So the "tail" and "pin" started to match precisely since they were being machine carved.
However, European cabinetmakers continued to produce hand-cut dovetails through the 1930s.
However, the shellac odour lingered for days inside the drawers.