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From the mid 19th century to the beginning of the 20th century a series of experimental, machine made drawer joints appeared, including the Knapp joint and the finger joint but the winner was the machine made dovetail joint.

This machine made joint features a series of identical dovetails cut in the drawer front and side and the cuts run the entire depth of the drawer side.

Antique furnishings can tell a story one that may only exist in the imagination of the lucky person acquiring the piece.

But since suspensions are not always reliable and since wood expands and contracts due to weather and time a more significant consideration is “How is the drawer held together?• Browse (or place your own) FREE online classified ads • Sign up for your FREE Antique email newsletters • For more trade news, auction reports, research and expert columnists, get a year (26 issues) of Antique Trader magazine for the special online price of just !A single piece of antique furniture is more than a collection of nails, boards, and wood stain.This type of joint is fairly easy to make, requiring no sophisticated tools and is still seen in typical “high school shop” type projects and in lesser quality commercial goods, especially when non-wood compositions are used in drawer construction. One, nails of the 17th century were rare and precious, being individually hand made and two, the joint wasn’t very strong.Toward the end of the 17th century, the Dutch created the concept of the interlocking “dovetail” joint.An early answer to the question was a “nailed rabbet.” A rabbet joint is created when a piece of wood fits at a right angle into a notch cut into another piece of wood.The joint is then nailed either through the front or through the side.Until then, following these steps will help you determine an approximate age of nearly any piece of antique furniture: These less obvious areas of the antique will provide clues as to whether the wooden components were cut using traditional methods like handsaws and planes, or whether the pieces were crafted using modern power tools.If rough surfaces, plane scrapes, and tool marks are evident inside the piece of furniture, or on the back or bottom surfaces, you're probably looking at a pre-1860 model.For more information call 800-387-6377 or fax 352-563-2916.MORE RESOURCES FOR ANTIQUE COLLECTORS and DEALERS • Special discount prices on great books, digital downloads, price guides & reference books for every hobby • Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles 2012 Price Guide • Meet and share with other antiques collectors, dealers and auctioneers on Antique Trader’s Facebook page • Get special discounts and breaking news alerts on Antique Trader’s Twitter feed!

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