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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.American woodworkers played around with the ancient dovetailing concept and invented a version of their own in 1870.Note the flat spot on the shaft, the irregular threads, blunt tip and the off center slot.The screw in the center is machine made around 1830.Her work has appeared in USA Today, the San Francisco Chronicle, The New York Times, and in professional journals and trade publications.
The screw on the left was handmade in the late 18th century.
An analysis of glue remnants could be the key to precisely defining the age of a hand-cut dovetailed antique.
Benna Crawford has been a journalist and New York-based writer since 1997.
The same problem arose while trying to affix a lock to the back side of a drawer.
For a nail to hold, it would have had to be driven through the front of the drawer.
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Woodworkers cut dovetail joints in the latter part of the 17th century in England, using small delicate saws and wood chisels.