A dovetail joint or simply dovetail is a joinery technique most commonly used in woodworking joinery carpentry , including furniture, cabinets,  log buildings , and traditional timber framing. Noted for its resistance to being pulled apart tensile strength , the dovetail joint is commonly used to join the sides of a drawer to the front. A series of 'pins' cut to extend from the end of one board interlock with a series of 'tails' cut into the end of another board. The pins and tails have a trapezoidal shape. Once glued, a wooden dovetail joint requires no mechanical fasteners.
How to Identify Furniture of the 1800s by Its Dovetailing
What is a Dovetail Joint on Antique Furniture? - Antiques World
If you suspect your piece is pre, like these early s antiques, consult an expert — do not refinish. If you have a worn old dresser or rickety heirloom chair on your hands, you may be thinking of refinishing it yourself. Older mass-produced pieces whose origins fall somewhere between and are ideal candidates for refinishing. Here are some general guidelines to assessing the age and quality of your piece. But keep in mind that there are lots of exceptions to these rules, so err on the side of caution. Hand-cut dovetails can date an older American piece to before , although hobbyists and specialty makers still use them. Hand dovetails are slightly irregular and the pins are thin and tapered.
Dovetail joints have been used for centuries for building boxes, chests, drawers and other woodworking projects where the joints are not only visible but used as a design statement. Well-built dovetail joints need no mechanical fasteners although modern joints use adhesives to help keep the joint from separating over time. Learn the various types of dovetail joints, plus methods for making these popular joints. The most basic dovetail joint, the through dovetail, is incredibly strong, and if properly constructed really a thing of beauty.
Most quality pieces of antique furniture will have a dovetail joint in the drawer construction as it was a very early form of construction, but was so successful, it was used for many s of years. The Dovetail joint, got its name because of its similarity to the shape of a birds tail. The Dovetail joint is a highly skilled bit of cabinet making and is extremely strong and interlocks securely to connect two pieces of wood, usually drawer fronts and sides, or corners on chest carcasses. Originally they were done by hand, cut using a small saw and chisel, stuck using animal glue.