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If it has only a few dovetail joints, with pins narrower than the dovetails, then the joint was made by hand.

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Other good sources are secondhand stores, household auctions, and garage sales.The same problem arose while trying to affix a lock to the backside of a drawer. It's easy to spot an antique by the drawers, because joints weren't machine-cut until about 1860.The screw on the right is a modern gimlet screw, post 1848, with tapered shaft, even threads, pointed tip and centered slot.The handmade nails of the period derived much of their holding power from the ability to drive the nail through two surfaces and bend it over on the backside, i.e. But that solution would not work for securing the top on a chest of drawers or table top without either driving a nail through the top from above or clinching it on the top to hold it fast. This helps if you have visual clues underneath or in the construction technique.


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