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For thousands of years, a dovetail joint was created by a skilled cabinetmaker using small, precision saws and wood chisels.

Tiny angled saw cuts were followed by careful cutting by a sharpened chisel on both sides to avoid splintering.

These machine-cut dovetails are as strong and long lasting as the hand-made joints, and became the standard of better American furniture ever since the late 1890's.

Here is an early example of machine-cut dovetails on a 1920's sideboard from a dining set: European cabinetmakers continued to produce hand-cut dovetails through the 1930's.

These were cut with a jig or pattern, and an apprentice could create a very well fitting and attractive joint. European cabinetmakers continued their hand-cut dovetails well into the 1900's.


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Dovetail joints often hold two boards together in a box or drawer, almost like interlocking the fingertips of your hands.

The 1866 school statute obliged municipalities to establish and maintain elementary schools.

However, construction work was postponed by the years of crop failure and famine.

With just a little study of these examples, it is easy to spot true hand made construction vs. The name dovetail comes from the appearance of the joint, resembling the triangle shape of a bird's tail.

The earliest examples are from furniture placed with mummies in Egypt thousands of years ago, and also in the burials of ancient Chinese emperors.Hand cut dovetails were used to hold the sides of drawers together, but also to join the structural members of case furniture.