Hand Tools

Re: Period Furniture Construction

Steve D, CT
The construction of the lowboy/dressing table in the video is very different than the one in the Phil Lowe cover. I remember seeing that detail at the Yale furniture study but didn't recall the specifics. I checked into my book by Norm Vandal and his construction is similar to the piece that Lowe is gluing up using pins.

In the piece in the video the legs do not extend to the underside of the top. They only go up about 5", making for a much shorter cross grain arrangement. There is a thin piece of wood in cross grain in the front to hide the end grain. I would expect the glue to fail before the side split due to the absence of glued or pinned tenons to restrict movement.

The sides are dovetailed to the back, which is used to support and register the drawer runners.

Different regions and builders had their ways of doing things so the full height legs are still legitimate expressions of the period pieces but not the Newport ones necessarily. The Newport construction is definitely cleaner in appearance and I don't recall if the construction was attributed to style or structural concerns.

© 1998 - 2017 by Ellis Walentine. All rights reserved.
No parts of this web site may be reproduced in any form or by
any means without the written permission of the publisher.