When you are searching for a quality piece of furniture, there are a few things you should look for. The first is solid, hardwood. You want to make sure the piece is made from the best materials and doesn’t include parts made from particle board. The second is joinery. Joinery is what holds the parts of the furniture together. You want quality joinery so that your furniture doesn’t fall apart after years of use. Joinery is why dovetails matter.
Form and Function
Dovetails are a style of joinery that is proven to stand the test of time. Dovetails are a design that employ the wood itself to hold it in place. They do not require external hardware to hold the furniture together. Not only are dovetails sturdy joinery, but they are also attractive. Metal joinery such as screws can strip out over time and eventually the piece will come apart. Dovetails are sturdy and stay intact over time and use.
Hand-cut dovetails are a sign of careful craftsmanship. Hand-cut dovetails show that the craftsman took time and care with the piece to make a work that is not only functional, but also beautiful.
When you are searching for the perfect piece of heirloom furniture, remember to look beyond just the materials. Look closely at the piece to ensure that is was well made. Dovetails are a sign that the piece will last for generations to come. A piece with hand-cut dovetails may cost a bit more than other furniture pieces, but a wise man once said, “the bitterness of poor quality will last longer than the sweetness of a cheap price.”