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The size of the pins and tails is typically uneven, with the pins commonly narrower than the tails.
Also, clearly visible scribe marks and saw or chisel overcuts frequently remain on the wood.
Second, many clues aid only in establishing that the furniture isn’t older than a certain date.
Any technique or machine that was once used could still be used, and often is used, for example, by many readers of this magazine who build reproduction furniture.
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created a sleuth who succeeded where others failed by employing systematic powers of observation and inference.
Additionally, Holmes was a student of trivial facts pertinent to his work.
I pulled the top drawer open about 3″, looked at the side of the drawer and felt the exposed bottom. That’s my wife’s private drawer.” Followed immediately by my wife’s reassuring, “Don’t worry.Always look for worn components in the right places, take your time to check the piece carefully and look for signs of use on the base of the feet, drawer runners, chair rail stretchers and any area of potential wear.Are the 'Pin' and the'Tail' a different size and shape from each other, if they are identical then the joint may have been manufactured by an automated process.How a drawer is constructed and the woods used is revealing, but there are two important caveats. Seldom does one clue provide confirmation of anything.Also important are style (including hardware), shrinkage, nails, screws, locks, the primary and secondary woods used, the type of finish, tell-tale tool marks, areas of wear and general appearance.