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Adam Cherubini, our Arts & Mysteries columnist and blogger, and a contributing editor to the magazine, generated quite a buzz at the Woodworking in America conference with his talk on nailed furniture. I’m sad to say that I wasn’t able to make Adam’s talk (maybe I was ranting about the nefarious Cult of the Perfect Dovetails at the time?) – but through my (long-neglected) graduate work, I’m quite familiar with the “Worshipful Company of Joyners” and the “Worshipful Company of Carpenters” in early modern London, and the legal stipulations about which guild could do what kind of work (and court cases for alleged violations thereof).

In a nutshell, joiners could cut complex joints; carpenters could use mechanical fasteners (read: nails) and employ simple rabbets, dados, grooves and the like. (I feel certain the carpenters would share my pique with the purely modern Cult of the Perfect Dovetails…but that’s another blog entry.)

No doubt Adam went into far greater detail on the differences – and with far more flair, not to mention example pieces and glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one – so I’m hoping we can convince him to write about the topic for an upcoming column – you know, for those of us, myself included, not among the 200 or so people who saw his presentation.


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