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There have been a couple interesting threads on the Society of American Period Furniture Makers (SAPFM) forum I’d like to make you aware of in case you missed them:
On drawer construction:

On drawer integration:

I think construction details and their variation is particularly interesting. You can easily see how and why our woodworking ancestors changed the style of their furniture to accommodate changing consumer expectations. But the way they made drawers is really different. Different regions built their structures differently. Was this based on tools or technologies? Material availability? I have my theories.

What we do know is that certain regions showed remarkable similarity in construction. So regional differences (or differences in general) can’t be easily dismissed as personal preference. There’s certainly more to it than that.


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Showing 2 comments
  • jacon4

    Agrees, good thread on drawer construction. I was particularly interested in those Philly drawers constructed with riven oak as that is unusual in american construction.

    “Was this based on tools or technologies?”
    I suspect a bit of both with the added american quirkiness of “my drawer construction is better than yours” sort of thing. To me, thats one of the best features of early american furniture as there were no guilds to prohibit how furniture was built. American woodworkers were free to experiment not only in construction but design as well and sometimes the results were truly spectacular.

  • AL

    Adam, thanks for the info regarding the forum on drawers at SAPFM, good stuff. I’ve also enjoyed the e-Interview that SAPFM did with Jeff Headley, titled “The Winchester Chest with Jeff L. Headley” back in 2003, under “Educational Resources” on the left side of SAPFM’s homepage.


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