My brother recently purchased and old piece of furniture at a garage sale.
What is unique about it is the joints for the drawers. The "dovetail"
joints are half round, such that the edge gives a scalloped appearance.
In the middle of each of the half rounds is a peg. I assume it goes
through the two piece of the joint, but did not disassemble the drawer.
(My brother was watching)
Is there a special jig for this type of "dovetail"?
Is there an advantage, other than appearance?
Its called a Knapp joint.
This unique machined drawer joint started the industrial revolution for
furniture and replaced hand cut dovetails. It dates the furniture to a
Also known as Pin & Cove, Pin & Scallop, Half Moon, or Knapp Joint, also
variously changing word "pin" to "dowel". All these woodworking joints are
basically the same, while they can vary in size.
Their presence allows dating of the furniture chest to 1870 - 1900, usually
of the Victorian, Renaissance Revival or Eastlake styles. In the dating
sequence of furniture construction they generally followed hand-cut
dovetails. They clearly pre-dated what is called "sliding French dovetails".
Hand made dovetailed drawers were very labor intensive and limited mass
production of chests. The Knapp Joint is the first known mechanization for
making drawers in the industrial revolution age.
The inventor was Charles B Knapp of Waterloo, Wisconsin with a patent dated
1867. There was by 1871 a Knapp Dovetailing Company of Northampton, Mass.
The joint concept fell into lack of use by 1900.
Yeah, these are really cool joints. They are a Knapp or Crescent or
Pin and Crescent and there are actually a few variations I've seen.
You can jig up to make these yourself. I think someone makes a simple
static jig but can't recall where i saw it. Also, the Woodworkers
supply knock-off of the Multirouter has a template for making these.
It would only cost a few thou to get the matcher, template, etc. ;^)
Ouch! I did a variation with round pins - then revised to use
lozenge-shaped pins. For less than $1K you can build the CNC to make any
of these joints. IIRC, the part programs took less than an hour to hand
code and allow varying the pin geometry (length and thickness) and
spacing. Been promising myself for a couple of years now to try '+' (and
spade/heart/diamond/club) shaped pins. :)
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