Cabinetmakers made these from solid wood, often of the same type as the exterior of the piece.
If the wood shows nicks or cuts, they probably cut these pieces with a plane, a spokeshave, or a drawknife. If the wood shows circular or arc-shaped marks, you can bet the furniture maker used a circular saw, which didnt come into use until about 1860.
Look for differences in nail styles within a piece of furniture if you suspect two or more pieces from different sources have been joined into a composite piece. Toney, a former newspaper designer, began writing in 1999 for a newsletter devoted to decorating with salvage.
As advertising and marketing director for an educational publisher, she wrote copy for its website, catalogs and mailings.
The head is usually round or rectangular but sometimes has an off-center notch.
Around 1880, a machine was invented that produced a round nail drawn from a piece of steel wire and formed with a perfectly circular, stamped head and a sharp, cut point.
Those that did had only a few, and these weren't even.
Not all pieces made before 1860 had dovetail joints on drawers.Cut nails leave a more rectangular hole and around or rectangular head.Black staining appears where an original iron nail was in place for many years, with additional rust staining if it was replaced by a newer nail.These nails have heads known as rose heads, a faceted and shallow pyramid-shaped design created from four blows of an ironsmith's hammer.Between the end of the 18th and the end of the 19th centuries, nails were cut into shape.