The box is constructed
with "full blind" dovetail joints.
This is a double blind sometimes called a "full
blind" dovetail joint.
The joint is strengthened
with a piece of brass. These are sometimes cast and sometimes cut from
sheet. At this date the holding screws, as here, are mostly iron or
steel and turned to a screw which would hold itself. A hole would first
have to be drilled. The surface would then be flattened. These screws
look as if they have never moved since they were put in.
It is not easy to move these
screws whose slots are almost never in the center and have ground to be
flat with the brass.
The joint is visually very
different to a simple miter. A miter joint which glues end grain wood to
end grain wood is much weaker and would not have survived the rigors of
travel or 200 years.
The dovetail joint is one
of the wonders of woodwork. In the full blind none of the careful work
is visible. If the joint is simply mitered it will not survive
atmospheric change. A mitered joint is end grain to end grain. The
glue soaks in, becomes dry and brittle and falls apart.
The dovetail joint enables
side grain to be glued to side grain. These joints would hold together
It is the true proof of
these dovetail joints made by craftsmen 200 years ago that their
joints are as they made them.
This image is
courtesy of Fine Woodworking Techniques 1978 Taunton Press inc. ISBN: