Dating furniture by locks, security and convenience

Add a vertical center line to aid drilling. If you think that you have something really valuable on hand, or you just want to make sure that you have the best estimate as to the age of an antique hire an expert! Determining the age of antiques is half the fun! Insert mortise lock and screw faceplate to the door. The bolt, however, may have a built-in resistance to impede the use of an unauthorized key.

  1. The resistance is a notch in the bolt that engages a surface of the lock housing and prohibits the bolt from moving.
  2. How are antique door bells installed?
  3. Real lacquer changes color after time.

The most expensive antique furniture piece sold in recent years was a Badminton cabinet that was crafted during the Medici years in Florence. Moving into the s, maple and cherry showed up in fine furniture manufacture quite often. If the spindle is permanently fixed to the ringer it would require some welding. Keep in mind, free dating agencies in kenya wood components can be replaced and this may affect your ability to determine the exact age of a piece. The type of wood is the final clue.

If you have a steel door, either use modern hardware or replace the door. Silk, wool, and cotton have been spun and woven into a variety of damasks, satins, and brocades with many different patterns. Some popular antiques are quite well documented and may be tied to a specific time period in history making an age determination quite simple. The second most common problem in the old locks, besides no key, is a broken spring.

Tips & Advice on Identifying Antique Furniture

Identifying Antique Furniture

The side with the lock body will cover any repairs but you will need to be creative with the other side for the knob, rosette and key escutcheon if your door is stained. How do I install a mortise lock? Use a chisel to smooth the sides of the mortise slot so that the lock casing will slide neatly into the door. Drill another two holes for the key and chisel out any remaining wood between the two holes. If the door has a big round ugly hole it will need to be filled first.

The following are questions I am frequently asked - with ANSWERS

This is the same drill attachment that you would use if you were installing a modern door lockset. Almost all the locks sold here are reversible by simply removing the lock body cover and turning the strike over. Some are quite attractive but I believe that it's worth the effort to use all antique components. Antique hardware catalogs always reflect what kind of metal was used for a specific piece. It's usually very hard to tell the difference but, in general, brass will have a yellow color and bronze will have a more rose color.

The most common is an inside ring of raised metal, concentric to the pin, that requires a notch in the key. Most bolts have two notches, one in the locked position and one in the unlocked position. Also usually visible on a half-mortise lock are the screws or nails that hold the lock in place. From the s up until the Eastlake period in the s, brass hardware fell out of favor in furniture manufacture and was sparsely used. The year it was made can also give a good indication of which is which.

See lock diagram following for definition of terms in these directions. Simply close the door, mark where the keeper is to go and screw it on. Antique door bells were most times mounted on the exterior door. Fine old works are often French-polished, a variation of the shellac finish.

Drawers Date Furniture

There are more metal types but those are the ones most used for antique and vintage hardware. If the piece of furniture is dirty or encrusted with wax, clean it first with a mixture of denatured alcohol, white vinegar, and kerosene, in equal parts. The blade of the key engages a semi-circular cavity in the bolt and moves it forward or back, dating professionals as the case may be.

Dovetails have long been a popular method for attaching two pieces of wood at a degree angle often seen in drawer construction. Screws made from about through the mids were partially machine made giving the threading a more even appearance, according to Taylor. Possibly, you have a Federal or American Empire piece. This is one of the easiest ways to provide a fairly accurate date stamp to any antique. See above - What Screws To Use.

Home Latest Updates Forum Valuations. That said, it is important to realize that skilled craftsmen are building furniture by hand even today so you'll want to continue to investigate the age of the piece using at least one other method. Becoming knowledgeable about antique furniture takes research, even if you are focusing on only one aspect of this wide-ranging subject. Once lacquer hits the century mark it tends to turn quite dark.

Tips for Dating Old Pieces Made in America
Furniture Detective Unlock the secrets of furniture locks

Drawers Date Furniture

Furniture Locks - Richelieu Hardware
  • Smaller rim lock latches are without the skeleton key deadbolt.
  • The backs of this type of hardware were often left with the impression of the sand while the surfaces were polished.
  • For the upper keyhole drill half way through the door from the exterior side.
  • The levers must be aligned in a perfect line to allow the bolt to pass, but since their thickness is random and hidden, figuring out a cut pattern is very difficult.
  • How can I tell what kind of metal it is?

There were also other methods of placement with the bell somewhere else in the house but that requires more specialized fittings and carpentry than most are willing to attempt. It is best to secure the door before drilling. Sheep Collection purchases are excluded.

Screw the lock body to the door. Cuts and nicks can also leave proof that hand chisels and other tools operated with sheer elbow grease were used to shape woods. If there are no holes cut in the door it would be the same as with an antique door. As discussed above, this is especially evident on the back or underside of pieces made prior to the mids.

Furniture Detective Unlock the secrets of furniture locks

They provide everything but the doorknobs themselves. That's where all the broken cast iron hinges come from! And, eldorado park dating realize that those masterpieces are actually few and far between. And we all know that nothing is easy in restoring old houses!

How To Tell Whether Antique Furniture Is Really Antique

The key must not only be the right size to move the bolt forward and back, it must be the right size to compress the spring and release the bolt so it can move. Machine made furniture produced largely after will have components that match more perfectly than those made by hand. These are an often overlooked method of determining the age of an antique the builder is telling you when it was constructed! Antique Furniture is one of the most fascinating sections of antique collecting.

Antique Trader

Identifying Antique Furniture and Furnishings

How to Date Antique Furniture

Original Hardware for Antique Furniture

Mortise refers to the cutout portion of wood in which the lock is mounted. Then ease out the indentations made by the chisel to give you your recess. From to bronze was the metal of choice for the manufacture of artistic hardware. While you may not have an example as extreme as that sitting in your garage, you never know what you may unearth as you determine the age and value of your antique.

The position of the lock is typically in line with the door cross stile. Manually operated hand saws left a straighter pattern in comparison. Hold the lock in position against the face of the door and mark the center of the handle spindle and the key hole. With a stained door you will need to be more creative. As you examine the piece, sleuth for clues that support your initial theory that you have a piece of authentic period furniture.

Feet and chair spindles were also carved individually, so there is no way each one could possibly look identical. Make a series of drill holes along the center line. Also, never use a screw gun or drill! The easiest way is to cut several rounds of plywood with a hole saw the same diameter as the hole you are filling. Actually, even if you leave the plug slightly showing these locks have a primitive feel and it will only contribute to the ongoing changes for the door.

You must now make a recess in the edge of the door so that the faceplate of the lock is flush with the door. This will put a mark on the blank where the notch should be and it can be cut out with a hacksaw. The key usually fits over a center pin of a given size and rotates around it. Most older and antique furniture locks work on the simple idea of a key moving a bolt through the lock and into the adjoining frame member.

Combining this dating process with several other techniques will help you make an accurate age determination. If you find these hand finished screws in furniture, investigate other aspects of the pieces to see if they match the screws in age. In other words, more vintage furniture is acquired for its beauty and function rather than the profit potential of a piece. Lacquer has been applied to wood furniture for centuries, and if the piece you're inspecting claims to have the original finish, you may be able to date the piece quite easily. Collect as many steel keys as you can to try stubborn locks with before you cut soft brass ones that may break in a reluctant bolt.

Ready for the hard stuff now? Only the selvage, or top edge, of the lock is visible on the lip of the drawer or door, and nothing shows on either side. Some classics are still being made today. Using a chisel make a series of cuts down the length of the door where the plate will sit. The top selvage is visible, but so is the back, or lockplate, hook highschool of the lock on the inside of the drawer front.

Security and convenience

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