History

Knapp Joints – Type of drawer joint

Have you ever heard of a Knapp Joint? It’s a type of drawer joint that is a little less common today. I am sure you have heard dovetail, which is a very common form of drawer joints but sometimes you might run across a Knapp Joint.

Knapp Joint

The Knapp Joint is also called half moon, or pin and cove joint. This type of joint can be considered very strong and durable. Another thing about this joint it is a great indication on dating a piece of furniture.

About 15 years ago when I was working with a local antique appraiser, was the first time I was introduced to this type of joint. I think that each piece of antique furniture has a fascinating story and I love to unfold it. The Knapp Joint recently came to my attention again while talking to another local furniture painter. Nicole from Leahs Lovelies had contacted me and sent me the picture above along with a little history. My response was YES isn’t that cool. (She said figured you knew that) I had but I had also forgotten most of what I had known. Her ambition to investigate and share her findings with me has lead me to share it here.

The History

In the 1860s an inventor by the name of Charles B. Knapp from the great state of Wisconsin (Waterloo to be exact) invented the Knapp Joint. The use of machinery was in full swing at this point and furniture manufactures where looking for an easier way to develop a durable drawer joint. The traditional dove tail design is durable however it was the final part of cabinetry that was not machined.

Unfolding the history of each piece of furniture if you see this on a dresser this is a good clue on the age. This joint was used for a short period of time in our history from about 1870 to 1900. Although Knapps first patient on the machine was in 1867 so there could be some earlier pieces out there.

Undoubtably you will see this joint on late Eastlake of Victorian style furniture. Most midwestern and eastern factories used the Knapp Joint.

Around the turn of the century the Knapp Joint went out of production. The Colonial Revival was becoming the new style and the machine to create the dovetail joint was perfected. Unfortunately the Knapp Joint was no longer in use but it is still in out furniture history.

Have you seen the Knapp Joint on furniture?

Thanks for going down this part of furniture history with me if you enjoyed this you might also like this book (one of my favorites) Encyclopedia of Furniture

Thanks for reading

Tara Lou

types of drawer joints

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Tara Lou
<p>19 years ago, I started my path in furniture by preserving antique furniture, and restoring furniture after home disasters. More recently I have started working with clients to revive their furniture to todays fashions. When I’m not chipping my nails flipping furniture I am out with my kids hunting, fishing, foraging, gardening or hiking.</p>

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Tara Lou shares her knowledge of all things furniture from repair, to painting. Her bi-monthly blog shares, newest revivals, product recommendation, and how to tips. 

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