Wood will also show signs of oxidation and patination with prolonged exposure to air and light. These tips will get you started, but I encourage you to read and study further. Probably the easiest to recognize are the curved marks left by the circular saw, circa 1840. The vertical, crisp, uniform marks left by the band saw are not very deep.
Hand-cut dovetails appeared late in that century and for the next 80 years or so, dovetails were wide, stubby, and crude. By the end of the 1700s, dovetails became thin and delicate. If you find Phillips head screws throughout, you don't have an antique. If it is 1/32nd of an inch thick, it is Victorian or newer, as compared to the 17th and 18th Century 1/16" to 1/8" veneers.
Mortise and tenon joints were also used in the 18th and early 19th Centuries. On the other hand, hand forged nails and screws with off-center slots and uneven threads can be taken from older furniture and used in a piece made yesterday. Learn to recognize the elements of different furniture styles.
Windsor chairs were not around before the Queen Anne period.
Up-and-down saws left vertical, crisp uniform marks and were used from 1700 to the 1860s.
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