The use of metal screws as fasteners began in Europe in the 15th century. The screw was used in furniture but did not become a common woodworking fastener until efficient machine tools were developed near the end of the 18th century . The earliest record of lathe made wood screws dates to an English patent of 1760.
Screws were not made completely by machine until 1848. So if you find a furniture item using screws that have completely rounded shafts, pointed ends, and perfectly finished heads with matching cuts (much like a screw you would purchase today), the piece likely dates to the mid-19th century or later.
In 1797, Englishmen, Henry Maudslay ( 1771-1831 ) invented a large screw-cutting lathe that made it possible to mass-produce accurately sized screws. In 1798, American David Wilkinson also invented machinery for the mass production of threaded metal screws.
Most historians attribute its lack of popularity in the United States to Henry Ford. Having been nearly bankrupted by shady European licensees, Robertson refused to license his invention to Ford. Without a guaranteed supply, Ford turned to the Phillips-head screw , cementing its reign in American industry.
Philips head are specifically designed so you can’t over torque them, that’s why. We use Phillips specifically so that the screw can’t be over-torqued. Since the OP wants to over-torque the screw , he should use a screw designed for that type of torque. Or better, stop over-torquing.
A telltale sign of the furniture’s maker is a manufacturing tag, label or stamp bearing the name of the creator. Such a marking or label may have been placed inside a drawer on an old dresser, on the back of a chest of drawers, or on the underside of a chair or sofa seat.
I’ve even seen 1970s furniture with square nuts . The old ones are usually easy to spot, especially if hand forged. Good luck. Square nails went out between 1890 and 1910, however.
In England, the ball-and- claw style of foot was used primarily during the Queen Anne period and faded in popularity as the Chippendale style came into vogue. In America, however, the ball-and- claw remained a popular decorative feature well into the 19th century.
Five Ways to Tell If Furniture Is Actually Antique Look for dovetailing. Dovetailing is a sign of quality craftsmanship in woodworking, used to hold together different parts of the same piece of furniture . Multiple types of wood is a good thing. Beware of furniture that’s made to look old . Do a thorough search for labels or stamps. Shut out symmetry.
Around 1860’s, wire nails were introduced and by early 1900’s, 90% of all nails were wire nails . Screws , on the other hand, date back to 3rd Century BC in Greece.
The slotted head screw (commonly but incorrectly called a flat head ) is the oldest type of screw in use today. Now, they are mostly used for decorative purposes and have less “impact”. Many people think they are used on light switch covers still for this reason.
6 Household Substitutes for a Phillips Head Screwdriver Flathead Screwdriver . If you can ‘t find one screwdriver , you can always give it a go with another. Metal Vegetable Peeler. Whenever you find yourself without a Phillips screwdriver , you may want to look in your kitchen drawers. Butter Knife. A butter knife can be found in anyone’s kitchen. Loose Coins. Washers. Pliers.
It’s not even a particularly early one. Screws (and they were very often slotted screws ) date back much earlier. Rybczynski found mention of the slotted screw in a technological treatise from 1588, in a book on metallurgy from 1556, and depicted on a pair of manacles in an illustration from the late 1400s.