Drawers at this point in time were constructed with coarse, through dovetails which, on the fronts, were hidden by thick veneer. The top edges of the drawer sides at this date were square and fractionally lower in height than the fronts (to prevent conflict with any irregularities within the carcase) – a decade later, the top edges would be rounded over.
The drawer baseboards (with the grain running front to back) were now raised clear of the carcase’s dustboards; residing in a deeper rebate or groove in the drawer front. The baseboards were nailed to the underside of the side- and back-boards and narrow runners were glued up to the underside of the baseboards, supporting the weight of the drawer and its contents close to the carcase ends.
I prepared all the drawer stuff, cut the dovetails and assembled the drawers. The baseboards were rubbed together, but not fitted at this stage.
I prepared the full width veneer panels and sized them as before. The slightly oversized panels were glued onto the drawer fronts and secured at each corner with veneer pins .
A reader enquired about the method used to lay the veneers and I replied that I pinned down the veneers in the margins which are ultimately trimmed off. However, it’s not uncommon to see tell-tale pin holes in period veneered work. They are often visible either side of a split or joint, on corners, or anywhere the veneer lifted. Normally the pins were withdrawn (for reuse), but occasionally they snapped off, or were too short to grab hold of, and were hammered home. In the course of restoring veneered furniture of this date, one occasionally sees small black stains on the ground work which mark the site of the veneer pins.
To the untrained eye, the pin holes blend with the multitude of dark blemishes and general patina, but when you know what to look for, and in which areas, the small square or trapezoid holes (from using cut steel veneer pins) are obvious.