Detail From Dowling Chest

Dowling Joint

case side, they were secured a second time along their edges with nails through the skirting boards.

These skirting boards were made from clear lengths of hardwood (usually oak), and were generally joined at the corners with dovetails. In some instances, as in the photo above, the pins were oriented opposite to those on the case, ensuring that the case joints, should they loosen, would be locked in place by the skirting joints. The bottom skirting not only helped support the floor boards of the box by providing nailing, but also offered abrasion protection as well. Set slightly below the edge of the floor boards, the skirts helped prevent rot by keeping the floor boards off the shop floor. Expendable stretchers (and in some cases a removable covering of thin tongue-and-grooved boards) filled the raised space to support the weight of the tools.

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