The traditional carpentry joints using in solid wood furniture are crafted to use the strength of the wood and design of the joint itself for its strength. A pinned tenon or a properly crafted dovetail joint needs no glue, nails or screws to make it secure. Unlike plywood or particleboard, solid wood joints do not separate their layers or disintegrate when they become wet. They remain strong, and expand and contract along with the parts they bind together in extremes of heat and cold.
With the development of corrosion-proof metals and new plastics, wood became no longer a cool material to use for the modern furniture of the day. For most of history, wood and stone have been the construction materials of choice - for homes and the furniture used in them. Stone was popular in the old civilizations, or perhaps we only think so because all wooden furniture is long gone. Latterly, metal was rarely used in construction other than as reinforcement. However, it all changed with the development of tubular aluminum and steel, pressed plywood and plastics. Each of these had its day, being used extensively by the artists of their time. However, they were no more than transient, fading into insignificance as wood remained supreme.
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