Woodworking has been an American tradition since before the Declaration of Independence. Legend reports that Thomas Jefferson invented a wooden lap desk with a drawer and writing surface he could use during his travels. The Jefferson Wood Working Company of Louisville, Kentucky, with no connection to Thomas Jefferson, made table slides used to place a leaf in the table. These table slides were marked with the Jefferson Wood Working name. Jefferson Woodworking of Palm City, Florida, has made tables for the past 30 years, with hand-crafted production sold primarily in Florida.
Jefferson Wood Working Company
Jefferson Wood Working Company was a table slide manufacturing business in Louisville, Kentucky. Many tables have the stamped wooden slide with metal cogs, but Jefferson didn't make the tables. Other American woodworking companies made the tables and used Jefferson slides in the construction. The University of Louisville digital archives show Jefferson Wood Working in business in 1922. All Jefferson Wood Working Company table slides are 20th century production and not 100 years old to qualify as antique.
Jefferson Woodworking LLC
Jefferson Woodworking LLC of Palm City, Florida, has been in business since 1981. This company makes custom cabinets and in-place construction for residences. It also constructs tables to specifications. Recent sales include reproduction tables, desks and vanities in styles from another era. You may encounter a Jefferson Woodworking table that looks old but is a replica of Pennsylvania Chippendale or French provincial style. These aren't antiques but are made in the style of another era.
Jefferson Wood Working Slides
A table with a Jefferson table slide isn't new, as they stopped production in the early 1990s. These tables aren't old enough to be antique as they were produced in the 20th century. A table with a Jefferson slide may have another name or numbers on the bottom that pinpoint the production date more closely. Tell City Furniture of Indiana made dining room tables with Jefferson slides. The Tell City furniture business, launched in 1873, closed in the 1980s. Production of hard rock maple furniture in Early American style was its specialty.
Identifying Antique Tables
An antique table made before 1910 has handcrafted identifiers because the tools used were hand planes and hand saws. Look for planed surfaces and hand-cut insets for hinges. Screws with flat heads are typical on antique furniture as hex and Phillips screws weren't yet available. Check the table with a magnifying glass and good lighting to look for hand-tooled surfaces and construction materials available more than 100 years ago.
Linda Richard has been a legal writer and antiques appraiser for more than 25 years, and has been writing online for more than 12 years. Richard holds a bachelor's degree in English and business administration. She has operated a small business for more than 20 years. She and her husband enjoy remodeling old houses and are currently working on a 1970s home.