Lowboy Build #1: Getting started...

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Blog entry by JeremyPringle posted 01-18-2015 02:48 AM 7563 reads 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Lowboy Build series Part 2: board selection and layout »

The time has finally come. I have been waiting almost 2 years for this. I have finally gotten everything off my plate and can now start my Chippendale Lowboy!

I have been saving magazines and books that have related builds in them.

The problem I have with them all is they are for Queen Anne lowboys. I want a Chippendale lowboy. Even though they are similar, I have found a few differences in them..

First and most obvious is the legs and feet. Cabriole vs. ball + claw.

I have also noticed that the ratio from leg to upper drawer portion tends to be different. Chippendale appears to me to have a 1:1 ratio while QA is more like 3:2? (I have never seen an antique up close, so I am likely wrong on several points..)

Chippendale also has carvings on the knees.

Centre drawer carvings? QA for the most part is the fan… Chip on the other hand.. there seems to be no limits. Personally, my wife suggested a lion’s face. Which I liked, so that is the plan so far.

And last… Chip just seems to be more aggressive with the curves and less… well I guess ‘elegant’ seems to be the only word I can think of.

Of course, step one is to make a scale drawing..

Step 2 is making a full scale cardboard drawing.. but because all the examples I have found in my books and such are all QA, I don’t have any paper examples at my disposal. And even though I have a few scale drawings of cabriole legs…. they are not the same size, ratio or shape of Chip legs, so I had to guess and draw a few patterns until I made one that I liked. I don’t have the lower apron figured out yet.

The biggest challenge in this build for me is going to be the carvings. Lions face and ball and claw. Thankfully at least I have a ball and claw casting that I bought from Mary May to help me out. The Lion… well my wife is a very talented drawer and is going to draw it for me… all I have to do is carve it…... (insert nervous laughter here)

I bought a bunch of 12/4 for the legs long ago and finally get to cut into it… but I have run into my first problem… I don’t have a large enough rip saw to rip the 7” wide board in half… so I used a friends table saw to cut almost all the way through..

A few min with my rip saw…

Now to joint the legs… but wait… the jointer plane I want is $400… I want the Veritas custom plane.. but that’s not going to happen right now, so I talked a friend of mine into selling me one of this 3 Stanley/bailey #7’s for cheap.

After taking it all apart to check its condition….

I dated it to 46 or 47, post war, corrugated sole and a broken tote. So it may take me a little while before I can get the after market PMV-11 blade and make a new tote and matching knob, so the legs are getting put aside for now. I will pick the rest of the material from my pile tomorrow and start making the top and sides, and picking the rest of the pieces, and get back to the legs when I have the plane set up and ready to go.

Thanks for checking in…..


5 comments so far

View tirebob's profile


134 posts in 4066 days

#1 posted 01-18-2015 03:52 PM

You were able to get Dave to part with a tool??? Can’t wait for the build!

View stevo_wis's profile


128 posts in 4240 days

#2 posted 01-18-2015 04:28 PM

Very nice project. Good luck.

-- Stevo

View a1Jim's profile


118200 posts in 4790 days

#3 posted 01-18-2015 04:53 PM

I built a Lowboy some time ago using Charles Neils mastering woodworking show’s information.It was a fun and challenging project. I hope you enjoy your build just as much.


View tinnman65's profile


1416 posts in 4627 days

#4 posted 01-18-2015 11:34 PM

Looks like your off to a great start this should be an interesting blog.

-- Paul--- Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep. — Scott Adams

View DocK16's profile


1199 posts in 5299 days

#5 posted 02-09-2015 02:34 AM

I built a Queen Ann low boy several years ago but after purchasing Mary Mays CDs on carving ball and claw, acanthus leaf and concave Newport shell I plan on going back and revisiting this piece with some add’l flare. I will be watching your progress

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