Queen Anne lowboy

  • Advertise with us
Project by Carey Mitchell posted 11-01-2017 02:19 AM 2031 views 9 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally finished it. Only took 3 1/2 months, some sort of record for me! This piece was constructed to go in a local historic site, a mansion built by a Cherokee chieftan in 1804, so the period had to be correct. The original of this piece was made around 1790 and Glen Huey built a copy.

I did it in walnut, as I had some nice pieces for the top. The original from the 1790’s was mahogany. This was my first try at trifid feet, and they turned out fine. The legs are considerably slimmer than other QA legs I have done, so more care was required in shaping. I recessed the aprons 3/16” from the faces of the legs simply because I like the depth it gives. In order to use veneer on the drawer fronts I used flush fitting drawers rather than overlay as in the original and added a cockbead molding. The dovetails are hand cut.

In the interest of tradition, I used a number of antique tools; one of the spokeshaves used on the legs was my great-grandfather’s, as was the Stanley #5 and the dividers (seen in the hanging tool cabinet), all 100+ years old – he lived on a hill 1/2 mile from the historic site. The tenons for the sides were cut with a 1910 vintage Stanley #78. Some of the carving chisels were 1800’s vintage. I used hide glue throughout, which is now my go-to product; I just like the way it works.

I used drawer slips and solid bottoms, as were common on English antiques of that period.

I did cheat a bit on the knee blocks. I am always concerned about carving them after assembly, so I dry assembled the case, glued the blocks onto the legs and disassembled. Then I carved them out on the legs while clamped in a 48” Bessy clamp held in the vise. That setup had worked great while carving the feet so I used it on the knee blocks. I used the oscillating spindle sander (shhhh!) on the underside curve.

I stained the drawer fronts before assembly, as I didn’t want the little bit of stain on the walnut to get on the poplar.

Finish is Transtint brown mahogany at 1/2 strength, followed by tung oil, then 3 coats of 50/50 satin/semigloss lacquer.

I would love to do another of these in mahogany; I would do a lot of things differently – I suppose that happens to us all; maybe someone will want to pay me to build another! A second go at it would take about 1/2 the time.

24 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


1917 posts in 3466 days

#1 posted 11-01-2017 02:25 AM

Outstanding piece of furniture. Definitely an heirloom. Thanks for sharing your hard work and craftsmanship.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View pottz's profile


5786 posts in 1437 days

#2 posted 11-01-2017 02:51 AM

well carey there are wood projects and there are what you just did! this isn’t just top 3 its top 3 for the month or more!.this what every wood jock on this forum wants to achieve buddy,whether they admit it or not.a piece of wood with handles screwed on doesn’t quiet compete with this.nice job,hell no,spectacular chraftsmanship my man!high five!hell its what I want to achieve,someday!!!congrats my man.

-- sawdust the bigger the pile the bigger my smile-larry,so cal.

View NoSpace's profile


155 posts in 1693 days

#3 posted 11-01-2017 04:18 AM

Yeah, that makes me jealous.

View Rich's profile


4697 posts in 1042 days

#4 posted 11-01-2017 04:38 AM

That is a stunning piece in every way. Just an amazing piece of furniture.

+1 on the hide glue BTW. I love the stuff.

-- My grandfather always said that when one door closes, another one opens. He was a wonderful man, but a lousy cabinet maker

View JADobson's profile


1445 posts in 2564 days

#5 posted 11-01-2017 04:41 AM


-- No craft is very far from the line beyond which is magic. -- Lord Dunsany — Instagram @grailwoodworks

View Peteybadboy's profile


918 posts in 2402 days

#6 posted 11-01-2017 10:25 AM

Excellent work. Is there a lock on the top drawer?

-- Petey

View Packman's profile


70 posts in 4316 days

#7 posted 11-01-2017 10:39 AM

Beautiful piece of work and excellent attention to detail – well done!

-- Handcrafted by RJ Paquin - Yooper

View avsmusic1's profile


477 posts in 1138 days

#8 posted 11-01-2017 11:08 AM

Simply stunning

View Redoak49's profile


4105 posts in 2441 days

#9 posted 11-01-2017 11:09 AM

Wonderful Workmanship….a top project.

View Andrek's profile


491 posts in 2363 days

#10 posted 11-01-2017 11:13 AM

Bravo, ! this is ’’fine wood working ’’ a level I would like to reach.
Very nicely done, exquisite is the right word.
Keep on making sawdust,

-- andrek

View MrFid's profile


890 posts in 2357 days

#11 posted 11-01-2017 11:48 AM

Wow! Superb craftsmanship. I love it.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View AJ1104's profile


797 posts in 2112 days

#12 posted 11-01-2017 12:06 PM

Carey. You have created a gorgeous piece. I would like to make this build and could only hope to achieve something close to your result. I would like to know what materials and finishes you used. Thank you for sharing.

-- AJ

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2789 posts in 4045 days

#13 posted 11-01-2017 12:09 PM

Fantastic craftsmanship on the lowboy, Congrats!

-- Dennis Zongker

View English's profile


677 posts in 1930 days

#14 posted 11-01-2017 03:38 PM

Beautiful work!!

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View BurlyBob's profile


6385 posts in 2718 days

#15 posted 11-01-2017 04:33 PM

Totally awesome in every respect.

showing 1 through 15 of 24 comments

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics