Queen Anne lowboy

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Project by Carey Mitchell posted 11-01-2017 02:19 AM 2360 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. The last photo shows it place in the historic house.

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, easier than I expected. The legs are considerably slimmer than other QA legs I have done, and required more care 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 plane and the dividers (seen in the hanging tool cabinet), all 100+ years old – he lived on a hill 1/4 mile from the historic site, on 160 acres purchased in 1841 that were part of the original plantation property. The tenons for the sides were trimmed 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 cheated and 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. The finish is Transtint brown mahogany dye at 1/2 strength, followed by tung oil, then 3 coats of 50/50 satin/semigloss lacquer. I should have used a traditional finish but was up against a time crunch.

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.

Last photo shows it in place in the historic site.

24 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


2030 posts in 3815 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


10278 posts in 1786 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.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View NoSpace's profile


170 posts in 2042 days

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

Yeah, that makes me jealous.

View Rich's profile


5688 posts in 1391 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.

-- Half of what we read or hear about finishing is right. We just don’t know which half! — Bob Flexner

View JADobson's profile


1448 posts in 2913 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 (online now)


2018 posts in 2751 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 4665 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


652 posts in 1487 days

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

Simply stunning

View Redoak49's profile (online now)


4797 posts in 2790 days

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

Wonderful Workmanship….a top project.

View Andrek's profile


545 posts in 2711 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


906 posts in 2706 days

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

Wow! Superb craftsmanship. I love it.

-- Bailey F - Eastern Mass.

View AJ1104's profile


1103 posts in 2461 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

2825 posts in 4394 days

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

Fantastic craftsmanship on the lowboy, Congrats!

-- Dennis Zongker

View English's profile


688 posts in 2279 days

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

Beautiful work!!

-- John, Suffolk Virgina

View BurlyBob's profile


7695 posts in 3067 days

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

Totally awesome in every respect.

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