Norm Vandal Queen Anne Lowboy

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Project by WhattheChuck posted 04-30-2019 03:47 AM 1320 views 4 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This Queen Anne lowboy is pretty much an exact reproduction of Norm Vandal’s version in his book on Queen Anne furniture—one of my favorite books of all time. I made the legs about ten years ago, and then got divorced, which as many of you know, can put a crimp in project completion goals.

I was sitting around staring at the legs, and thinking that if I wasn’t going to make the dang thing, I should burn them. But instead of doing that, I made it. Which burned time. These things, as anyone who’s ever built one will tell you, are tedious works of craft.

I made it for the woman who helped me raise my boys post-divorce. Her husband angled for the dang thing, and I just said ‘uncle’. I had professional pictures taken because once it’s gone, well, it’s gone. I’ll bet there’s probably a meal or two in it for me, though. Honestly, I can’t thank the family enough for their kindness. I’m still in their debt.

Everything is period-worthy. The dovetails are hand-cut, the fan, hand-carved (thank you Frank Klausz!) the legs hand-rasped, and so on. I made the drawer fronts out of one figured piece of walnut, strategically laid out. Nerve-wracking, but beautiful. I put an insertable dovetail in the top, as Norm described in his book, for wood movement. The wood itself is claro walnut, which is what we get out here. It is super nice. I got it from an orchard outside of Colville, WA. The yellow birch is also locally sourced.

Every now and then, I think I’d recommend getting a real pro to shoot one of your pieces of furniture. He did a great job.

As Cap’n Jack Sparrow once said “I hope you all saw that, because I will NOT be doing that again!” But memory fades. Who knows?

P.S. Horton Brasses, Minwax Tung Oil Finish. For those that just had to know. Router edging on the top was the classic Queen Anne Whiteside bit.

-- Chuck, Pullman, WA

28 comments so far

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3564 posts in 4493 days

#1 posted 04-30-2019 04:26 AM


Really lovely! I hope that some day you will make another for yourself to enjoy. Thanks for sharing.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View theoldfart's profile


11670 posts in 3232 days

#2 posted 04-30-2019 05:01 AM

I have the book and i’m In the process of making the same piece. Your’s is beautiful and well crafted. Great job.

-- "With every tool obtained, there is another that is needed" DonW ( Kevin )

View Jerry's profile


3388 posts in 2429 days

#3 posted 04-30-2019 06:48 AM

I can’t really understand your story, but you, sir, are an artist. This is a phenomenal piece. A meal?! This is a king’s ransom.

Extraordinary, awesome, amazing, I’m running out of adjectives…

-- There are good ships and there are wood ships, the ships that sail the sea, but the best ships are friendships and may they always be.

View Peteybadboy's profile


1973 posts in 2731 days

#4 posted 04-30-2019 09:11 AM

Fantastic work! You stuck with it, you should be proud. Thanks for posting

-- Petey

View Dave Polaschek's profile

Dave Polaschek

5464 posts in 1363 days

#5 posted 04-30-2019 09:33 AM

Golly! That’s a pretty one!

-- Dave - Santa Fe

View Andrek's profile


544 posts in 2691 days

#6 posted 04-30-2019 10:23 AM

Very beautiful piece of art. Bravo, thanks for showing us your skills and artistic talents for the choice of wood.

-- andrek

View Bob Kassmeyer's profile

Bob Kassmeyer

265 posts in 3706 days

#7 posted 04-30-2019 10:24 AM

Beautiful, great work. I like the story behind it also.

-- Bob Kassmeyer, Nebraska

View therealSteveN's profile


5791 posts in 1355 days

#8 posted 04-30-2019 12:21 PM

Lovely piece.

Thanks for posting.

-- Think safe, be safe

View Mainiac Matt 's profile

Mainiac Matt

9561 posts in 3110 days

#9 posted 04-30-2019 01:01 PM

The effort and self-discipline to make this ….. huge
The craftsmanship demonstrated…. way beyond impressive.
The fact that you gifted it in appreciation for kindness shown to your kids… shows character beyond words.

Well done. Check that big box off of your bucket list and have yourself a cold one, because you definitely deserve it.

-- Matt -- I yam what I yam and that's all what I yam

View TWegs's profile


65 posts in 1397 days

#10 posted 04-30-2019 01:01 PM

Great job on this this. The legs are really impressive. Love the joinery – this will be around for a few hundred years. Hope you signed it somewhere…

View Delete's profile


439 posts in 1153 days

#11 posted 04-30-2019 01:13 PM

Its been said but I will say it again, beautiful piece of craftsmanship.

View Redoak49's profile


4759 posts in 2770 days

#12 posted 04-30-2019 01:44 PM

Beautiful and superb craftsmanship.

View pottz's profile


9954 posts in 1765 days

#13 posted 04-30-2019 02:01 PM

ditto too all said!

-- 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 Dutchy's profile


3752 posts in 2950 days

#14 posted 04-30-2019 03:00 PM

A very nice piece of art.


View Phil Clark's profile

Phil Clark

356 posts in 4576 days

#15 posted 04-30-2019 03:09 PM

There are many reasons why you should be proud of this journey – congrats!

-- Legacy Woodcraft

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