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Project by Dilo Marcio Fernandino posted 10-04-2011 09:38 PM 7018 views 26 times favorited 61 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Dear Lumberjocks

The present piece of furniture is not a copy of any ancient highboy. It is just inspired by some Web photos of Philadelphia Highboys (I live in Brazil) and its actual size is about half of the original one. The whole project was designed by me for utilitarian purpose and aimed at the watch collectors’ market.

I know that every watch collector is very proud of his (or her) asset and that he (or she) would like to keep all watches together although well organized by classes. In this miniature cabinet the watches may be deliberately displayed to the admirers by just pulling the six smooth running drawers, but all watches are kept far from indiscreet viewers whenever the drawers are shut and locked. Any collector would love to house his beloved collection in a most distinguished, handy and safe cabinet instead of in several small-sized watch boxes, especially for safety purpose.

In addition to the six front drawers, this cabinet has two secret and large compartments (also key locked) destined to conceal the most valuable watches, if convenient. All compartments are completely blue velvet lined. The highboy was entirely handmade of solid mahogany (Swietenia macrophylla) that I bought in March 1989, which wood has been naturally air drying since then (22 years by now: what a treasure!). The intricate bas-relief carvings on the bonnet, apron and claw-and-ball legs were really hand carved on single blanks of wood, meaning that their backgrounds were actually excavated and carefully leveled (3/16” deep).

Reminding you that my workshop is stuffed into a tiny 6’ x 7’ walk-in closet and that I have no power tools – except for an electric hand drill, I am proud to say that I built the whole cabinet using the genuine 18th century woodworking techniques, which means the utilization of hand saws, bow saws, hand planes, rasps, chisels and gouges only. Even the “turned” finials and mouldings were actually hand carved, as you can see in the photos.
I had better not to darken the wood but to preserve the mahogany natural color in order to make easier its integration into many decorative styles. Thus, the finishing was done with light nitrocellulose sealer and wax only.

So, this small sized and light weighted highboy can fit in the most convenient spot of home or office. I also built a mahogany low table intended to stand this miniature highboy at the adequate level for usage and observation. It can be used as a book shelf as well.

As far as I know this project is worldwide unique and I believe it will satisfy the watch collector’s expectations.

Dimensions: 50” high x 24 ½” wide x 13 ½” deep

Visit my website:
My email: [email protected]
Best Regards,

-- Dilo

61 comments so far

View Rob W's profile

Rob W

434 posts in 4817 days

#1 posted 10-04-2011 09:41 PM

Absolutely wonderful!

-- Rob — I've cut it off twice and it's still too short!,

View andy6601's profile


91 posts in 3749 days

#2 posted 10-04-2011 09:45 PM

That is truly a breath taking piece, WOW you did a wonderful job on that. I have to say that is truly amazing.

View Triumph1's profile


938 posts in 4361 days

#3 posted 10-04-2011 09:55 PM

That is amazing. So you didn’t turn the spindle on a lathe? You shaped it with rasps? That is incredible. You are a very gifted craftsman.

-- Jeff , Wisconsin Please...can I stay in the basement a little longer, please!

View Charles Maxwell's profile

Charles Maxwell

1110 posts in 5088 days

#4 posted 10-04-2011 10:03 PM

Wow…that’s talent! What a fantastic post. Thanks so much for this learning experience!!! You have a wonderful gift. Thanks for sharing. Max

-- Max the "night janitor" at

View hairy's profile


3343 posts in 4813 days

#5 posted 10-04-2011 10:06 PM

It’s always a good day when you post a new project. Thanks for showing it.

-- there's someone in my head but it's not me...

View SPHinTampa's profile


567 posts in 4967 days

#6 posted 10-04-2011 10:15 PM

Amazing work

-- Shawn, I ask in order to learn

View doordude's profile


1085 posts in 4264 days

#7 posted 10-04-2011 10:32 PM

Dilo, WOOOOH!, wonderful workmanship. and all done with hand tools!
how long did it take you to complete this project?
do you do this for a living?
i hope you get a years wages for this work.

View Les Hastings's profile

Les Hastings

1306 posts in 5054 days

#8 posted 10-04-2011 10:41 PM

Awesome craftsmanship Dilo!

-- Les, Wichita, Ks. (I'd rather be covered in saw dust!)

View littlecope's profile


3133 posts in 4783 days

#9 posted 10-04-2011 10:45 PM

It is always a pleasure to view your extraordinary work Dilo… Thank You so much for sharing it!!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View BTKS's profile


1989 posts in 4745 days

#10 posted 10-04-2011 10:48 PM

Simply WOW! Stunning work Sir!

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View OutPutter's profile


1199 posts in 5271 days

#11 posted 10-04-2011 11:04 PM

Hi Dilo,

Another magnificent piece I see. Congratulations. I will echo a couple of questions if you don’t mind. How many hours did you put into the project? What more exactly do you mean by “light nitrocellulose sealer and wax” for the finish?

I hope my next comments do not offend since you’re one of my favorite wood artists but here goes. You have made a furniture piece that is not easily usable without the “extra” base you put it on. Did you give any thought to giving the piece longer legs or some other means to raise the height? You mention the needs of watch collectors. Does this mean you have a client or other confidant that has steered you? Are there other uses for the piece you can forsee?

Again, congratulations on your work and thank you for the post.

Best regards,

-- Jim

View B13's profile


463 posts in 3974 days

#12 posted 10-04-2011 11:08 PM

You set the bar high! very high! Dilo. you are world class! Wow!!!

View Dilo Marcio Fernandino's profile

Dilo Marcio Fernandino

71 posts in 4689 days

#13 posted 10-04-2011 11:39 PM

Hi Outputter Jim,
Thanks for your comments.
I can just say that I worked for four months since the beginning to the end, but there were many idle days.
The sealer is a chemical substance used as a primer and the wax was made by me with carnauba and beeswax.
Considering that this piece is a miniature, it is intended to be put on table or on an appropriate stand. Its proportions could not be distorted.
This project is completely original and I will try to sell my idea to the watch collectors. Now I will have to face the worst problem: the marketing of an idea.

-- Dilo

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 5077 days

#14 posted 10-04-2011 11:53 PM

WOW. Very nice! I’m honestly blown away by your work here. Very, very nice…and that doesn’t really even cut it.

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Jordan's profile


1400 posts in 4406 days

#15 posted 10-05-2011 12:10 AM

Oh my word but you are a crazy good carver!!!!!!


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