Queen Anne Lowboy Dressing Table

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Project by Bob A in NJ posted 11-11-2007 03:57 PM 5867 views 2 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Queen Anne Dressing Table

Here’s my latest project. I got the idea and inspiration while visiting a local cabinetmaker with club members from the “New Jersey Woodturners Association” earlier this year. I joined the club in April and how been wow’ed by them. The guys at the club are one extremely talented bunch of guys.

I’ve been concentrating on different types of boxes or cabinets most of my life. With the new addition of a Jet mini lathe this year, it started stretching my imagination. The Queen Anne table has features I’ve never tried but, after seeing the club’s work, I decided to do something more ambitious than my usual stuff. It’s been a journey!

After searching for a design, I found great plans on the “New Yankee’s Workshop” site. Thanks Norm! The video and plans are wonderful. In Norm’s version, he bought the legs since they take a lot of time and are much more elaborate than shown here. His version has “ball and claw feet” with ornate carvings on the knees. He bought them from a furniture leg company since they take a lot of talent and time to build yourself.

After seeing the prices for the legs, ($$!!), I decided to experiment and make them myself. I found plans for a simple design in Fine Woodworking and enlarged them on a copier and made a template. I found them very easy to make. Well, sort of,..... I’ll get to that in a minute. After gluing up ¾” x 3” wide stock, cutting them on a bandsaw is very fast and easy. Once the initial curves are cut, that’s when the fun begins. The blanks come off the bandsaw needing a lot of scraping, filing & sanding. Making “one” is easy, making “four” to be exact replicas is a challenge. These legs are close. The initial 4 blanks and smoothing took about 2 hours each but then I spent an entire Saturday trying to get them as close in size as possible.

This was also my first attempt at carving which is needed for the shell design on the drawer front. The one on the table is my 4th effort after trying out the various carving tools and techniques. For this work, I borrowed a friend’s “Flexcut” chisels. Nice tools! I found it’s like other types of woorkworking. Get a plan, be willing to experiment, be patient, practice and you’ll finally get something you can use. I’ve since bought my own set of Flexcuts and am now practicing on ball and claw feet. These will take LOTS of practice if my first attempt is any indication.

This brings us to the Lumberjocks picnic at Lee Jesbergers house a few months ago. Lee is simply fantastic and has queen anne style legs on a tilting candle stand. Check his web page on this topic. His work is really unbelievable and very ornate. At the picnic, I brought my “in process” legs for the “show and tell” part of the day. So, for the guys that were there, I’ve got this project completed.

The mini drops were made on my lathe. Again, it took 2-3 attempts to get the design right and making two the same takes some practice but relatively simple to do.

This project took about 80 hours over the last 4 months to make. I have no idea how Norm knocks out so many fine projects so quickly!

Construction is solid cherry with cut off pieces I bought as surplus “shorts” from a cabinet shop selling on ebay. Drawers and made of poplar. The legs are laminated together although the Fine Woorking plans by Lonnie Bird suggest making legs thick legs like this from solid stock to avoid differences in grain, color and different rates of wood shrinkage I found 3” thick cherry is about $14 bd ft which would have added $180 to the price of the project. I don’t think so Tim!

All in all, with the plans, wood, hardware and finishing supplies, the project cost about $300.

Norm’s video suggested using a Gel stain which helps smooth out the colors of the cherry. I used Minwax mahogany. Then I added 5 coats of “rub on poly” and finally a coat of Johnsons paste wax.

So, in summary, the challenging parts of the projects are the legs, drops and carving, the rest is just a big box with 4 smaller boxes (the drawers) but I’m glad I tackled it.

After seeing the work from my fellow NJ Wood Turners club members and the work of fellow Lumberjocks, it pushed me from my comfort zone.

So what’s next? I thinking about making a matching queen anne style chair complete with ball and claw feet but I’ll wait till my Xmas presents are done.

-- Bob A in NJ

28 comments so far

View mot's profile


4922 posts in 4240 days

#1 posted 11-11-2007 04:03 PM

Bob! Awesome! Though I wouldn’t have faulted you for buying the legs, I’m impressed you did them yourself. A much greater feeling of accomplishment, I’m sure. The carving is really nice. Overall a beautiful job!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View rjack's profile


110 posts in 4059 days

#2 posted 11-11-2007 04:09 PM

This is really an impressive piece of work! I think your new found carving skills can greatly increase the beauty and uniqueness of your work.

-- Roger - Havertown, Pennsylvania

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 4166 days

#3 posted 11-11-2007 04:32 PM

That is an excellent piece of work. When you start on this quality of projects, you really do push the envelope.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Calgirl's profile


188 posts in 4099 days

#4 posted 11-11-2007 04:35 PM

Wonderful Bob. The Q A dressing table is on my list of future projects. Thanks for all your notes about the process you went thru. It looks fantastic.

-- Forget the health food, I need all the preservatives I can get !

View bryano's profile


546 posts in 4137 days

#5 posted 11-11-2007 04:49 PM

Wow Bob, after seeing these legs at the picnic I was impressed but now after seeing your completed project I believe your woodwork is awesome. great craftsmanship.

-- bryano

View Karson's profile


35149 posts in 4604 days

#6 posted 11-11-2007 04:59 PM

Bob. A great accomplishment. The legs were the beginning and thanks for showing them to us at Lee’s. But, you have branched out from there. Truly beautiful. A great job. You will have to bring it to Lee’s next picnic.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia †

View Lee A. Jesberger's profile

Lee A. Jesberger

6866 posts in 4183 days

#7 posted 11-11-2007 05:06 PM


This is fantastic! Talk about jumping off a cliff with your comfort zone. I’m blown away at the work you did here.

I have to thank you for proving my belief that a person can do work in their own hobby workshop, and exceed that of many professionals.

I believe it’s not the experience you have, but the level of craftsmanship your willing to put your name on.

Obviously, you have set a very high level of acceptable craftsmanship for yourself, and I applaud you.

Thanks for the kind words also, and I really had a great time at our picnic.

Really fantastic work!


-- by Lee A. Jesberger

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4503 days

#8 posted 11-11-2007 05:16 PM

A fantastic accomplishment of such a beautiful piece of furniture.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View lance's profile


170 posts in 4192 days

#9 posted 11-11-2007 05:17 PM

Lee said it all. Excellent! Continued success.

-- Bob Lance, DE

View Mark Mazzo's profile

Mark Mazzo

352 posts in 4116 days

#10 posted 11-11-2007 05:18 PM


This is a beautiful piece. Very impressive!

-- Mark, Webster New York, Visit my website at

View CharlieM1958's profile


16281 posts in 4422 days

#11 posted 11-11-2007 06:00 PM


You just trumped anything that has been posted here in recent memory… by a wide margin at that!

This is truly a remarkable piece by any standards, but even moreso considering the aspects of the project that you had little or no prior experience with. I’m really inspired to better my own work now!

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View David's profile


1969 posts in 4343 days

#12 posted 11-11-2007 06:29 PM

Bob -

What a beautiful project! Very nice work. Thanks for the detailed notes!


View relic's profile


343 posts in 4140 days

#13 posted 11-11-2007 10:09 PM

Bob, the table is gorgeous.

-- Andy Stark

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 4303 days

#14 posted 11-11-2007 10:21 PM

This looks fantastic! Congrats on hooking up with the NJ wood turners, they will take you to the next level. Reproduction furniture is challenging (does that even begin to cover it?) and I think you did a great job.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana,

View MsDebbieP's profile


18618 posts in 4364 days

#15 posted 11-11-2007 10:43 PM


-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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