Queen Anne Highboy

Matthew Cremona

An elegant design makes this piece a great introduction to reproduction period furniture and will easily be a focal point in any room.  Store your finest linens (or undies) in style!

Overall dimensions:  41” W x 26” D x 87” H

  • 36 lessons
  • 672 min
  • $100.00

Here's what we'll cover:

  1. Introduction

    We’ll look at a Sketchup model as well as a previously-built secretary desk to set the stage for this large elegant piece of casework!

  2. Design

    A little history and a review of resources helps us refine the design of the highboy!

  3. Lumber Selection

    The highboy is a large project with many parts so spending some time choosing the right board for each project part will ensure the project goes smoothly.

  4. Cabriole Leg Template and Layout

    The cabriole legs are an iconic component of a highboy. A little planning upfront will make creating them much easier.

  5. Cabriole Leg Profiling and Shaping

    It’s time to convert those big blocks of wood into shapely cabriole legs.

  6. Lower Case Panels and Apron

    Now with the legs complete, we can start building a case to connect them.

  7. Lower Case Drawer Dividers

    With the frame of the lower case complete, we can now subdivide the drawer opening for the 4 lower case drawers

  8. Lower Case Internals

    Next we can create a support structure within the lowercase to allow the drawers to operate.

  9. Lower Case Scroll Work

    Adding some cutout details to the lower apron and side panels adds some visual interest and ties in the theme of curvature.

  10. Lower Case Glue Up

    A little prep work and a good strategy makes this complex glue up way easier.

  11. Knee Blocks

    The knee blocks are a small element with big impact tying the cabriole legs into the case.

  12. Upper Case Dovetail Joinery

    Hand-cutting dovetails into large panels for the upper case.

  13. Upper Case Drawer Dividers

    The upper case’s drawer dividers and drawer supports are similar to the lower case’s but there’s a slight difference

  14. The Scroll Board

    The scroll board establishes the shape of the top of the highboy.

  15. Upper Case Glue Up & Top Drawer Compartment

    We glue up the upper case and finish up the top drawer compartments.

  16. The Drawer Fronts

    The drawer fronts are visually the largest component of the piece so lets choose some awesome stock!

  17. The Bonnet Top

    Adding a thin roof completes the framework of the upper case.

  18. The Gooseneck Templates and Stock

    Like many things in this project, some templates and some prep work will make the process of making the moldings go much more smoothly.

  19. Routing the Goosenecks

    Making a custom profile for the molding that follows the curves.

  20. Cleaning up and Mitering the Goosenecks

    After routing the profile, the moldings need a bit of clean up work and then the goosenecks can be mitered.

  21. Short Returns and Installing the Goosenecks

    After all that clean up and prep work, the goosenecks can finally be attached to the case.

  22. The Side Returns

    The last bit of the gooseneck molding installation is to add the returns which connect the bottom of the goosenecks to the back of the case.

  23. Fan Carvings

    For some traditional embellishment, we carve some simple fans onto the center drawers.

  24. Drawers – Half Blind Dovetails

    Starting on the drawers with the half blind dovetails that join the sides to the front.

  25. Drawers – Through Dovetails

    No drawer is complete without a back! We’ll continue on with the dovetails and join the back to the sides with through dovetails.

  26. Finials – Design and Stock

    Now we turn our attention to ornamentation by adding the finials. There are many variations and ways that these can be customized.

  27. Finials – Turning and Mounting the Urns

    We start work on the finials by adding the urns to the upper case which will receive the flame finials

  28. Finials – Drop and Flame

    To round out the ornamentation, drop finials are added to the lower case and the flames are added to the urns on the upper case.

  29. Finish Prep

    Before a great finish can be applied, some attention to detail is necessary to ensure the entire project is ready to go.

  30. The Hidden Drawers

    Keeping with tradition, we install the hidden drawers which will keep your valuables safe and out of sight.

  31. Transition Frame and Molding

    We add a structural and decorative element which locks the two cases together.

  32. Finish Application

    We apply a finish to the highboy and the wood comes to life!

  33. The Backboards

    We close in the back of the upper case with some classic shiplapped boards

  34. Drawer Bottoms

    We add the beveled panel bottoms to the drawers

  35. Hardware Installation

    We add some classy brass hardware to the drawers.

  36. Wrapping Up

    A few last minute details as the Queen Anne Highboy project comes to a close.

What You’ll Receive:

  • Detailed cut list and plans including a PDF and a SketchUp file (Metric and Imperial).
  • Hours of detailed video instruction (36 videos in total) showing every step of the build.
  • All videos and plans are digital and will be available for download upon purchase. 

What You’ll Learn:

  • Period Furniture Design
  • Material Layout
  • Wood Movement Considerations
  • Cabriole Leg Shaping
  • Dovetailed Case Construction
  • Through Dovetails
  • Sliding Dovetails
  • Half-blind dovetails
  • ¾ Overlay Dovetailed Drawer Construction
  • Patternmaking and Routing
  • Curved Moldings
  • Basic Carving
  • Basic Spindle Turning
  • Wiping Varnish Application
  • Hardware installation

What You’ll Need:

Note: This is not a required list of tools. This is simply what I used during the build. Remember, there are always multiple ways to accomplish a task so if you don’t have one or more of these tools, you can very likely still make this project.

Tools

  • Planer/Jointer (alternatives: purchase pre-milled lumber kits or use hand planes)
  • Tablesaw
  • Dado Stack
  • Router
  • Bandsaw
  • Drill
  • Lathe (for turning the pad foot and finials)
    • Parting tool, skew, bowl or spindle gouge, round scraper
  • Miter Saw (for cutting gooseneck miters)
  • Spindle Sander
  • Drum Sander (for making the bonnet veneer)
  • Random Orbit Sander
  • Carving Chisels (for gooseneck clean up, fan and finial carving)
  • Hand Tools – Chisels, Medium Bench Plane, Spoke Shave, Shoulder Plane, Card Scrapers, Dovetail and flush trim Saws, Rasp, Round File

Bits

Hardware

Reviews:

The Queen Anne Highboy has SOOO many good tips and tricks in it. I bought it because I just wanted to see something like this made. I have learned more from watching this 1 project than any of the other guild projects. The techniques have applied across so many of my projects. I don’t even make period furniture. Most of what I make would fall into Craftsman or Modern style. If you are on the fence there is a lot to be learned here.

Andrew
Guild Member

I am a 50 year woodworker and you can learn different ways to build a great furniture piece .lot of step by step info

david
Guild Member

Don’t think that this project is only useful for building a QA Highboy. The techniques and methods learned from this project go far beyond QA Highboys, Highboys, and QA furniture in general.
I bought this project with the assumption that it would be many years before I would have the skills needed to make an heirloom like this. However, Matt does an excellent job of breaking down each step into manageable pieces, and now I realize that while it is a large project, it is not ‘hard’ to do.
This project should cost far more than it does.

JohnG
Guild Member
Read all reviews / Leave a review

About Your Instructor:

Matthew Cremona

Matt is a classic log to furniture woodworker. In 2017 he made his own bandsaw mill and uses it to create massive slabs for himself and other woodworkers to turn into beautiful furniture. He started his YouTube channel in 2014 and has a large and dedicated following. His woodworking style ranges from modern to classic reproductions.

Matt has been a Guild instructor since 2016 and a co-host of the Wood Talk podcast since 2016. He travels to teach periodically at local Guild meetings as well as woodworking events like Woodworking in America.