Curly Cherry Highboy, Part One
Combine hand and machine techniques to produce an American furniture classic
Synopsis: The first of three articles on how to build a beautiful curly cherry highboy. This Early American reproduction has a bonnet top, a dramatic gooseneck molding, brasses, carved fans and finials and cabriole legs. Randall O’Donnell explains how to build the base, from selecting the stock to shaping the legs, mortising the leg posts, and preparing the stock for the carcase. He explains how to cut out the front rails, sides, and back, and he explains how to make the interior framing members. He assembles the base in three stages before attaching the knee blocks or fitting the tenon pins. A detailed project plan and multiple photos illustrate the process.
When I watch a sawyer cut open a hardwood log that has highly figured wood inside, it’s like stumbling across a buried treasure. Wood like that is a gift of nature, and it deserves the best showcase I…