Making a Bed

So my wife wants to buy this bed she found in a Pottery Barn catalog. They want $1500 for it but I told her I could make it for $400 and be done in a month. Neither promise I’m sure I can keep but she gave me the okay to give it a shot.

After looking at the picture I calculated how much would I would need. I bought enough to get me started. I glued up 3/4″ material for the sides and the front frame and bought some 1 3/4″ stock for the sides of the headboard and feet.

I wanted to start on the front legs and feet. Both are 4″ thick but I didn’t want to use that much material for the legs so I glued up four pieces of 4″ material and cut them at 45 degree angles.

I then filled the middle of legs with a laminated piece of 2×4 material about 4″ long. This is so that I can drill a hole in the middle and glue the feet upon them.

Next were to work on the feet. I glued up two pieces of 1 3/4″ and one piece of 3/4″ maple 10″ long to become the feet. I then squared it up on the bandsaw and marked out the center.


I didn’t want to take a full square stock over to the lathe so I marked out an octagon on the ends to cut off at the bandsaw. The easiest way to mark out an octagon is to take you compass and place one end on the center and the other end at one of the corners. Now take that layout and move it to each corner and swing a mark on both sides. When you mark around all four corners you’ll have eight marks. Connecting the two marks at each corner creates your octagon.

Now take the wood over to the bandsaw with the table set at 45 degrees and cut off the corners. Now you’ll have a block of wood that is a lot easier and probably safer to turn.

I studied the picture as best as I could but had to rely on guess-work as to where the curves started and stopped on the foot. I drew out a drawing of what I thought it looked like but only used the drawing as a guide. In the end I just used my own guess-work to determine the overall design of the foot.

Next was the hard part. I had to duplicate the next three feet to look like my first one. I used the original foot as a template and measured the diameters of all the curves and valleys with calipers so I could duplicate them. In the end I was happy with the way they came out even if they aren’t exact duplicates. Being that they will eventually be five to six feet away from one another, I don’t think anyone will tell.

I’ll keep you posted on my progress and let you know when my wife gets impatient.

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