Making a Bed Part 2

Well it’s been a few weeks since I blogged about making a bed for my wife but the month of October had some really nice weather. So nice that my wife and I decided to use the days to redo our screened in porch. Once that project was done, I moved back to the bed.

After the feet were turned and the top legs were made, I cut a couple of mortises in them to accept tenons for front panel. The tenons were cut using a router and hand saws and are about 3″ wide.

Next I needed to make the beaded details for the front panel and sides. I used my sticking board and a No 6 hollow molding plane to shape a round over on one side of a piece of wood that was 1/2″ thick x 1 1/8″ wide.


Glueing the beaded detail onto the boards was a synch with my Bow Clamps. The front panel only needed one bead on the bottom while the sides needed two. One on top and one on the bottom.

The top of the front panel is glued down in place with biscuits so that no visible fasteners will be seen. Once everything is glued together, the front panel is complete. The next part is focusing on the headboard.


The headboard started with a design on a 1/4″ piece of melamine hard board . I traced the pattern onto a piece of 1 3/4″ soft maple stock and cut it out on the bandsaw. Then I took another piece of 1 3/4″ and laminated a piece of 1/2″ on top of it to make the thickness I needed for the top rail of the headboard.


I shaped the bed rail into form by using my hollow molding planes. Using the right sweep of plane makes the job simple and quick to do. After cutting the tenons on the bed rail, I cut a sample tenon to use as a gauge to figure out where I needed to bore the mortise on the headboard sides.



Once I determined the location of the mortise, I simply bored it out with an auger bit and cleaned up the sides with a chisel. I then worked on the headboard rail bottom and the bottom rail for the slats. To make sure everything fitted fine, I tested fitted all the parts together.


Next I wanted to focus on the coopered panel front. The bed at Pottery Barn had coopered panels that were flush with its sides. My wife wanted the same look so cutting a groove in the sides and in setting the panel pieces into the groove wasn’t going to work. After studying the Pottery Barn bed, I decided to build it in much the same way they did. I shaped two pieces in an S curve and glued it to the sides. I use this curved part as the way to connect the slats onto the headboard by screwing them through the back.


Making the slats was fun. I took 1/2″ thick by 3″ wide boards and cut tongue and grooves in them with my Stanley #49 plane. I opened up the joint a little bit so the boards would fit sloppy in the groove and bend around the S curve.


Once all the slats were cut, I dry fitted them to the headboard and attached them with screws.


Once all the slats were in place, I glued the feet to the bottom. My headboard was assembled.

Now I needed to assemble all the parts. I test fitted the bed hardware and how the rails would attach to the front panel and headboard with a scrap of plywood.

Once I figured out where each piece of hardware went, I screwed it on and test fitted the bed. Cutting out some bed support slats out of poplar and glueing a support bar on to the sides, the bed was ready for final assembly.

Now I need to sand the entire bed and stain it a dark mahogany stain my wife wants.

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