Daily Archives: February 25, 2009

Building a Bed, Part 3

This is the third part of a series – actually it’s the fourth
part because I slipped the Mortise Machine Mortises entry in without a mention of
the bed (read that entry here)
about my wife’s new bed. Read part one here,
and Part two here.

In all the furniture I’ve built in the past, I really feel there are two projects
that were exceptional. Translation: I would almost always change something about each
and every project I build. Never would I build that same piece the same way.

Most times, I have the project finished before I make that assessment. However, after
the holiday weekend – during which I had completed a good part of the work – something
bothered me about this bed I’m building. The design was stuck in my thoughts. Where
I was at that point with construction is shown below.

What bothered me were the rails of the bed running from post to post and the stiles
fitting between those rails. Of course the center stile would fit that way, but the
outer two stiles – if viewed without the added posts – would not. Think about a door.
The stiles run from top to bottom, not between the rails. It was bugging me, so I
made the change. Take a close look at the top photo and you can see the difference.
Also, the close up of the headboard (below) shows the construction change.

By the way – I blame this on all the blog commenters who didn’t point out this error
in my SketchUp drawing (Hey, I can’t blame myself!). I burnt a Saturday in the shop
making the necessary changes, but, as you can see, I did move forward on the project.

I also had a chance to use my favorite router technique, a square platform jig (watch
a video here).
The rails are too long to stand up and two-step cut the tenons as I normally do. And,
before you say it, it’s not easy to push king-size bed rails over a dado stack if
you don’t have a sliding table at your table saw. So the jig is the perfect answer.

What’s left on the bed build is to attach the posts. As you can see in the photo above,
that’s not an easy process due to the length of assemblies. I have two 84″-long pipe
clamps, but those do not stretch the entire length of the head and foot boards. Shown
in the photo is my idea as to how and make this happen. I plan to cut a couple biscuit
slots into the post and end stiles to help hold things in position as I add the clamps
as shown. The problem I have with this scenario is the time it takes to complete.
I’ll have to add one post at a time.

Anyone have another suggestion? If so, post your thoughts and let’s see if we can’t
knock this build out next weekend. If you remember from the first post (read it here),
my client is losing her patience.

— Glen D. Huey

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