LumberJocks

Riverside Craftsman Bed in Walnut #1: Introduction

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by DGar posted 140 days ago 1224 reads 3 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Riverside Craftsman Bed in Walnut series Part 2: Scope Creep »

We’re pregnant!

...again.

This will be number four. Our three beautiful and maddening children are currently 4 (John), 2 1/2 (Lily), and 1 (Thomas). When he or she is born this December, they will be 4, 3, 1, and newborn – 4 under 5. We just found out last week, and at this point pregnancy is sort of old hat. My sister is due soon with her 6th, and she always says that she gets pregnant faster with each pregnancy, meaning that the symptoms start showing up sooner, as if her body is saying, “Oh, pregnancy? I know how to do that!” The worst part of pregnancy for my wife is sleeping – her back just gets all out of whack, and our mattress isn’t helping. We’d like to get a new mattress, but we want our next bed to be a King. So “I’ll build us a bed someday so we can get a more comfortable mattress” has just turned into, “I’m building a bed!”

We like this bed, called the Riverside Craftsman Bed. For the life of me, I can’t seem to get the interwebs to tell me where the thing is made, by whom, or out of what. I’m guessing Poplar core with Oak Veneer, questionable joinery, made somewhere between China and whatever country has just started to come into the industrial age and has the cheapest labor. Anyway, I’ll be following the design pretty closely, with the most obvious difference being the lumber and joinery. The slats will be resawn from 4/4 Walnut and bookmatched with the best grain I can find at the center.

Amazon sells it for $1350. Based on my calculations and pricing from a few places around town, I can get the rough lumber in Walnut for under $500, maybe less if I can keep the waste to a minimum.

The one big question I have is how to join the rails to the headboard and footboard.

Requirements
- Movable 1-4 times over the next 60 years.
- Sturdy and doesn’t rack.
- Durable – able to withstand my kids’ abuse.

I’m guessing that the two ways to make a bed sturdy are to make the rails wide (tall): 8-10 inches, and to join them tightly to the posts. I’m a big fan of building projects that have no metal included, but I’m open to bed bolts or zip bolts if they’re the best solution. I like traditional exposed joinery, but I don’t have a ton of experience with it. I’m currently thinking about double through tenons with 5/8” or 3/4” drawbored pegs. I figure that if we ever need to move, I can put a screw in the pegs, use it to pull them out, then just cut and install new pegs to reassemble. But will the drawbored holes give over time and cease to be as strong a joint? This bed will need to stand up to 20 years worth of kids running and jumping onto it, Saturday morning pile-ups, and all manner of other abuse associated with having a family of 6 (or more?), then still be sturdy for another 30 or 40 years of peacetime. I’m looking for the best solution – not the cheapest or easiest.

Have you built a sturdy bed? How did you join the rails?

I’ve never built a project this big or complex, so other resources or ideas are more than welcome!

-- "Those who are not dissatisfied will never make any progress" - Dr. Shigeo Shingo



14 comments so far

View sras's profile

sras

3815 posts in 1760 days


#1 posted 139 days ago

I used tall rails when I built our bed. Large tenon set about 1” into a 3” post. Held in place with a bed bolt and cover with a decorative cover. Nearly 20 years old and no creaking!

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View DGar's profile

DGar

37 posts in 485 days


#2 posted 139 days ago

Thanks, Steve! Can I ask how tall your rails were?

-- "Those who are not dissatisfied will never make any progress" - Dr. Shigeo Shingo

View DavidTTU's profile

DavidTTU

12 posts in 266 days


#3 posted 139 days ago

I had a similar problem with my bed. I settled on half lapping the rail to the head board and used a hanger bolt to make it removable.

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3334 posts in 1444 days


#4 posted 139 days ago

Like Steve, I use dry mortise and tenons and these bedbolts…

-
-
-
I make my rails like this.

-
-
-
On some beds I use two bolts per leg, but they usually only require one.

Good luck with it.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View DGar's profile

DGar

37 posts in 485 days


#5 posted 139 days ago

Thanks, Willie! What’s the dado along the length of the rail for? Is that where you hang your cross members / mattress supports, or do you glue in a strip, then lay the cross members on that?

-- "Those who are not dissatisfied will never make any progress" - Dr. Shigeo Shingo

View LJackson's profile

LJackson

150 posts in 225 days


#6 posted 139 days ago

You do know how babies are made, right?
.
.
.
.
Just making sure.

View DGar's profile

DGar

37 posts in 485 days


#7 posted 139 days ago

@LJackson – We’re Catholic. I understand that the Vatican has a crack team of scientists working on this problem as we speak. Hopefully we’ll have something soon on that and whether the world is flat. :-)

-- "Those who are not dissatisfied will never make any progress" - Dr. Shigeo Shingo

View pintodeluxe's profile

pintodeluxe

3334 posts in 1444 days


#8 posted 139 days ago

I set my cross members flush with the bottom of the groove. That way the plywood base can tuck neatly in the groove. This is useful for bedsets that don’t use a boxspring. Your bed as pictured could use slats and forego the groove.
More like this perhaps…

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View DGar's profile

DGar

37 posts in 485 days


#9 posted 139 days ago

@pinto – Thanks for the photos and explanation! I think our new mattress will be boxspring-less (likely a Sleep Number), so I might end up with the groove after all. I’d never seen cross members done vertically like that – great idea!

-- "Those who are not dissatisfied will never make any progress" - Dr. Shigeo Shingo

View Vincent Nocito's profile

Vincent Nocito

429 posts in 1995 days


#10 posted 139 days ago

I used Heavy-Duty Cross Dowel and Bolt – 8-Pack Item #: 36073 from Rockler. I made bolt covers that look like the end of a through M&T joint to cover the head of the bolt. Works like a charm.

View Mean_Dean's profile

Mean_Dean

1372 posts in 1778 days


#11 posted 139 days ago

I have a new bed frame on my “To Do” list, so I’ll be following your progress carefully!

-- Dean

View camps764's profile

camps764

791 posts in 991 days


#12 posted 139 days ago

This is going to be awesome! Would love to see a blog series come out of this on the build process. That is one sharp looking bed.

-- Steve. Visit my website http://www.campbellwoodworking.com

View sras's profile

sras

3815 posts in 1760 days


#13 posted 139 days ago

Sorry for the late reply – I was at work ;)

My rails are 8” tall

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3707 posts in 1999 days


#14 posted 139 days ago

With all of this help you should be well on your way. Keep us posted with your results!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase