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Built-In Bed

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Blog series by Scott R. Turner updated 01-19-2011 04:55 AM 14 parts 32338 reads 24 comments total

Part 1: Pleasing the Customer

11-07-2010 11:57 PM by Scott R. Turner | 6 comments »

I always enjoy reading project blogs here on LJ, so I’ve decided to attempt one myself. Hopefully some folks will find it enjoyable! I’ve built a few beds over the past years, the most recent being this one that my son uses: It’s solid maple and has been beat up a little over the years and acquired glow-in-the-dark stars, all of which adds to its character, and I don’t mind in the least. I like that the bed has been host to both my children and that they...

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Part 2: SUDO: Make Me a Sandwich

11-10-2010 03:26 AM by Scott R. Turner | 2 comments »

(The Story So Far: Our Hero is constructing a built-in bed for his daughter, with inadequate tools and woodworking experience.) As mentioned in my previous post, one of the challenges of this project is to construct the large, 1 1/2” thick panels that make up the bed sides. These panels are 96” tall and 58” wide, so they cannot be cut from a single sheet of plywood. (The built-in is sized to fit a full size mattress.) They are intended to be 1 1/2” thick, so I h...

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Part 3: All These Sandwiches Are Making Me Hungry

11-12-2010 02:44 AM by Scott R. Turner | 1 comment »

With one large panel built-up (if not finished), I moved on to the other panel of the same end. This is essentially just a 24”x96” bookshelf side, although like the large panel it is made up of a sandwich of two 1/2” sheets of birch-sided plywood with 1/2” plywood spacers in between. This shows what the sandwich looked like just before gluing on the second face: I fastened the second face of the large panel on with screws through the face. For this one I deci...

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Part 4: Scraping By

11-17-2010 05:29 AM by Scott R. Turner | 2 comments »

(The Story So Far: Our Hero is constructing a built-in bed for his daughter, with inadequate tools and woodworking experience.) I’ve spent the last couple of days finishing up the panels that make up the sides of the bed enclosure and bookshelves. Part of the effort is to finish the edges so that I can put on face boards or prepare the surface for veneering. The panels are a sandwich of 3 sheets of plywood, so naturally they do not line up perfectly at the edges. The straight e...

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Part 5: A Thin Veneer of Civilization

11-18-2010 03:19 AM by Scott R. Turner | 2 comments »

After work today I headed for the garage/workshop to veneer the plywood edges of the large panels. But first I moved everything to the edges of the garage and swept out the sawdust and shavings. It was a sizable pile (with a few Fall leaves mixed in): I trotted it out to the compost bin, which gets plenty of green waste but is always happy for a some atomized wood. Each of the large panels for the built-in bed has three-ply thick raw edge like so: Today’s pro...

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Part 6: Don't Mock Me!

11-20-2010 04:52 AM by Scott R. Turner | 4 comments »

(The Story So Far: Our Hero is constructing a built-in bed for his daughter, with inadequate tools and woodworking experience, and so far has made only a small number of terrible errors, which fortunately he can blame on others.) Just a short note today, because I haven’t had time to make significant progress these last two days. I did get out and trim the two panels that make up one side of the built-in to the same width and cut the top and bottom pieces, as well as the one perman...

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Part 7: Paint and Pumpkin Pie

11-29-2010 01:37 AM by Scott R. Turner | 1 comment »

Work on the built-in slowed to a crawl as we got to a serious painting phase. The painting sub-contractor started out enthusiastically, but after an initial coat of primer was nowhere to be found. It’s so hard to find good help these days. I had to take over the painting—not my favorite activity but these panels are actually fairly easy to paint. In this photo, the customer dropped in for an impromptu inspection. She approved of the quality of the painting, especially w...

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Part 8: Unexpected Visitors

12-05-2010 04:29 AM by Scott R. Turner | 0 comments »

(The Story So Far: Our Hero is constructing a built-in bed for his daughter, with inadequate tools and woodworking experience, and so far has made only a small number of terrible errors, which fortunately he can blame on others.) Thanksgiving break saw the family traveling out to Arizona for a family gathering. Much fun and merriment was had by all, and we took advantage of the break to crack the windows in the garage and let the paint dry thoroughly and finish outgassing. When we retur...

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Part 9: Site Work Begins

12-15-2010 04:45 AM by Scott R. Turner | 1 comment »

(The Story So Far: Our Hero is constructing a built-in bed for his daughter, with inadequate tools and woodworking experience. Work has slowed to a crawl thanks to the holidays and countless other demands on his time…) My neighbor returned from his vacation and was immediately drafted into helping move the panels for the built-in bed upstairs to the customer’s bedroom. Well, not immediately. First I went over to his house to help him re-assemble and move a dining room table...

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Part 10: Two Down and ... None to Go

12-17-2010 02:44 AM by Scott R. Turner | 1 comment »

(The Story So Far: Our Hero is constructing a built-in bed for his daughter, and has recently reached the point where his efforts are starting to look like they might, in the end, work out.) Amazingly there was nothing on the agenda after work tonight, so following dinner I took a helper upstairs and finished the second side unit for the bed. One or two slight mishaps during assembly but nothing significant. In this picture the bed is the wrong way. The real bed will go lengthwis...

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Part 11: A Return to the Shop

01-06-2011 05:22 AM by Scott R. Turner | 2 comments »

(The Story So Far: Our Hero is constructing a built-in bed for his daughter, with inadequate tools and woodworking experience. Work has resumed after a holiday break.) I’ve spent some time over the last few weeks building the bed frame and the shelves for the bookcase units. That work is mostly done, and parts are being test-fitted and painted on the “play room” side of our basement. I have some concerns about the sturdiness of the bed frame, so I’ve been ...

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Part 12: Woodworkus Interruptus

01-08-2011 04:49 AM by Scott R. Turner | 2 comments »

(The Story So Far: Our Hero is constructing a built-in bed for his daughter, with inadequate tools and woodworking experience. Work has resumed after a holiday break.) I came home from work tonight all set to get into the workshop and make some progress. But I found a note directing me to come speak with Madame President, who was next door sipping wine and gossiping with our neighbor. When I got there I was informed that Her Gloriousness was interested in dining out and seeing a movie....

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Part 13: Drawers & Fronts

01-14-2011 03:12 AM by Scott R. Turner | 0 comments »

I don’t think I’ve posted a picture of the bookcase sides with shelves and the decorative top piece installed. Here’s what they look like: You can see that they’re already in use. With my practice drawer out of the way and fairly successful, I moved on to building the first four drawers for the built-in. These are all 6” tall and 15×20 inches, so I can conveniently make them from 1/2” stock from the local Big Box Store. The quality of...

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Part 14: Drawer Fronts

01-19-2011 04:55 AM by Scott R. Turner | 0 comments »

(The Story So Far: Our Hero is constructing a built-in bed for his daughter, with inadequate tools and woodworking experience. He has recently moved on to the drawer-building phase.) Over the weekend I found time to install the top two drawers into the bookcase ends of the built-in. I used these drawer slides from Woodworker’s Hardware, and I can recommend them to anyone looking for cheaper but well-made drawer slides. As far as I can tell, these are identical to the much more ex...

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