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This will be a bed. (I hope!) #1: Rough cutting / oops I don't have enough wood!

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Blog entry by LucasinBC posted 916 days ago 3701 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of This will be a bed. (I hope!) series Part 2: Rough cuts / rough parts / glue everywhere / and a baby »

My wife and I are expecting a new baby shortly, so our youngest child will be abandoning his toddler’s bed for a “big boy” bed. It’s only a twin mattress – but it’s pretty massive for a four year old. And quite the step up from his toddler’s bed.

I’ve been slowly getting into woodworking for the past two years. Mostly I have been preparing myself for a project such as this; the majority of my builds have been jigs, a workbench, cutting guides, etc. But I have yet to actually make something of real value other than stuff that just stays in my workshop.

So a few months ago I downloaded some plans (which I purchased…no pirate plans for me) for a child’s bed. The plan is actually compatible with a bunk-bed configuration should I decide to go that route when our new addition grows up, but we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

The plan is actually quite simple and I have been told by many that a bed, much like the bookcase, is a relatively good project to start with because unlike cabinets, tables and chairs, there are minimal complicated parts. It’s essentially a big box. The plan calls for oak, but over in my part of the world oak is quite expensive as it is not readily available (Pacific North West.) So I decided to build this out of western maple instead which I think will look great and I am quite confident that the maple will be strong enough.

So the first step today was to cut down to size all my boards to see what I had. This started off with me chopping many 8 and 10 foot boards down to size, then further cutting to rough length using my cross-cut sled on my table saw. I know most people only use their table saws for cutting to final length, but in my opinion it’s a much smoother operation than using any of my hand-held power tools (jigsaw and circ saw included.)

Western Maple / Pile Side View, Pile of rough cut western maple for simons bed

Pile of Wood 2, More wood / rough cut

Pile of Wood, More maple / front view.

Of course – as a newbie I underestimated the amount of wood I needed by three boards. Not a great way to start! Back to the lumber mill tomorrow to take that walk of shame. I have a feeling everyone will know what I did when I only pick out three boards to take home! Oh well – I needed an excuse to get out of the house anyway, had to drop the planer blades off at the sharpening shop to get them tuned up for the milling process which will hopefully begin in a few days barring a trip to the hospital (for the new baby. My wife is due next week!)

Next up – plane / joint / rip and cross cut to final-ish dimensions.

-- Making mistakes is essential in learning woodworking.



3 comments so far

View DIYaholic's profile

DIYaholic

12898 posts in 1273 days


#1 posted 916 days ago

LucasinBC,
Congrats on the “soon to be” new arrival!

Nice progess so far. Don’t worry about under estimating your needed board feet. Not a major error, things are not FUBAR!!. If you get it perfect the first time there would be no room for improvement. Lesson learned, time to move on.

-- Randy-- I may not be good...but I am slow! If good things come to those who wait.... Why is procratination a bad thing?

View Brandon's profile

Brandon

4136 posts in 1549 days


#2 posted 915 days ago

Congrats to you!

I loved the title of your post. :-) No big deal not getting enough wood—plus you can pick up an extra unique board of something and have fun with it. Looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

-- "hold fast to that which is good"

View andysden's profile

andysden

45 posts in 1016 days


#3 posted 915 days ago

Maple wil not hurt the looks of the bed in fact may even improve it .I would switch for sure the maple will finish a lot easier than oak Andy

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