Welcome to my first ever blog. As this develops, please let me know how I could make it better or more interesting. I can be wordy at times, so let me know if you don’t want to read as much about such a mundane subject as building a bed.
Part 1: The Idea is Born
The first part of my process for building any furniture for my own home is by far the longest. I have had designs floating around in my head for five years on this bed – just refining them here and there – once in awhile even sketching them on paper and stowing them away in a folder.
My wife and I bought the cheapest king-size bed we could find at JC Penny when we got married nearly 12 years ago now, long before I even thought about woodworking. It’s made out of pine in a quazi-mission style with the cheapest hardware they could have used. It’s rickety as can be. Since we were living in Monterey at the time, it is a California king. It has always been a hassle trying to find bedding. Through the years, two puppies have snacked on parts of the footboard and side rails. It has served us well, but needless to say, we’ve wanted to replace it for quite some time.
We knew what a bed needed to be to meet our demands. It had to be a standard king size and sturdy. Outside of those two criteria, the design palette was blank.
At first we thought we knew what we wanted. My wife suggested a canopy bed, and I liked the idea enough to agree. I wanted to incorporate some wrought iron into the headboard and footboard, and a wrought iron frame for the canopy fabric would work well, too. The first design I had worked out in my head and on paper called for cherry posts, side rails and headboard/footboard crest rails and maple for the rest with wrought iron vertical bars on 4-inch spacing across the head and footboards. The bars would be mortised into maple cross beams in the headboard/footboard with the top one having a concave curve. I would put a half twist in each bar about three inches from the top with their location following the curve of the top cross beam. I can’t even find those sketches anymore or I would scan them and post them with this blog. Hopefully my description is enough to give you the idea. Of course I had companion pieces in mind to go with the bed. I had a dresser, armoire and nightstands roughly sketched.
It’s funny how our tastes have changed. To be honest, I was never completely happy with what I was coming up with in the first few years. I was afraid when it was all done, it would look too primitive/medieval-inspired with all of the iron. Our tastes are more traditional and even contemporary-leaning. Check out part 2 to see what I came up with and how. I promise there will be pictures