Four-Poster Captain's Bed #2: How this got started...

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Blog entry by RobII posted 09-16-2015 06:59 AM 658 reads 0 times favorited 0 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Introduction to where I am & what I'm doing Part 2 of Four-Poster Captain's Bed series Part 3: Creating the shop workspace »

How this promise of a captain’s bed came about was almost an accident. My bride-to-be is used to having a large bed, California King, to be exact. All I had was a paltry queen-sized mattress on a relatively low frame. She commented that I probably stuck out over both ends when I slept (I’m 6’ 4”), and I had to agree with her. She also did not (understandably) want to share a bed with me that I had shared with my last (deceased) wife. So, I went and bought a Cal-King Tempurpedic extra-firm mattress. Of course, it sagged all around on the queen support, so I decided to build a new bed frame. However, in desperation in the meantime, I bought two sheets of A-A plywood to keep it level.

That’s when my Darling suggested a captain’s bed like the one she was used to, with drawers under the mattress to conserve space in the bedroom – no need for a dresser if it’s built-in. Now, I don’t know if y’all read my intro, but I mentioned that I’ve been around the block a few times. Well, in all fairness, so has my Lady, but she has this four-poster captain’s bed with a canopy – and mirrors! Talk about fire in the furnace! Well, nothing would do but I had to add a canopy and one or more mirrors to the four-poster. After experimenting with angle of view and the method of construction on her bed (6 mirror panels separated by a frame down the middle and two cross-braces), I’ve decided to put a single, slightly larger mirror in the center and only run it from the head of the bed to about the middle with no center divider to block the view. Now I just have to find that reflective stuff that isn’t glass. I was surprised at how light it was when I examined her bed. Kind of like Mylar, I think. If it is some material like that, I may have to back it with Baltic Birch to keep it from sagging without the center support.

So that’s what started this whole thing. Of course, I didn’t have a shop set up at the time, so I had to do something about that in order to fulfill my promise. Next post…

In the meantime, the 5/4 hardwoods I’m looking for to use in the glue-lam posts are these: Birdseye Maple Yellowheart Cherry Zebrawood Birch Padauk Bakote Ash Red Oak Hickory Purpleheart and Mahogany

I’m going to plane them to 1 inch exactly and cut them 3” by 8”, then glue them up in a 2” stagger to give a spiral sort of appearance to the turned posts. If you look down on the end of the post, three species will be glued together horizontally in the lower right corner. the next three species will be glued in vertically in the upper right corner, then three horizontally again in the upper left corner of the 6×6 post, finished by three vertical end-grains in the lower left corner. I’ll use the Birdseye, Zebrawood, Bakote, and Hickory on the faces with the most exposure and the rest will be primarily edge-grain.

Not sure how it’s going to work out, but it’s worth a try. Even as edge-grain, the turning will expose more of the face-grain, albeit at an angle, so it should look pretty interesting. Once I figure out how to post pictures here (and if it’s acceptable procedure), I start posting the progress.

-- Rob II, Sparks, Nevada

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