Now that the end assemblies are finished, it’s time to see about getting the stretchers rigged up. They use a home-made bed bolt system that consists of a bolt that goes through the leg and into the stretcher where you make a mortise to receive a nut. In retrospect I should have just ordered bed bolts from Highland Woodworking. For more info on bed bolt joints, see this Fine Woodworking article.
Here you can see the mortises and the nuts that went into them. I used a forstner bit on my drill press to made the mortise. I thought about using my dedicated mortiser, but since I was working with a fairly shallow piece of wood (the stretchers are only 1.5 inches thick) I wanted the clean sides and bottom that a forstner creates.
I also recessed the bolt heads for a more finished look. Here you can see the completed joint.
Now, from the top where you can also see the pegged joints (before I trimmed the pegs).
After I got all of the joints assembled (it’s so easy to say that, but it took me days of after-work work to do it!), it was time to start thinking about the lower shelf. Had I been using a table saw, ripping a piece of stock would have been trivial. However, since I was trying to avoid power tools as much as possible, I broke out my ripping saw and got to work. My initial cuts were not perfectly straight so I ended up planing down the pieces. I created a register for the bottom shelf:
And for the top.
Finally, a shot of the lower shelving going in…
Next, on to the top!
-- Brian - Belmont, Massachusetts