Arched Bed

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Blog series by newTim updated 01-07-2010 06:23 AM 17 parts 89693 reads 68 comments total

Part 1: Design Sketchup

09-19-2009 06:54 AM by newTim | 3 comments »

Hello jocks and jockettes… it has been awhile since my last project, still I’ve been keeping busy. This is the first entry in a new series on the Arched Bed. If you’ve seen the copper patina gates you know where I got the idea, or as my brother said, “you’re turning your gate into a bed.” The backstory is I had built a bed a couple years ago but since that time we got a Sleep Number bed. Well the new mattresses are each 10” tall so the old b...

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Part 2: Strike a Chord

09-20-2009 07:10 AM by newTim | 2 comments »

I have found that two dimensions are especially helpful in designing arches; the radius of the arch and the length of the boards that make up the arch. If you do a search on ‘Woodworking Formulas’ with the added keywords Spreadsheets, Arches, and such, you will hit on numerous sites that either have formulas like the one below, or java script calculators on their webpage, or even spreadsheets free to download. One of the best I’ve found was written by Paul Huntington, an a...

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Part 3: Bending 1" Thick Maple

09-21-2009 05:43 AM by newTim | 4 comments »

Curving or wrapping might be better terms. Once again Sketchup is a big help in this process. The plan calls for rounded corners on the footboard so yours truly doesn’t bang his shins on them, or when he does it won’t be a sharp corner. This is also another good example of the versatility and accuracy of the Mortise Pal jig. The Dimension tool in the Sketchup model measured the outside of the two staves 1 7/8” in order to achieve a 2 1/2” inside radius with 1”...

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Part 4: Temple of Templates

09-22-2009 06:05 AM by newTim | 2 comments »

Yeah well you’ve got to name it something. There are three arches in this project. I figured I could use the middle arch as a form for both the top (cap) arch and the bottom or inside arch. The plan was to make a template of the middle arch and matching bending forms for that part using a jigsaw for the rough cut and a flush trim bit to make the plywood uniform. So back to the second entry in this series. Calculating by both Sketchup and the Chord/Rise equation gave an outside radi...

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Part 5: Learning Curve

09-23-2009 05:59 AM by newTim | 7 comments »

So after building the giant forms I’m finally ready for the first glue lamination. Since this arch section is made out of 8/4 maple I decided to resaw on the tablesaw. I used a thin kerf blade and set a Grip-Tite about 1/4” opposite the fence as a stop. I’ve turned the saw 180 degrees in the shop so I can keep the jointer out and have better (central) access to the dust collector. So far it is working great. As you can see from the pictures the form was large and the ar...

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Part 6: Golden Arches

09-24-2009 06:03 AM by newTim | 4 comments »

About time to move on to something else but first I have to finish the other two arches. I used the form and top arch to shape the bottom arch and just the top arch for the cap arch which is made out of jatoba. The other two are maple. I used Titebond III on the maple arches and barely had enough working time. I used Titebond Plastic Resin glue on the jatoba. It foamed up a lot and had plenty of open time, but it is expensive. Next time around I think I’ll try my hand at mixing up...

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Part 7: The Most Critical Cut

09-28-2009 02:02 AM by newTim | 3 comments »

This is one of the many reasons why I love woodworking. It is figuring out how to get accurate results and moving up the learning curve. And speaking of curves, isn’t that the point of this series? Now that the three arches have been fabricated it is time to begin making some exact cuts and building the sub-assemblies. On this project I’m contrsturcting from the inside out starting with the inner frame of the headboard. Once again I’ve found Sketchup to be an invaluable...

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Part 8: The Outside Arch Frame

10-05-2009 06:08 AM by newTim | 3 comments »

Like a circle in a spiral, a wheel in a wheel… and so it goes. Here’s another chance to practice the plumb cut on an arch. I start by assembling the inner arch with no glue, just tennons and pocket screws to hold it together. Then I mounted the parts of the outside arch to mark the center and endlines and make sure everything is lined up. After cutting the bottom (straight) piece to length I butt it up against the sawblade and clamp it to the sled. I then pl...

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Part 9: Major Mortise Messup

10-14-2009 09:07 AM by newTim | 11 comments »

In the great tradition of Lumberjocks I am honor bound to once again confess the error of my ways. That sound you hear, no not that one, the other one, is the sound of me learning. Just like the Garden Gate I managed to mess up with the router. It all started when I glued the inner frame without cutting the mortises on the outside rails. While this is not optimal it is still not tragic. While I am a big fan of the Mortise Pal jig and you can see its versatility in this shot, it...

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Part 10: Break Down Joinery

10-27-2009 06:12 AM by newTim | 7 comments »

Where to begin? This time around I thought I’d start at the end then show how I got there. Kind of like one of my favorite books once said, you start by knowing you’re already there. Well enough of philosophy. So often I see bed designs but there are no photos of the connector system of the side rails to the head and foot board. To me this is the most interesting part. Most of the time people use the standard bed brackets as I did on my first bed. This time around I wanted ...

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Part 11: Breaking Down the Break Down Joints

10-28-2009 06:08 AM by newTim | 2 comments »

So I’ve broken down the break down steps into a mini-series or blog within a blog. Since the side rails need to be the exact width as the footboard it only made sense to use the foot board to layout the joints. I centered the footboard on the posts and used a 4” scrap to make sure both sides were the same distance from the bottom and drew a line around the rail. This next shot is a little out of order but I used various rulers, squares, and templates to line up th...

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Part 12: The Suspense Was Killing You

10-28-2009 07:08 AM by newTim | 4 comments »

I’ve made many comments about the Mortise Pal Jig and how accurate it is, but this time we’re really putting it to the test. The only negative thing about this jig is its name, but I can’t think of anything better and it doesn’t really matter what you call a thing as long as it works. And while we can all figure out a quick way to make a template for this particular task, I’m sure many of us don’t have the time. The makers of the jig have a number of d...

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Part 13: Now the suspense is killing me

10-29-2009 03:33 AM by newTim | 1 comment »

Hey I want to see how this thing turns out too so I better get to it. Just a quick look at the side rails and footboard and we move on. Just like the headboard, the footboard gets 3/8” holes to house the metal spacers. The middle hole or channel for the connector shaft having been already cut. I put some tape on the three middle holes of the jig as a reminder to just cut the top and bottom. Again, it is a pretty easy matter to line up the jig. Just find the center of the sto...

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Part 14: The Plan Comes Together

10-29-2009 06:35 AM by newTim | 5 comments »

We always say it, you do too, we love it when a plan comes together. Not a whole lot more to say at this point. Here are some shots of the first assembly. Lots of small things yet to do and one big thing; the copper patina panel. I’m looking forward to meeting all the Sacramento/NorCal Lumberjocks at the Woodworking Show in a couple weeks.

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Part 15: Weird Science

11-23-2009 04:46 AM by newTim | 2 comments »

So this time around I decided to mix my own chemicals. It really gave me an appreciation for the pre-mixed solutions available at Sculpt Neuveu, but there is a level of understanding you just can’t get unless you try it for yourself. Regardless of how I got there I must say I’m really happy with the result. Even my wife likes it and she’s a professional artist; high praise indeed. This time around I also wanted to experiment with different colors and techniques so I cu...

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Part 16: Weird Science ~ Results

11-23-2009 06:33 AM by newTim | 6 comments »

As you can see in the pictures below, there is quite a bit of difference between the newly applied patina and the aged patina. You can actually see it change colors. The first picture was taken a couple hours after the patina was applied. I let it sit in the sun Saturday afternoon and didn’t bring it in until today. The middle picture was taken late this afternoon. I lightly sprayed water on it and some of the patina flaked off. That is okay because my wife wanted some of the copp...

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Part 17: Fork Lift

01-07-2010 06:23 AM by newTim | 2 comments »

It has been awhile since I added to this series. Christmas cutting boards, a commision gate, and other matters conspired to delay my progress. Those things plus the fact we need to paint the bedroom and just decided to add hardwood floors – since we are already breaking down the room we might as well – before we can install the bed. In any event I’ve struggled moving this thing around the shop without scratching the finish or otherwise destroying it altogether. I got thi...

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