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How Long Does it Take to Make a Bed?

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Project by Lenny posted 07-17-2014 02:07 PM 1281 views 1 time favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

How long does it take to make a bed? By “make” I of course mean in the woodworking sense. Would you believe it took me 11 years to make this bed? Allow me to explain. When my daughter turned 16, 11 years ago, my wife asked if she would like to re-do her bedroom as it had an old fashioned and outdated look (wallpaper etc.). My wife also asked if I was willing to make a bed for her. I was happy to do so. I was receiving Workbench magazine at the time and showed my daughter an heirloom bed featured in one of the issues. She liked it but only wanted the headboard. She and my wife tried to explain that the bed spread shows more and has a certain look with just the headboard and a metal frame. As a woodworker I could not imagine forgoing the footboard and side rails but, I complied and made only the headboard. Red oak was my daughter’s wood of choice and with the exception of the ball on top of the posts, I made the headboard pretty much to the design in the magazine. However, the plans offered dimensions for twin, queen and king sized beds. I had to make adjustments as it was to be a double sized bed. The author of the article made his from cherry (see photo). It’s mostly mortise and tenon joinery and I finished it with Minwax golden oak stain and a few coats of satin polyurethane.

Fast forward to last summer. We renovated my daughter’s bedroom to make it a guest bedroom. Since my wife wanted it completed quickly, we bought the furniture. [Cue Rodney Dangerfield: “I don’t get any respect!”] I set the headboard aside with plans to finally make it into a full bed. About a month ago I purchased the lumber and started to make the footboard and rails and completed it just last week. I could not find my old magazine but found the plans online and purchased them. The rails are attached via hangers sold by Rockler. One side is mortised/screwed into the posts, the other, into the ends of the rails. If I had it to do over again, I would set the rails lower because, as it is now, with a box spring and mattress, you practically need a ladder to get into the bed.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI





18 comments so far

View John Gray's profile

John Gray

2370 posts in 2543 days


#1 posted 07-17-2014 02:17 PM

Nice job Lenny!

-- Only the Shadow knows....................

View SPalm's profile

SPalm

4820 posts in 2539 days


#2 posted 07-17-2014 02:18 PM

I have projects that I have been working on for 30 years.

You bed looks wonderful. Well done.
Mattresses are thick these day huh. We forgo the box spring and just used the mattress on wooden slats. At least I can get into it.

Steve

-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View ohwoodeye's profile

ohwoodeye

1043 posts in 1810 days


#3 posted 07-17-2014 02:57 PM

Looks great. I’m 6’8’ tall so I enjoy a bed high off the ground. Plus now my feet won’t hit the foot board, they will just hang over the end.

I too have a 4 year ongoing project. My excuse is that I want to let the lumber fully acclimate to its new environment before I begin.

Nice job, thanks for posting.

-- Directions are just the Manufacturer's opinion on how something should be assembled. ----Mike, Waukesha, WI

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7015 posts in 1961 days


#4 posted 07-17-2014 03:13 PM

LENNY, YOU HAVE MADE A BEAUTIFUL BED, ITS ALMOST LIKE THE ONE I MADE FOR MY YOUNGEST SON, MINE IS MADE FROM HEART PINE, AND I DIDN’T MAKE MINE CURVED, I REALLY LIKE THE OAK, MAYBE YOU CAN FIND A THINNER BOX SPRING, FROM LOOKING AT YOUR BED, IF YOU COULD LOWER THINGS ABOUT THREE INCHES, THAT WOULD CHANGE THINGS A BIT…MAYBE WITHIN THE NEXT 10 YEARS…LOL..

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View littlecope's profile

littlecope

2908 posts in 2159 days


#5 posted 07-17-2014 03:24 PM

Saw the Legs? (J/K!!)
Great Looking Bed Lenny, love the look of Red Oak!

-- Mike in Concord, NH---Unpleasant tasks are simply worthy challenges to improve skills.

View grizzman's profile

grizzman

7015 posts in 1961 days


#6 posted 07-17-2014 03:40 PM

RAISE the floor in the room…haha {J/K} this is mikes fault…lol….

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Henry Mowry's profile

Henry Mowry

260 posts in 1724 days


#7 posted 07-17-2014 03:42 PM

Wonderful work. The warmth of red oak is hard to beat!

-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA, http://www.MowryJournal.com

View Woodwrecker's profile

Woodwrecker

3611 posts in 2233 days


#8 posted 07-17-2014 04:00 PM

Well, it was worth the wait Lenny.
It came out great.
Better late then never…

-- All glory comes from daring to begin. ~ Eugene F. Ware

View Woodenwizard's profile

Woodenwizard

1075 posts in 1712 days


#9 posted 07-17-2014 04:14 PM

How long does it take to make a bed? One year longer than it takes to make a TV stand. I can relate to taking time to make fine furniture. Yo did a fantastic job, Lenny. The height of the bed isn’t a big problem getting into bed, it is falling out that can be the real problem

-- John, Colorado's (Wooden Wizard)

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14753 posts in 2333 days


#10 posted 07-17-2014 06:00 PM

Looks like it was worth the wait.

-- "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View mcoyfrog's profile (online now)

mcoyfrog

3192 posts in 2252 days


#11 posted 07-17-2014 06:06 PM

Awesome!!! and kewl story too, sounds like the time I take on some projects LOL

-- Wood and Glass they kick (well you know) Have a great day - Dug

View Lenny's profile

Lenny

1255 posts in 2184 days


#12 posted 07-17-2014 07:07 PM

Thanks everyone. Steve (SPalm), I might have to give the “no box spring” a try. I have 3/4” plywood as a base so perhaps that is sufficient. Mike and Grizz, I’m afraid your ideas have been placed in the scrap pile! John, you raise an excellent point. Falling out of the bed would definitely be worse than the difficulty of getting in it.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View blackcherry's profile

blackcherry

3161 posts in 2480 days


#13 posted 07-17-2014 08:39 PM

The higher the bed the easier to get in and out of as we senior get on in age. Nice work on making your bed, I try every day to make mine lol… Hope all is well this summer still trying to make it out your way, just way to many concession dear old dad has too appease, stay well my friend…WC

View CJIII's profile

CJIII

76 posts in 262 days


#14 posted 07-17-2014 11:07 PM

Beautiful Bed, Lenny.

-- Woodworking with Limited Tools

View moonls's profile

moonls

407 posts in 1644 days


#15 posted 07-17-2014 11:41 PM

It may have taken a long time to complete but you’ve got a beautiful bed for your guests! It doesn’t look like the rails could go much lower. Take out the slats and set the box spring on the floor?!

-- Lorna, Cape Cod

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