Pencil Post Bed

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Project by Alongiron posted 08-07-2015 02:02 PM 1082 views 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife has wanted a pencil post bed for some time. The hard part of making this bed is the posts. They are made from cedar 4×4s that I milled down to about 2-1/2” square.

The first thing I had to do was cut the mortises in the post blanks

I found a jig pattern on-line that I was able to tweek to fit what I was going for. It slides on my table saw fence.

It worked out just as I had planned. The jig turns on dowels that are slightly offset to each other to get the taper I was looking for. They were held in place by a third dowel to hold it in the correct angle.

Once I had them completed, I added some decorative lambs tongues that I carved into each leg.

The headboard and foot-board sit into 1/2” mortises set into the legs. The tenons are slowly tapered to 1/2” and were fit to each of the motises so they are able to move as the wood moves.

It was a challenge to add tenons to the bed rails because of the length of the rails (king size bed) but they turned out well

These fit into 1” x 5” mortises in the posts along with a 3/8” x 6” bolt to secure it tightly in place.

The head board, foot board, and bed rails are made from Hickory. After a coat of wood conditioner, I stained it with a cherry stain (Minwax) and 2 coats of Amber Shellac. After the final coat of shellac, I rubbed it down good with a brown paper bag and applied a coat of paste wax.

Thanks for looking!


P.S. I was asked by Art to share info on the canopy. The canopy is simple half lap joints that are not glued. I cut them a bit shy; using my table saw and a dado blade; of the line to sneak up on them for a tight joint. In the corner, I drilled a 3/8” hole through the ends. These fit into the 3/8” holes I drilled into the top of the post when cutting it on the table saw. I still have to turn an acorn or something to finish off the tops of the 3/8” dowels

-- Measure twice and cut once.....Steve Lien

9 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

16797 posts in 2525 days

#1 posted 08-07-2015 04:28 PM

Beautiful bed, Steve!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View exelectrician's profile


2327 posts in 1847 days

#2 posted 08-07-2015 04:29 PM

Love the tapering jig, and as for the completed project…wow wow wow

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View andy_P's profile


348 posts in 2628 days

#3 posted 08-07-2015 04:44 PM

As usual, another fine job, Steve. After seeing those pictures of your shop, It explains a lot about the beautiful work you do. Hey, where is the dust???......LOL.

-- Wood is a gift from God/Nature that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

View AandCstyle's profile


2538 posts in 1677 days

#4 posted 08-07-2015 09:44 PM

Steve, you do some incredible work in your shop. Could you some pix of the canopy or describe the joinery details? I doubt I will ever make one, but it would be interesting to know more about that part. Thanks.

-- Art

View AandCstyle's profile


2538 posts in 1677 days

#5 posted 08-07-2015 10:44 PM

Thanks for the additional pix/info. Now, I understand. :)

-- Art

View ZAGREB's profile


449 posts in 1070 days

#6 posted 08-08-2015 01:32 AM

another work place at home…just work,work….lol
very nice bed and good job

-- bambi

View mbs's profile


1601 posts in 2360 days

#7 posted 08-08-2015 03:54 AM

Nice work. I like the way you did the post on the table saw.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View gsimon's profile


1153 posts in 1533 days

#8 posted 08-08-2015 12:56 PM

really nice work and it really suits the space
thanks for showing the process as well

-- Greg Simon

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

1694 posts in 483 days

#9 posted 08-08-2015 10:17 PM

Magnificent. What a wonderful thing to be able to actually sleep with your work, literally. ‘Never woulda thunk of doing that shaping on the table saw. You’ve wrinkled my brain.

-- Mark

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