Walnut Captains Bed

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Project by MarktheWoodButcher posted 10-12-2009 05:53 PM 2602 views 0 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I guess this should be a work in progress filing but here’s what’s done now. It’s black walnut, big leaf maple burl inlay, and really cool striped maple stick thingies. I tried for a Pacific Coast sort of Arts and crafts look. It’s a twin bed. I included one pic with natural lighting so you can see what the color of the wood really looks like. The only metal in the bed is the rail hooks. It’s all through tenon construction with burl capped wedges to get them really tight, and through pegs to hold everything where I glued it. Used Tightbond III. I’m making two chest of drawers to go underneath. The highly figured walnut knots/gaps/chasms had loose material in them that I didn’t want to loose. So following the advice of Peter Borland (a ‘Limey’ font of unending woodworking knowledge, this guy makes stuff I only dream of making) I flooded the loose areas with epoxy before planing. The mullion like square stick thingies (can somebody think of a better term for those, please?) with the great stripes came from the orange box. I hate sounding fancy but the ‘chatoyance’ of all of the wood is really cool. If you change your perspective by 45 degrees the wood takes on a totally different look. I honestly took a lot of time picking out the wood to get that effect. Later I’ll put some pics in a forum thread to show that ( I really can ramble about more than just politics.)

Four big mistakes I made that I want to talk about.

1) The inward curve of the posts should have been 1/2” more. They don’t project as firmly as the curve of the rails. I got timid.
2) The head board inlays and hole details should have been horizontal for interesting contrast to the foot board .
3) The headboard panel should have been set higher. It gets hidden behind the pillows.
4) I melted too much bee’s wax into my home brew Maloof finish. I have gone back over it with a polishing cloth half a dozen times but white bee’s wax seems to condense out again and again. I figure it will eventually stop but it might take years.

-- Knowledge Is Responsibility

12 comments so far

View CharlieM1958's profile


16275 posts in 4246 days

#1 posted 10-12-2009 06:09 PM

Very unique in design and joinery. Great wood, too.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View AaronK's profile


1506 posts in 3492 days

#2 posted 10-12-2009 06:50 PM

NICE! where did you find that wood…

View MarktheWoodButcher's profile


109 posts in 3327 days

#3 posted 10-12-2009 07:36 PM

The burl came from wood craft, the striped maple came from HD, the walnut came from Middle Valley Lumber in Califon, NJ.

Middle valley is a small outfit, only two guys really but they know good wood and it seems that’s all they stock their advice is good and prices are good too.

Every time I go into HD I look through their lumber racks. Most of their hardwood lumber is pretty fair but one piece in a hundred is really nice if you have the time to search and costs the same as the ordinary stuff.

-- Knowledge Is Responsibility

View Kindlingmaker's profile


2656 posts in 3554 days

#4 posted 10-12-2009 07:36 PM

Beautiful and very one of a kind! Love this one!

-- Never board, always knotty, lots of growth rings

View a1Jim's profile


117126 posts in 3605 days

#5 posted 10-12-2009 07:56 PM

Mark this is terrible your not living up to your name at all”MarktheWoodButcher”. This is one fabulous bed great work.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3331 days

#6 posted 10-12-2009 07:57 PM

i would just call them a verticle inlay…you have some beautiful figure in your walnut…and as a suggestion…i would raise your head can add on to the legs..maybe add a cream colored block like what you have done with your inlays…then either with a large dowl or with a large screw add some more leg to raise it up…you did to much work to hide your main panel…....just a suggestion mate… did a wonderful job…thanks for the post.

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

View MarktheWoodButcher's profile


109 posts in 3327 days

#7 posted 10-12-2009 08:12 PM

I tell ya true, Grizz, I don’t know if I have the intestinal fortitude to go back into it after putting the finish on. I also have real and substantiated doubts of my skill set to accomplish your suggestion without screwing it up. Though I can see where your suggestion could work. I was talking about the spindles, that’s the word! The tiger striped maple spindles. I feel better now. I have overcome yet another senior moment in vocabulary loss.

-- Knowledge Is Responsibility

View Loucarb's profile


2388 posts in 3473 days

#8 posted 10-13-2009 01:32 AM

Nice job, nice design & nice wood.

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3331 days

#9 posted 10-13-2009 03:52 AM

lets take a vote…how many thing he should raise the headboard so you can see it and not be covered by pillows…….....i know im being naughty…....but…

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

View MarktheWoodButcher's profile


109 posts in 3327 days

#10 posted 10-13-2009 06:58 AM

Guys thank you for your kind comments. Grizz, I don’t know what smells worse. A pot stirrer or a bear. Oh that’s right . Your both!,,LOL. I may be too much of a wood working coward to go back and cut up the head board and stretch it out, but at least my avatar is prettier than yours. :^)


-- Knowledge Is Responsibility

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 3331 days

#11 posted 10-13-2009 10:00 AM

ouch…im wounded in the heart….....made fun of by a whatever it is, with no hair on its chest…....or maybe it a women…and i dont compare….ouch again…......i shall return to my cave and slip deeper into my lair where i can escape such attacks….....

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

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2146 posts in 1091 days

#12 posted 07-11-2015 08:13 AM

Here’s a funky idea: Photograph it without the pillows and with a higher angle.

-- Mark

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