|Project by dakotawood||posted 06-02-2016 03:47 PM||1776 views||15 times favorited||19 comments|
After a couple years of sleeping on his mattress on the floor, my son finally needed a bed. I wanted to make a manly/rustic looking twin bed. I decided on two tone: walnut and knotty cherry. This is my first bed. Fairly straight forward design and construction, really.
I designed it on Sketchup first. With the help of Rockler’s heavy duty bed rail fasteners, it was a snap to put together. As you can see below, the tricky part is routing out the hardware mortise in the ends of the rails. I used my festool router with edge guide and went slowly, then cleaned it up with a chisel. I decided to recess the hardware about 1/32” more than the surface, that way the bed rail will pull real tight when attached to head/foot board. I was pleased with this result – rock solid, yet fully seated. I also decided to mortise and glue some thick dowels into the bed rails where the hardware screws would go. That way each screw has a little cross-grain material to bite into, instead of just the end-grain of the rails.
Head board and foot board main parts are mortise and tenon. Head/foot board slats mate with their rails with Dominos. Bed rails have a cleat glued and screwed to the rail with dowels, glued in their holes. Bed slats have a notch that mate with the dowels, to prevent them from sliding around. Bed rail cleats and slats are hard maple. I filled in many knots in the cherry with West Systems Epoxy, mixed with a little dye. Head board and foot board assembly I decided on West Systems Epoxy with their filler, to give me some more open working time. Worked great. I finished everything with 1 coat of dewaxed shellac (wiped) and 3 coats of General Finishes Enduro Var (sprayed) – first time using this. I really like how it turned out. I will be using more of this in the future.
I finally ordered myself a custom branding iron. I’ve wanted one for a long time. I decided to go with Terry Desilets at Custom Branding Irons, Inc. He answered all my questions on the phone – very patient and courteous. I mailed him my signatures. Three weeks later it arrived. I decided on the non-electric version. This will be something I will use for the next 40 years. I figured it’s only likely that the electric component will fail eventually. I heated mine up with a propane torch – very slick. I love it! (Dated this piece with a different branding tool – free hand.)
With the solid walnut rails (1.5” thick) and posts (3.25” squared), this bed is a beast. Very stout and manly!
-- Travis, South Dakota