|Project by derosa||posted 08-21-2012 04:27 AM||1273 views||1 time favorited||6 comments|
I actually finished this about 6 weeks ago for my daughter, that’s her half hidden under the giant bunny asleep for the night, and I’m finally getting around to posting it.
Bed is made of white oak with and was measured to exactly fit the mattress from the crib, the finish is shellac that I made from a red seedlac. The whole thing was designed by me without plans and made up as I went along. This did occasionally involve me sneaking into her room at 2am to remeasure the mattress with her sleeping on it because I lost whatever I’d written the measurements on the last time.
As you can see in the pictures the head and foot boards are rather tall but that’s just because I knew that my daughter will, and has, jump on the bed an I wanted to make sure she wouldn’t fall over either one when she stumbled and land head first on the floor. The top of the mattress only sits about 12” off the floor so that she can safely fall out of bed. The third night she used it I heard a thump and went in to check, she had rolled out of bed but the drop was small enough that she didn’t wake up; I was able to just toss a blanket on her and she slept till 6am so I know it is low enough as well. All 90* edges have been chamfered with hand planes, especially on the posts, side rails and the top rails; the top of the posts have several facets all in an effort to avoid any cracked skulls or stitches. All wood was finished with 400 grit before applying the seedlac. The seedlac was done in 3 layers using a semi-french polish style. I used the pad to apply it thinly and sanded down the raised grain that came up with 400 grit and then applied a second thin coat. After the third I used a brown scotch brite pad to finish it.
The whole thing is assembled with mortise and tenon, I actually remembered to take a process pic above which shows an early test fitting. I initially messed up the spacing a touch on the slats but by trimming the tenons on two of the boards was able to fix it with no evidence of the mistake unless the whole thing comes unglued. I also used this as an excuse to buy a mortiser. The side rails are stub tenons with lag bolts. I’d initially assumed 3/8×2” would be a sufficient size and snapped 2 bolts in the same rail during the test assembly shown in the final pic. Both snapped just inside the tenon right where the threads started and the shoulder stopped; this despite predrilling the recommended size based on the McFeeley chart. I ended up buying 1/2×2” and drilling into both ends of the one side at an angle to slip past the two snapped bolts while still using the same recessed holes in the legs. It is strong enough that I’ve jumped on this bed at 275lbs and it makes no noise.
Final assembly was done in her room, it was at that point that the wife noticed that I’d completely forgotten to make slats for the mattress to sit on; I had just proudly laid the mattress in to show her how well it fit. My daughter thought having a new bed was so awesome she promptly squealed with delight and climbed on only to have the mattress fall through. 20min later I had cut, trimmed, planed and rough sanded 5 cherry boards I’d just pulled from a pallet so there is nice hardwood throughout. Considering how badly she hated her crib I’ve been very pleased at how much she loves the bed, today she voluntarily climbed into it to take a nap and she has never previously voluntarily taken a nap before let alone gotten into bed of her own volition. Most nights she sleeps through the night now that she has it making it far more then worth the effort.
-- --Rev. Russ in NY-- A posse ad esse