Salvaged Cherry & Spruce Queen Bed

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Project by Ted Rogers posted 05-02-2013 08:14 AM 1421 views 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I was given a hulking ~4’ rough 6×6 of dirty mystery wood that turned out to be cherry. I have no idea how old it is or where it came from—I just had no idea that there would ever be 6×6 posts of cherry. As soon as I planed back the first layer of age, I knew that I wanted to make some bed legs. I’ve never started a project at the legs—so I did just that.
Regardless, I milled the thing to a square 5×5 so I could actually make work of it on my table saw. The milling process was arduous to say the least as I do not have a planer or jointer, so I built a flattening jig for my router and just hogged all four faces flat. Next I built a tapering jig for the table saw and put a subtle 5 degree taper on one side, partially out of necessity to work around rot and big splits, as well as to get a neater profile. The parallel face remained un-tapered as I was also going to cutting my first mortise and tenons on this project and the idea of a tapered mortise was more than I could wrap my head around.
Cut all mortises and sank thread-inserts for hidden bed hardware.
Next, I pulled 4 old 5×4 spruce joists. Routed one jointed edge, ripped to a uniform 6 1/2” and then planed to uniform 4×4—I quickly realized that I was not in love with the look of old spruce. Matching or making a complementary finish to oil rubbed cherry was a nightmare, but I conditioned and stained with a cocktail of danish oil and tints, followed by a more concentrated pass of stain, in some confused ditch effort to get the thing any darker after I had fed it all the stain it would drink, I mixed stain and rub-on poly, which after the sufficient buffing looked surprisingly good. I can tell you now though, that I’m done making softwoods look like anything that their not.
Project is close to completion, will post more pictures when I’m done.

-- T E D R O G E R S

2 comments so far

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3194 posts in 2066 days

#1 posted 05-02-2013 02:55 PM

I like that you utilized it despite the need to mix species. The stained spruce looks remarkably good, so the effort was well spent. My favorite is the shot of you gloating in the center of the finished frame! Well done, Sir!

-- Support woodworking hand models. Buy me a sawstop.

View Ted Rogers's profile

Ted Rogers

3 posts in 2048 days

#2 posted 05-02-2013 07:57 PM

I’ve heard a lot of back and forth on stain-poly mix, but for me it worked great—The poly was cut with mineral spirits for “wipe-on,” then mixed with red-oak minwax stain at 2:1. Stir the cocktail every few minutes, apply with a clean rag, keep it moving like a french-polish until the poly starts to tack and any excess is soaked up by the rag, then wet sand with 400 grit, making a slurry. Buff like crazy once its dry but still a little tacky. The finish is like satin, and the color is much more saturated and darker, which makes sense as it is a top coat.

-- T E D R O G E R S

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