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Farmhouse Bed Design

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Forum topic by JakeK posted 09-23-2016 06:27 PM 905 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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JakeK

42 posts in 462 days


09-23-2016 06:27 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bed farmhouse joinery rails

OK don’t laugh, but i am planning on building a project from Ana White’s plans. My wife found these bed plans online and asked that i make it for my son. Here they are: http://www.ana-white.com/2010/01/plans-how-to-modify-farmhouse-bed-to.html. I am far from an expert woodworker, but i think i am better than the DIY style of screwing and nailing 1x lumber together to make a bed. I wanted to try to maintain the look of the bed that my wife wants (AKA keep the peace) but also change things up so it uses better methods of joinery, etc. I am wondering if you can help me improve on these plans. Here are my initial thoughts.

1) Mortise and tenon the headboard and footboard rails to the posts, or possibly loose tenons/dominos
2) For the rails on the headboard/footboard, i thought maybe i’d make those out of either a solid piece of stock or if i cant find anything that wide, a glue up. Then maybe a dado that the vertical slats can fit into? Or possibly tongue and groove the slats into the rails?

If i did either of those options, i’m assuming i wouldn’t want to glue the vertical slats in? If not, would the frame be strong enough to prevent racking?

3) I thought i’d use some sort of bed rail fastener that can be attached to the rails and headboard/footboard instead of just screwing it together.

Any other ideas are welcome. Thanks in advance for your help.


12 replies so far

View bondogaposis's profile

bondogaposis

4395 posts in 2133 days


#1 posted 09-23-2016 06:54 PM

If i did either of those options, i’m assuming i wouldn’t want to glue the vertical slats in? If not, would the frame be strong enough to prevent racking?

Yes, it will plenty strong enough if you use mortise and tenon joinery to join the rails to the posts.

Another thing to consider is that if you are going to use construction lumber like the plans call for it will be wet by furniture grade lumber standards and will shrink considerably once brought inside a heated house. That will could cause issues with the joinery. Get your wood thoroughly dry before you begin or use furniture grade hardwood. I think wives should be banned from looking at Ana White.

-- Bondo Gaposis

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JakeK

42 posts in 462 days


#2 posted 09-23-2016 07:01 PM

Thanks for the response. I should’ve mentioned i plan to mill my own lumber.

What are your thoughts on the slats? Put them into a dado? T&G? Domino? Or should i lower myself to sandwiching them between 2 pieces of 1x and call it a day?

My day job is working in IT. I think i will block that site from our network. Now what to do about smart phones….

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

2535 posts in 521 days


#3 posted 09-23-2016 07:59 PM

You could ship lap the panels, easier than tongue and groove and still allows for movement. Then slide them in a dado.

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JakeK

42 posts in 462 days


#4 posted 09-23-2016 08:32 PM

I was thinking about that. She wants small bevels on each panel edge. That might be a little harder to accomplish with a ship lap panel. For T&G i figured i could maybe just run the panels through my router bit set and then hit them with a chamfer bit without bearing on it on the router table. Or maybe there is such a thing as a tongue and groove set with a built in chamfer?

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3321 posts in 2034 days


#5 posted 09-23-2016 08:38 PM

There’s nothing shameful about using Ana White plans. I’ve built bunk beds and a farmhouse table from her plans. I did change the joinery to suit my level of ability, though. Good luck with the construction of the bed! I like the ship lap idea. I’ve used the dado before and it was very difficult to get the lowest board through the whole dado without beating it in place.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View JakeK's profile

JakeK

42 posts in 462 days


#6 posted 09-23-2016 08:56 PM

I’m sure it would work when its done if built from her plans, but it is my son’s first bed and I want it to be something I can be proud of. Just my opinion, but i guess i feel like if i’m only going to nail and screw it together, i might as well head to ikea and pick up a bed :) ok maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration.

For the Dados, i’m thinking that since the panels arent structural, i wouldnt have to make the dados very deep. maybe 1/2-3/4” ?

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JakeK

42 posts in 462 days


#7 posted 09-23-2016 09:03 PM

These bits might fit the bill. I havent heard much about MCLS quality. maybe whiteside or freud or someone makes a bit set like this as well: http://www.mlcswoodworking.com/shopsite_sc/store/html/smarthtml/pages/bit_tongue_groove.html

although i’m not sure i want the bevel to be that large

View KelleyCrafts's profile

KelleyCrafts

2535 posts in 521 days


#8 posted 09-23-2016 09:12 PM

1/2” max. it just has to hold the panels up. If it’s a good fit 1/4” would even do it.

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JakeK

42 posts in 462 days


#9 posted 07-12-2017 08:36 PM

I am new to the festool Domino XL. It is what i plan to use to do the joinery on this bed. I am curious what size and spacing for the dominos you would recommend for this bed rail to post connection. The post it will be going into is 3 1/2” x 3 1/2”. I was thinking of putting 2×14MM dominos going up and down but as far as i can tell, i’d have roughly 1/4” between the top of the rail and the domino as well as between the 2 dominos if i centered htem. Is that enough of a gap or should i be using a different size/combo? Thank you

View johnstoneb's profile

johnstoneb

2560 posts in 1955 days


#10 posted 07-12-2017 10:47 PM

I built that bed for my granddaughter and change the joinery around to be quite a bit stronger than what the original called for. Be sure and measure the mattress you are going to use before starting on the bed. I gave the lumber a couple of months to dry before I started on any thing also.
Your ideas are all sound. I did rabbet and dado for the rails into the head and foot board and used knock down hardware to fasten them in place.but hardware would work also.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

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JakeK

42 posts in 462 days


#11 posted 07-17-2017 04:42 PM

Anybody have any input on the domino sizing/spacing?

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JakeK

42 posts in 462 days


#12 posted 08-10-2017 03:53 AM


Well I ended up making custom sized dominos which worked out pretty well. I’m almost to the point of glue up. My next question is how to attach the 2 top caps. I’m trying to follow the rules of wood grain and glue and such. Have a look at these pictures. I’m referring to the 2 brown pieces on the headboard and footboard. My initial thought was to first just glue and screw them the lower of the 2 pieces on. Then add through dowels into the legs since that is an end grain glue joint. Then glue-only for the top cap – maybe either a domino or dowel to hold it in place when I clamp it. Any opinions?

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