LumberJocks

I'm making a headboard and have a joinery question.

  • Advertise with us

« back to Joinery forum

Forum topic by TrevorR posted 10-15-2016 03:56 PM 641 views 1 time favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View TrevorR's profile

TrevorR

27 posts in 251 days


10-15-2016 03:56 PM

I’m going to make a king size headboard only no rails or foot board and make it like the one in the picture.
What is the best joinery method for fastening the horizontal parts to the posts?


10 replies so far

View BurlyBob's profile

BurlyBob

3695 posts in 1732 days


#1 posted 10-15-2016 03:59 PM

A Big long dado on each post.

View TrevorR's profile

TrevorR

27 posts in 251 days


#2 posted 10-15-2016 04:09 PM


A Big long dado on each post.

- BurlyBob

Since they are going to be long boards should all of the horizontal boards be glued together and should I glue them into the dado or leave it loose for wood movement?

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2534 days


#3 posted 10-15-2016 05:10 PM


A Big long dado on each post.

- BurlyBob

Since they are going to be long boards should all of the horizontal boards be glued together and should I glue them into the dado or leave it loose for wood movement?

- TrevorR

I’d make a glued up panel but let it float in the dado. You need to take into account any cross grain situation.

here’s a pic of a bed i did. Almost the same as you. I did a Mortise in the posts and left it a little long on top. That allows the headboard to move and when you take the bed apart (bed bolts), its easy to move.

https://flic.kr/p/dJXHFk

Good luck.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View TrevorR's profile

TrevorR

27 posts in 251 days


#4 posted 10-15-2016 05:33 PM



A Big long dado on each post.

- BurlyBob

Since they are going to be long boards should all of the horizontal boards be glued together and should I glue them into the dado or leave it loose for wood movement?

- TrevorR

I d make a glued up panel but let it float in the dado. You need to take into account any cross grain situation.

here s a pic of a bed i did. Almost the same as you. I did a Mortise in the posts and left it a little long on top. That allows the headboard to move and when you take the bed apart (bed bolts), its easy to move.

https://flic.kr/p/dJXHFk

Good luck.

- bonesbr549

Should I cut tenons on the ends of the horizontal boards or just leave the ends the same thickness as the rest of boards?

View JBrow's profile

JBrow

819 posts in 387 days


#5 posted 10-16-2016 02:49 PM

TrevorR,

I like BurlyBob’s suggestion, but proper execution is required to eliminate chances of the wide panel cracking should the wide panel decide to contract. The completed assembly would feature a wide panel that is glued to the posts at the very top of the wide panel only. A separate lower rail attached to the posts with a mortise and tenon joint would hold the bottom of the posts together. The result is the wide panel holding to the posts together at the top and the lower rail holds the posts together at the bottom. If the panel decides to expand or contract, it is free to do so since most of the wide panel has no glue.

This assembly could be accomplished by routing stopped grooves whose lengths are about ½” – ¾” shorter than the wide panel is long. After gluing up the wide panel and flushing up the joints, a tongue could be cut on the ends of the wide panel resulting in a good friction in the grooves. About a ¼” of the tongue on the wide panels top would be cut away. Enough of the tongue at the bottom of the wide panel would also be cut away to allow the panel to expand without bottoming out in the groove. As a result, a very long mortise and tenon joint would be created. The shoulders of the long tongues would conceal the grooves.

Somewhere near the bottom of the posts, mortises could be cut into the posts and mating tenons in a bottom rail. The rail would be as narrow as 1-1/2” and the rail could be located where it would hidden by the mattress.

The wide panel would be glued at the top for the first 3” or 4”. No glue on the remainder of the tongue in the wide panel, leaving the panel free to expand and contract in the groove. The lower rail would be glued into the mortises of the posts.

View bonesbr549's profile

bonesbr549

1176 posts in 2534 days


#6 posted 10-16-2016 03:09 PM

A Big long dado on each post.

- BurlyBob

Since they are going to be long boards should all of the horizontal boards be glued together and should I glue them into the dado or leave it loose for wood movement?

- TrevorR

I d make a glued up panel but let it float in the dado. You need to take into account any cross grain situation.

here s a pic of a bed i did. Almost the same as you. I did a Mortise in the posts and left it a little long on top. That allows the headboard to move and when you take the bed apart (bed bolts), its easy to move.

https://flic.kr/p/dJXHFk

Good luck.

- bonesbr549

Should I cut tenons on the ends of the horizontal boards or just leave the ends the same thickness as the rest of boards?

- TrevorR

You can do either way. I left mine plain and left a little extra width in the mortise side for easy insertion and removal (about 1/8” total or so allowing for finish). You could make a shoulder to cover the mortise all a personal decision. The wood will not get fatter but will expand and contract (some) laterally on the width. So don’t trap it in a tight spot our you will regret nor glue it in place. Let it float. those bed bolts will lock it in and it won’t move.

Keep in mind that unless you have huge swings in humidity and most homes are air conditioned its not that big an issue but you have to leave some room.

Me personally, I would not do a mortise the entire width of the headboard. I’d do a 4-6” tenon at the top and a 4-6” tenon at the bottom and thats it. You can but seem like a waste to me it won’t be seen and the width will be bedpost to bed post.

-- Sooner or later Liberals run out of other people's money.

View CharleyL's profile

CharleyL

197 posts in 2831 days


#7 posted 10-16-2016 03:16 PM

If you want the visual appearance of the joints between the horizontal boards, but don’t want to see light between them, use ship lap joints on their edges. A long mortise on the posts and tenons on the ends of the boards is the best method to join the horizontal boards to the posts, but only plan on gluing about 1” of the center of each board tenon. Let each board expand and contract with humidity changes and the ship lap joints will conceal the changing gap between the boards of the head board. You might also consider “pinning” the center of each board’s tenon to the post with a small diameter dowel rod, one to the center of each board tenon.

Since it’s quite likely that the bed will experience higher moisture conditions than in your shop at the time of construction, also build in some gap between the boards as you build and glue up the boards. If the wood is 6-8% moisture content, 1/16” gap would be a good idea. If the wood has a higher moisture content, you can get away with less gap.

Charley

View TrevorR's profile

TrevorR

27 posts in 251 days


#8 posted 10-16-2016 08:37 PM

Thanks guys for chiming in with some great suggestions, now I need to think about which method I will do.

View UncannyValleyWoods's profile

UncannyValleyWoods

441 posts in 1331 days


#9 posted 10-16-2016 08:45 PM

I built a head board not long ago… Mine was quite different, but I sort of had the same problem.

My solution was think in terms of panels. I used the top and bottom of the frame as mortise and tenons and then placed the rest of the material in the middle.

This is what it looked like before I joined it all. The blue parts are taped up panels that are framed together. The only parts that join are the top and bottom rails.

You could easily do this to yours. You basically glue up the middle pieces to the top and bottom rail, but make your rails long enough to cut tenons. You can cut the tenons flush if you don’t want them protruding. This will solve a lot of the risk of movement…

-- https://www.etsy.com/shop/UncannyValleyWoods?ref=hdr_shop_menu

View TrevorR's profile

TrevorR

27 posts in 251 days


#10 posted 10-17-2016 08:42 PM



I built a head board not long ago… Mine was quite different, but I sort of had the same problem.

My solution was think in terms of panels. I used the top and bottom of the frame as mortise and tenons and then placed the rest of the material in the middle.

This is what it looked like before I joined it all. The blue parts are taped up panels that are framed together. The only parts that join are the top and bottom rails.

You could easily do this to yours. You basically glue up the middle pieces to the top and bottom rail, but make your rails long enough to cut tenons. You can cut the tenons flush if you don t want them protruding. This will solve a lot of the risk of movement…

- UncannyValleyWoods

That’s a good idea and maybe do the shiplap joints for the middle pieces ike CharleyL suggested

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com