Some Designs you just need to Sleep on - What do you think?

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Forum topic by Mike posted 12-23-2012 10:54 PM 1465 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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406 posts in 2890 days

12-23-2012 10:54 PM

Topic tags/keywords: maple bed frame bedroom sleep

So after many months, I decided to go ahead and start designing and building a new bed frame. Based on the design on the cover of the the Feb. 2013 issue of Fine Woodworking this is what I felt would be a good starting point. Not wanting to jump right in and start building from the plans inside, I CADed the project first (using Solidworks). While the plans inside state that they are for a queen sized mattress, the frame was small for the one that I own. I did not include any of the bolts or hardware that I may need to use in the renderings. Since this is going to be one of the larger pieces that I build, I’d love to hear any suggestions or tips that you can come up with.



Click here for larger images!

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - -

16 replies so far

View MNgary's profile


303 posts in 2619 days

#1 posted 12-24-2012 12:39 AM

You’re off and running to a great design, Mike. Are you thinking of adding some interest to the inside of the headboard’s center panel (and outside of footboard’s) by either cutting boards to arrange a vee pattern or by using an intriguing veneer?

You may want to add pillows and a bedspread to your CAD to see what it will look like in the bedroom. Doing so may lead you to consider making the legs as deep as they are wide with, perhaps, tapers on two sides below the rails.

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View Mike's profile


406 posts in 2890 days

#2 posted 12-24-2012 01:55 AM

MNgary thank you for the input!

I am thinking about adding some flare to the design but really haven’t come up with anything in particular. I am playing around with maybe a color stain, making the panels in a different color, or just painting the bed.

I am seriously considering making the posts thicker for more support with the tenons and mortises. Perhaps reduce the stock size once it gets above the bed rail, but I’m not sure.

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - -

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30062 posts in 2540 days

#3 posted 12-24-2012 02:02 AM

Looks like you have a good plan. Well thought out.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2832 posts in 3640 days

#4 posted 12-24-2012 02:09 AM

How about different woods? Maybe a darker wood for center panels or the vertical slats. So, wood combos like maple/walnut, or maple/oak

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Mike's profile


406 posts in 2890 days

#5 posted 12-24-2012 02:31 AM

Craftsman thank you for the input. Did you mean something like this?

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - -

View AandCstyle's profile


3179 posts in 2459 days

#6 posted 12-24-2012 03:10 AM

Basically, I like your latest rendering. I would consider making it more G&G style, by adding cloud lifts to the top of the head and foot boards. I guess that I think the design is a little plain, even with the color variation, and would use the cloud lifts to create additional visual interest. FWIW

-- Art

View Mike's profile


406 posts in 2890 days

#7 posted 12-24-2012 03:22 AM


Thank you for the input. I’m not familiar with either G & G style nor cloud lifts. Do you have an example or two?


-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - -

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3016 days

#8 posted 12-24-2012 04:49 AM

I like the wide splat, and pairs of slats. That makes good use of the negative shape between spindles. I wonder if a cap on the headboard would add some depth, and an interesting shadowline?

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View Mike's profile


406 posts in 2890 days

#9 posted 12-24-2012 05:17 AM

I just played around with making a decal of a fish on the head board. Let me know how it looks.

Here is a larger version

-- look Ma! I still got all eleven of my fingers! - -

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18391 posts in 3878 days

#10 posted 12-24-2012 06:46 AM

I think a darker center board would look better than the dark slats.

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile


932 posts in 2557 days

#11 posted 12-24-2012 10:03 AM

the center is going to be a panel, you could make it with a couple of different types of wood to throw in some contrast, or go with what you got for a more traditional style.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View knockknock's profile


458 posts in 2375 days

#12 posted 12-24-2012 11:08 AM

Thinking more along the lines of construction. Instead of mitering the top rail to the leg, I would make it a cap piece. With the mortise in the rail and the tenon on the leg (maybe haunched to the outside edge), or use a bridle joint. For assembly, you would insert the lower rails and panel into the legs, then your spindles and upper panel and finally the top rail.

-- 👀 --

View BHolcombe's profile


180 posts in 2278 days

#13 posted 12-30-2012 07:55 PM

I like your prior design better, I think the reality of it in wood will be all the ‘interest’ needed. I would make the center panels in 1/4 sawn veneer over ply.

I might make the legs and cap rails out of heavier stock and also make them a bit narrower.

View AandCstyle's profile


3179 posts in 2459 days

#14 posted 12-31-2012 05:58 PM

Mike, I apologize for not replying to you sooner. We went away for Christmas and I am just getting caught up. Greene & Greene were great architects that designed houses, furniture, etc. Their work is very often characterized by cloud lifts, which are basically a couple little step ups along the sides. Here is a picture that illustrates what I am attempting to describe. I hope you like it.

-- Art

View MrRon's profile


5195 posts in 3446 days

#15 posted 12-31-2012 11:13 PM

I’m personally against foot boards. They make it harder to make up the bed and my feet would always touch the foot board preventing me from straight legging.

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