Monday, November 26, 2007

Making My Bed

I spent Thanksgiving with two hundred dollars of wood, some free time a couple new tools I was ready to try out. The goal is a day bed that I drew out in two minutes for approval. I knew What the end result was, I just had no idea how I was going to get there. The details would be ironed out as I progress. This would only work if I think a few steps ahead of any cuts for bore.
I do know of some limitations, the bed would be made down stairs and had to be moved upstairs so I had to make this with knock down ability. The quickest way to make a decent knock down joint from my aresenal is with dowels and pocket screws joint. 3/8" dowels are placed between the mating wood edges and pocket screws pulls them together. I could make pinned mortise and tennon joinery but that would take much more time than I wanted and the mortise would severly weaken the thin legs since they will not be glued for the knock down purpose.
To prevent the bed from racking itself apart, the apron on the front is extra wide. The side has arms and the back has the head board, which keep the thing tight and square. Joining wide solid wood is a tricky thing to do becuse of the expansion nature of the wood, so I had to make the center dowels tight and the dowels at the end had elongate holes to allow for expansion. I betting that the pocket hole screws will flex a bit with the softer poplar wood so the apron should not split once the humid summers comes.
Slats on the bed are joined with dovetails so it would pull the bed together and can easily be removed. The middle slat is made of much stronger oak to bear the weight in case someone wants to stand on the middle of the mattress and exert all the pressure to the least supported piece. I wanted to make sure this bed can handle at least 400 lbs and the additional impact from anyone who want to jump on the bed.
This is the product from twelve hours of work, I will talk about making the headboard and method of making this later.