Dad's Plans #1: A Simple Headboard

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Blog entry by grumpybear7357 posted 12-04-2018 01:50 AM 1396 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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As a child (actually until I left home) I slept in a double bed with a beautiful headboard that I knew my dad had made. It was made of Cherry, turned styles, a beautiful piece of furniture. Dad enjoyed working in wood, although to my knowledge he only made two pieces of furniture – my headboard, and mom’s sewing machine cabinet (also made of Cherry). Mom still has both pieces in her home.

Dad had few woodworking machines. He had a 1952 Sears 4 inch Jointer, and a 1951 ShopSmith 10ER with numerous attachments including a shaper and a Mortising tool. He had many hand tools. No planer or surface sander. I still have and regularly use both of the above machines. Dad turned the posts and styles of that headboard on the ShopSmith. He routed the edges using a shaper head on the ShopSmith. The curves were cut with the ShopSmith jigsaw.

As a kid I remember occasional trips to the local lumber yard with a piece of rough cut lumber to be milled down. Dad would tell the shop foreman how thick he wanted it, and which side was the face. Dad had a nice #4 Block plane, but I suspect the lumber yard did much of his surface planing – especially on projects like the headboard and sewing machine cabinet.

So today, I stopped after work to check on mom. She is 90, fiercely independent, lives in her own house, drives, shops, etc, but I check on her each day. She said “I found something you are going to want to see.” From her side table she produced a folded sheet of paper and handed to me. On the paper a set of hand drawn plans.

These plans were hand drawn by my dad around 1955. They are the plans he used to make that headboard. His thoughts, the dimensions, the little details, his notes – all preserved for 60+ years folded inside a book. What an amazing find.

So, I have some Cherry in the shop. I think I am going to make a nice frame and mount the plans inside along with a picture of the finished article. I might just use the old ShopSmith…

-- Never Underestimate an Old Man with a Tractor...

6 comments so far

View sras's profile


6253 posts in 4287 days

#1 posted 12-04-2018 04:13 AM

That’s pretty special – definitely frame it! It will be a great conversation piece.

-- Steve - Impatience is Expensive

View FreddieMac's profile


180 posts in 1506 days

#2 posted 12-04-2018 12:20 PM

That is pretty cool.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

4049 posts in 3410 days

#3 posted 12-04-2018 03:33 PM

Very special indeed. +1 to Steve’s suggestion to frame it. I would display it in the bedroom where the bed is set up.

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

View BB1's profile


2285 posts in 2006 days

#4 posted 12-05-2018 02:30 AM

That is very special. Neat idea to frame it. Thanks for sharing.

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3658 posts in 4871 days

#5 posted 12-06-2018 03:32 AM


Your dad was certainly an excellent craftsman. That is such a precious piece of provenance! I agree with Don; I’d display it right next to the bed. I hope you’ll be blessed to inherit that lovely piece.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Lenny's profile


1709 posts in 4685 days

#6 posted 12-06-2018 09:50 AM

Thank you for sharing this touching story. There is a special bond between those of us who had a father that handcrafted things and we who followed suit. I don’t want to jeopardize your post so I won’t insert a link but, if you’ve a mind to, take a look at my “Fathers, Sons, Cupolas and Such” project. Thanks again.

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

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