Wenge and Sapele bed... made some progress this week

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Blog entry by Jamie McDonald posted 04-01-2014 05:14 AM 2029 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

So I finished finishing messing around with the finish. It drove me nuts.Wenge is black…. and like a black car it seems to show all the imperfections. I finally settled on Waterlox Satin finish. It took me as much time messing with the finish as it did constructing the lap jointed frame…. HOWEVER I can say that the headboard is actually finished now. It measures 11 feet long by 34” tall. It hangs on the wall with a 6 foot french cleat and the cleat is screwed to the wall using spax 3 inch screws.

It is time to make the bed frame. I must admit that all the plans that I have for this project are stored away very UNSAFELUY on graph paper and in my head. The unsafe part is the 1 year old Tri color Collie that we have named Luke. He still has an appetite for chewing on wood objects in the most destructive manner possible. He eats napkins and has destroyed a number of window sills and chairs.

It took 3 hours of rather intensive labor to get the four 12 foot long 10/4 material sufficiently thickness planned through the DeWalt lunch box 734. I realized that I’m not 20 years old anymore.

I Started making the bed frame today 3/31/2014. It will be made out of Sapele with heavy Wenge accents. The square frame is going to be made of 2 1/2” thick by 5 inch wide material, but I started with the boards being 7-8 inches wide. The corners are going to be mitered and joined using a domino joiner. I was heavily contemplating making a draw bored mitered slip joint, but after a quick practice I knew that it was going to require more time than I could give to it. Here is a photo of my 1 hour practice session with some relatively thin Cherry. I found it tough to get both square and tight. I was thinking this would be the perfect joint…. and it still might be on the NEXT project.

I started with rough 12 foot 10/4 material with the intention of making sure that the grain would follow the legs to the top rail.

The Milwaukee 12” Sliding miter saw ensures 45 degree angles. I just put a new 96 tooth Freud blade in it and it is cutting very sweetly at the moment.

I practiced clamping up the joint after putting 6 domnios in each corner and checked the work using a Groz 6” square. I can’t believe the corner is actually perfectly square. I guess a blind squirel gets a nut every now and then.

I acquired a large number of tools in the last year and during the duration of this project so far. I thought I would take a picture of the tools and share it with you guys. Its a mixture of Veritas and Lie-Nielsen tools. I must say that using both hand tools and power tools seems like a fantastic combination. At this point I have more good tools than skills, but it will be hard to aquire the skills without the tools to practice.

Alright, enough blogging, I must go back to the garage now. The air compressor is running …it wakes up the wife and makes her a wee bit upset.

-- "The notes I handle no better than many pianists. But the pauses between the notes - ah, that is where the art resides!" --Artur Schnabel

3 comments so far

View Kaleb the Swede's profile

Kaleb the Swede

1981 posts in 2974 days

#1 posted 04-01-2014 11:16 AM

Wow! This is going to be one beautiful bed. Can’t wait to see it done

-- Just trying to build something beautiful

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3489 days

#2 posted 04-01-2014 02:41 PM

Cool looking headboard! Definitely looking forward to seeing the rest.

-- Brian Timmons -

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4151 days

#3 posted 04-02-2014 12:52 AM

Great progress so far! Can’t wait to see the finished project!

-- Dean -- "Don't give up the ship -- fight her 'till she sinks!" Capt James Lawrence USN

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