Pencil Post bed #2: Pencil post bed part-2

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Blog entry by mikega posted 02-20-2008 10:20 PM 3749 reads 0 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: Making a Pencil Post bed part-1 Part 2 of Pencil Post bed series Part 3: Pencil post bed part-3 »

Well the bed rails are all cleaned up and ready to cut to final size. I remembered from the DVD that Charles said to leave an extra inch in the length and width so that it is easier to tuck in the bed sheets. This means that I want 61×81 inches from rail to rail.
Photobucket Up to this point I always checked the DVD before I moved onto the next step but for some dumb reason I figured I could figure this one out. All I had to due was subtract the distance from the end of the mortise to the end of the post from my 61 inches and then add back 1-1/2 inches for my tenon’s. I cut a test sample out of MDF and put it in mortises and it measured 61 inches from mortise to mortise so I was good to go. I cut just the head and foot rails that night. For some reason at work the next day I had this feeling that I did some thing wrong. I checked my math again and everything looked good. As soon as I got home I put the DVD in again (I have played this thing so many time that the dog gets up and leaves the room when he sees me heading for the DVD player) I went to the section on the bed rails. My bed post and rails are the same size as the one’s in the DVD. As soon as Charles started to explain how to get the rails to the correct size I got a sick feeling in my stomach. He didn’t do it the way I did and his numbers were different then mine. Most of you have probably already figured out my mistake by now but it was not until I went back downstair to my shop that I discovered what I did. I went 61 inches from mortise to mortise but the rails extend about 3/8 inches beyond the mortise. PANIC TIME!! Now I will be to short. Well after I calmed down a bit I put the test rail pieces that I made in the side rails and measured across and found out that it was 60-3/8 inches from rail to rail so it will be tight but the mattress should fit. But what if it is to tight? Well after arguing with myself for about 2 hours I decided the only thing I could due is call the man that would know so at 9:30 that night I gave Charles a call. I got his voice mail. Next morning shortly after 7:00 he called me back and said ” What the #&%^ did you do!” So I explained my problem to him and after having some fun harassing me about not following his instructions on the DVD he laughed and said ” you’ll be alright and if the mattress is to tight just jump on the son of a b&^%*”. Well I felt better. After watching the DVD again I am now ready to cut the tenons. The way the DVD shows is to make a box that slides over the rails and then with a pattern bit in the router just follow the box all the way around to create the tenon. It worked great and after a little sanding and trimming up I was able to get them to fit.
PhotobucketNow it is time to drill the holes in the post for the bed bolts. In this picture you can see the spindle sanded that I just had to have but have only used as a prop for my drill press since I got it back in December. Marked the holes in the correct location and drilled a 1 inch hole followed by a 7/16 in hole for the bolt to go through.
After the post were drilled I clamped the post and the rails together to finish drilling the holes in the rails.
After that I drill a 1-3/8 inch hole in the rail to put the nut in. Did a test fit and everything is looking good so I guess I can start working on the head board.
PhotobucketI made a template out of MDF to test the fit and to use as a template for routing out the final headboard.
YEA I finally got to use my spindle sander.
Photobucket Next I had to lay out the mortises on the post.
Here is where I am at right now.
Next thing will be to turn some finials for the top and start sanding. I have been testing some different finishes so that I my son can pick the one he likes best. Maybe I will soon be able to put this project to bed :)

-- Mike

5 comments so far

View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

811 posts in 4444 days

#1 posted 02-20-2008 11:11 PM

Nice progress, I can’t wait to see the finished product.

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View Robb's profile


660 posts in 4469 days

#2 posted 02-21-2008 12:25 AM

Looks great, Mike! Keep up the good work, and thanks for sharing. I like the tenoning box; I haven’t seen that done that way before.

-- Robb

View Grumpy's profile


25772 posts in 4386 days

#3 posted 02-21-2008 12:26 AM

Looking good Mike. I am about to start my Grandaughter’s bed. Looks like you have a similar problem to me in the lack of space, although weather is warn here at the moment so I can do a lot of the assembly outside. Good luck with the project.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4357 days

#4 posted 02-21-2008 12:57 AM


This looks good. I have been following your posts and found them to be very helpful. I have been “assigned” a bed as a project and it, like a number of other projects that THE BOSS has put on my list, is her #1 priority.

I look forward to seeing the final product too but don’t feel shy about posting some more construction blogs as you go.

Thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View Karson's profile


35207 posts in 4936 days

#5 posted 03-23-2008 12:39 AM

Mike thanks for the post. I’ve not looked at the DVD yet. Buts looks interesting.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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