Pencil Post bed #3: Pencil post bed part-3

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Blog entry by mikega posted 03-06-2008 06:01 PM 5529 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Pencil post bed part-2 Part 3 of Pencil Post bed series Part 4: Pencil Post bed part 4 FINISHED »

This is the third part of my series on making a Pencil Post bed that I am doing from the DVD that I got from Charles Neil at: I am now in the the not so exciting part of this project which is the sanding, sanding and sanding. There really is not much to say about the sanding but I would like to share something that I learned from Charles on my first trip to his shop in New Market VA that has really helped to improve the sanding on my projects. He showed me how to use what he calls a “trace coat” to show sanding marks or glue spots that need to be sanded out before you put on the final finish.
A trace coat is a very very diluted dye that is wiped on lightly before you start the sanding. On the first picture you can see the sanding lines on the cherry side of the bed rail that were left by the drum sander. On the cherry side I used a dark dye which will also help to bring out the curl in the wood when I put on the final finish.
PhotobucketThe next picture is the poplar side of the rails. I used a diluted Transtint Red dye for this side. Here you can see the glue that I thought I had gotten off before I put the dye on. After you put the dye on you sand it off with 120 grit then put the dye on again and sand it off again with 150 or 180 grit.
PhotobucketThe bed rails are made up up 2 pieces of poplar with a 1/4 inch piece of cherry laminated to the face and top and bottoms of the rails. To hide the seam you need to put a 1/4 inch bead on the rails. I waited till after the rails were sanded so that the trace coat dye did not get in the crack and so that I did not flatten the bead when I was doing the sanding. After you put the bead on it looks like you have one solid rail that is 1-1/2 inches thick.
PhotobucketAnother thing left to do is to turn some finials for the posts. I made up 2 samples for my son to pick the one he likes best (he likes the one on the right). Turning one of these was easy but making 4 that all look the same will not be as easy. I had planned on putting a canopy on the bed but when I was at my son’s placed to measure his box spring and mattress I discovered that he has a ceiling fan in his bed room so the canopy will not fit (I don’t think he really wanted one anyway).
If you have been following my blogs on this bed you will remember that I am building this in my basement and I mentioned in my 1st blog that I will probably wipe out a light or two till I am done with this project. While this week it finally happened. Nothing like having glass raining down on you.
PhotobucketThe other thing that I have been doing is working on some samples for the final finish. Here you can see my test board.
Photobucket However on Sunday I got a phone call from Charles asking when I am gone to bring the bed down to be finished. So you guessed it I will be loading the bed up and heading to VA next weekend. I asked Charles what type of a finish we will be using but he wouldn’t tell me. All he said is that it will be a surprise and that we will really pop the grain and that I will be spraying it. This should be interesting but at least I will have Charles there to bail me when I need it.
So stayed tuned in about 2 weeks I should be posting the final blog with the finished bed.

-- Mike

6 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4528 days

#1 posted 03-06-2008 06:34 PM

Good looking progress.

About the light – been there done that.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Damian Penney's profile

Damian Penney

1141 posts in 4531 days

#2 posted 03-06-2008 06:47 PM

You should pick up some tube protectors, saved me numerous times; it’s just a plastic tube that slides over the glass and you can get them at Home Depot, super cheap.

-- I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4362 days

#3 posted 03-06-2008 08:00 PM

You are making progress on the piece. Actually you are getting ready for the home stretch. I am sure you are beginning to feel the adrenaline rush.

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

View Karson's profile


35207 posts in 4940 days

#4 posted 03-23-2008 12:44 AM

Mike. Charles told me that you had been there. It would have been nice to see it in person.

It’s looking great so far.

-- 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]

View Kipster's profile


1076 posts in 4293 days

#5 posted 06-02-2008 10:02 PM

It has been 2 weeks where is your conclusion. I love this post annd really need to see it done.

Again Thanks for the posts.

-- Kip Northern Illinois ( If you don't know where your goin any road will take you there) George Harrison

View mikega's profile


81 posts in 4407 days

#6 posted 06-02-2008 11:01 PM

Just click on my blog and goto Pencil Post bed part 4 FINISHED.

-- Mike

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