Pencil Post Bed

  • Advertise with us
Project by Alongiron posted 08-07-2015 02:02 PM 2043 views 0 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife has wanted a pencil post bed for some time. The hard part of making this bed is the posts. They are made from cedar 4×4s that I milled down to about 2-1/2” square.

The first thing I had to do was cut the mortises in the post blanks

I found a jig pattern on-line that I was able to tweek to fit what I was going for. It slides on my table saw fence.

It worked out just as I had planned. The jig turns on dowels that are slightly offset to each other to get the taper I was looking for. They were held in place by a third dowel to hold it in the correct angle.

Once I had them completed, I added some decorative lambs tongues that I carved into each leg.

The headboard and foot-board sit into 1/2” mortises set into the legs. The tenons are slowly tapered to 1/2” and were fit to each of the motises so they are able to move as the wood moves.

It was a challenge to add tenons to the bed rails because of the length of the rails (king size bed) but they turned out well

These fit into 1” x 5” mortises in the posts along with a 3/8” x 6” bolt to secure it tightly in place.

The head board, foot board, and bed rails are made from Hickory. After a coat of wood conditioner, I stained it with a cherry stain (Minwax) and 2 coats of Amber Shellac. After the final coat of shellac, I rubbed it down good with a brown paper bag and applied a coat of paste wax.

Thanks for looking!


P.S. I was asked by Art to share info on the canopy. The canopy is simple half lap joints that are not glued. I cut them a bit shy; using my table saw and a dado blade; of the line to sneak up on them for a tight joint. In the corner, I drilled a 3/8” hole through the ends. These fit into the 3/8” holes I drilled into the top of the post when cutting it on the table saw. I still have to turn an acorn or something to finish off the tops of the 3/8” dowels

-- Measure twice and cut once.....sneak up on it! Steve Lien

10 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

23765 posts in 3713 days

#1 posted 08-07-2015 04:28 PM

Beautiful bed, Steve!!

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View exelectrician's profile


2339 posts in 3034 days

#2 posted 08-07-2015 04:29 PM

Love the tapering jig, and as for the completed project…wow wow wow

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View andy_P's profile


428 posts in 3815 days

#3 posted 08-07-2015 04:44 PM

As usual, another fine job, Steve. After seeing those pictures of your shop, It explains a lot about the beautiful work you do. Hey, where is the dust???......LOL.

-- Wood is a gift from God/Nature that maintains its beauty forever via the hand of a woodworker.

View AandCstyle's profile


3264 posts in 2864 days

#4 posted 08-07-2015 09:44 PM

Steve, you do some incredible work in your shop. Could you some pix of the canopy or describe the joinery details? I doubt I will ever make one, but it would be interesting to know more about that part. Thanks.

-- Art

View AandCstyle's profile


3264 posts in 2864 days

#5 posted 08-07-2015 10:44 PM

Thanks for the additional pix/info. Now, I understand. :)

-- Art

View ZAGREB's profile


1276 posts in 2257 days

#6 posted 08-08-2015 01:32 AM

another work place at home…just work,work….lol
very nice bed and good job

-- bambi

View mbs's profile


1667 posts in 3547 days

#7 posted 08-08-2015 03:54 AM

Nice work. I like the way you did the post on the table saw.

-- Sorry the reply is so long. I didn't have time to write a short reply.

View gsimon's profile


1313 posts in 2720 days

#8 posted 08-08-2015 12:56 PM

really nice work and it really suits the space
thanks for showing the process as well

-- Greg Simon

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2696 posts in 1670 days

#9 posted 08-08-2015 10:17 PM

Magnificent. What a wonderful thing to be able to actually sleep with your work, literally. ‘Never woulda thunk of doing that shaping on the table saw. You’ve wrinkled my brain.

-- Mark

View hermv2000's profile


6 posts in 1047 days

#10 posted 05-31-2017 02:21 AM

Nice work on the bed. May I ask where you found the jig pattern online? I’m about to start such a bed and don’t want to use the router setup most makers use. I like your way of doing it.

Thank you,


-- Herman

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics