Mahogany and Walnut Inlay Queen Bed

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Project by JBWelker posted 11-11-2015 10:14 PM 2660 views 14 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I have been tinkering with woodworking for several years, but only really got started in the last couple years. After completing several smaller projects, and in desperate need of a new bed, I finally decided I would attempt to make a bed.

The design of the bed is a hybrid of several ideas I took from other beds that I found online. The walnut inlays in the legs came from a bed design from an Amish furniture website, and the panel design was from another bed I had seen elsewhere.

The bed is constructed of mahogany except for the small inlaid panels in the legs which are walnut. The leg design proved to be the trickiest part of the build as I wasn’t exactly sure how to tackle them. I ended up routering out a recess in each leg to accommodate the depth of the walnut panels, which was 1/4”, and the depth of the bead molding, which was another 5/16”. The walnut panels were then glued in the recess, and the bead molding glued in to the panels after that. Each section of bead molding (32 pieces in total) had to be cut and labeled individually to ensure a fit with no gaps. Each leg consists of four boards with mitered edges. The head and footboard panels are attached to the legs with large dowels. Other than that, the rest of the bed construction was pretty straight forward.

The finish for the bed consists of one coat of 1-part cinnamon and 1-part medium brown GF dye (I used dark brown for the walnut), followed by one coat of dewaxed shellac, and finished with 4 coats of GF Arm-R-Seal. I had originally wanted to try to fill the grain for this project, but decided it would be too difficult considering the nooks and crannies in the raised panels and the fact that I had never done it before. Looking back, I wish I would have tried as I think it would have given it a more finished look.

From start to finish, the bed took me around 2-1/2 months to complete, and my wife and I are both very happy with it. As with all projects, I made several mistakes and am confident that I could do it better if I were to build another one…

-- Josh, Missouri

10 comments so far

View Mean_Dean's profile


7057 posts in 4204 days

#1 posted 11-12-2015 12:38 AM

That’s a great looking bed! I like the mahogany/walnut combination and the inlays.

That’s the thing about building one-off projects—you make all your mistakes on the first one, and then never apply what you learned to the next one!

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

View  woodshaver Tony C   's profile

woodshaver Tony C

7932 posts in 4410 days

#2 posted 11-12-2015 01:04 AM

Beautiful bed! Well worth every hour you put into it. Love your wood choices and the warm rich looking grain!
Welcome to Lumberjocks!

-- St Augustine FL, Experience is the sum of our mistakes!

View USAFPOL's profile


125 posts in 3107 days

#3 posted 11-12-2015 01:48 AM

Gorgeous bed, very nice work!

View BurlyBob's profile


8736 posts in 3322 days

#4 posted 11-12-2015 02:53 AM

Very beautiful.

View Mojo1's profile


286 posts in 3747 days

#5 posted 11-12-2015 12:37 PM


View Chuck McIntyre's profile

Chuck McIntyre

81 posts in 2330 days

#6 posted 11-12-2015 08:04 PM

Very nicely done. The walnut inlays are a beautiful touch. A project like this has been on my short list for a while. I have a sneaking suspicion I will be incorporating some of your design elements. Kep up the good work!


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

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3923 days

#7 posted 11-12-2015 09:53 PM

This bed is absolutely beautiful and you did a wonderful job on it.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View MrSoup's profile


1 post in 1982 days

#8 posted 11-13-2015 02:22 PM

Beautiful bed! What did you do to connect the headboard and footboard to the bedrails? Was there any issue with strength by using the hollow legs? Thanks.

View JBWelker's profile


21 posts in 1984 days

#9 posted 11-13-2015 03:33 PM

Thanks everyone for all of the kind words. I used the heavy duty bed rail fasteners from Rockler to connect the rails to the headboard and footboard. I ran dowels through the rails where the fasteners screw into them to make sure there was some cross grain to grab ahold of. The boards for the legs were actually a combination of 4/4 and 5/4 mahogany, and I haven’t had any issues with the strength. My main concern for strength was with my choice for the rails themselves. I used 5/4 for the rails, but after planing them down, they are just slightly over 4/4. I did use a top and bottom cap on both rails to help with stability. I also used 5/4 quartersawn white oak for the slats, and there is no middle support. So far, so good. No sagging or twisting with the rails or slats.

-- Josh, Missouri

View niftynoel's profile


108 posts in 2603 days

#10 posted 11-14-2015 05:01 PM

This is one beautiful bed. Fantastic.

-- Noel

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