Alder Headboard

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Project by Jaydee829 posted 02-25-2016 01:51 PM 1098 views 1 time favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This has been the biggest project I have undertaken to date and consequently contained a lot of firsts for me. It is a headboard of my own design. the frame is made from alder joined with half lap joints for the back portion and dowels for the “wings” that sweep forward. The center portion is memory foam, batting, and a microsuede over plywood. This piece was fitted into a rabbet routed into the back of the frame and secured with screws. The alder was finished with a 1.5# coat of shellac, followed by a stain, and finished up with more coats of shellac and finally paste wax. The pictures show the progression from bare wood, to the first coat of shellac, to the final finish, and then to final assembly.

This was the first project I got to use the new workbench I built; however, the scale was too large to allow final assembly on the bench, hence the garage floor :-) It was also the first time I did half lap joints, the first time I used a plane, the first time I used shellac, and the first time I used paste wax.

Despite all of these firsts, the final product turned out great! My wife loves it, saying it really brings the room together. I also love it because it is tall enough for me to lean my 6’5” frame against while sitting up in bed and have my back and head against the comfortable memory foam instead of a hard wall.

Some of things I learned on this project were: the importance of different sizes of planes (I really could have use a jointer plane when ensuring the backs of the wings were flat to the frame), the difficulty in cutting shallow angles on a long board (a lot of saw blades are flexible enough to want to follow the grain), and the fact that PVA glues do not stain properly and are very hard to sand out.

Really starting to get deeper into woodworking and I am loving it! Creating a lifelong skill, getting to use both my creative and analytical sides, and getting to work with my hands, sounds perfect to me!

-- Justin, California

2 comments so far

View BurlyBob's profile


8849 posts in 3346 days

#1 posted 02-26-2016 06:03 AM

Nicely done. Looks like someone else finds you bed pretty comfortable.

View Jaydee829's profile


13 posts in 1903 days

#2 posted 02-26-2016 02:29 PM

He finds it too comfortable! I’ll kick him off before we go to bed, he will wait until we’re asleep, and then he jumps right back up there! He is quite stealthy.

-- Justin, California

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