You made your bed; now go lie in it

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Project by lightweightladylefty posted 05-07-2016 03:38 AM 3284 views 7 times favorited 21 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I can finally sleep in my new bed!! This full-size platform bed is oak with poplar drawers and plywood platform parts dadoed and pocket-hole screwed together. The drawer configuration is the same on both sides of the bed, but the left-side drawers are ¾ extension and the right side are full extension.

This has been another of those projects that has been a long time in the making. However, it took no where nearly as long as the project that inspired it.

This bedroom is about the size of today’s homes’ small walk-in closets. Originally there was only a small wardrobe cabinet for a closet. The built-in armoire required moving the door and electrical to install it.

After that project, I decided more storage was desirable and determined that a platform bed with drawers would be the best use of space.

It was a two-steps-forward, three-steps-back project almost from the start. After completing the parts to the platform base, I dovetailed the drawer boxes. I chose some inset brass hardware for the drawer fronts so I wouldn’t bump my legs on the handles.

I ran into my first delay when I began to plane the oak for the foot- and headboard. Since our oaks are dying faster than we can burn them for heat, we have always milled dead oak so I’m used to lots of worm holes. However, a few years ago a major wind storm leveled a large number of our living trees so we had the best ones milled into lumber. I was delighted to see how nice the lumber was compared with the dead trees we had previously milled and wasn’t expecting this:

All the boards that had bark remaining on them were infested with live worms. YUCK! I didn’t want my planer all gummed up with worm innards so I stopped planing and dug them all out.

When I resumed planing, my planer blew a bearing and I ended up having a major project trying to replace it. I was pretty proud of myself for figuring out (with a lot of your help) how to replace them, even though it took me a long time to accomplish.

I was able to complete the foot- and headboard before my next delay. I made jigs to hold the curved rails so I wouldn’t route my fingers off.

As I continued on, I realized that the ¼” router bit was too small and the ½” bit was too large for the fluting on the bedposts, so I ordered a 3/8” bit. While I was waiting for it to arrive, I decided to make a few adjustable trivets for a wedding shower gift.

While drum sanding the pieces to the correct thickness, I placed my sanding conveyor under too much load and it quit. Meantime, I attempted to sand a small, thin piece for another project on my stationary belt sander. It slipped under the fence and . . . ouch!

After more help from all of you and a local motor repair place, I was finally able to locate the part needed for my husband to repair my thickness sander, and my finger was healing nicely, too.

I was almost done with all the parts to the bed when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I dropped the project to meet with doctors along with my parents to determine her treatment. After her surgery, I stayed with my parents until they felt they could handle things alone. (They kicked me out just a week after the surgery.) Mom is doing fantastic; the cancer had not spread; and the doctor feels there is only a 10% chance of the cancer returning.

I had taken the bedposts with me while I stayed with my folks so I could sand, stain, and varnish them but because I returned so soon, I hadn’t even unpacked them from my car. Once they were finished, I started the assembly and that seemed like a forever job. Not having enough room to assemble it in the shop, I had never put any of the pieces together before I was done with all of them so I was praying for them to fit together right.

A few tasks were left until the end so the connecting hardware would align correctly with the height of the various parts.

My husband and I determined that I would have to remove the old bed and assemble the new one in place. I must have been hallucinating when I thought I would be able to get it together in a day and sleep on it that night. It took me over a week . . . even though, oddly enough, everything actually fit as planned. My husband’s turning skills completed the final touch – the finials for the bedposts.

[Did I mention: I’m not good at what I do, but at least I’m slow!]

If you actually made it all the way to the end of this, thanks for reading . . . and thanks for taking a look.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

21 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


8912 posts in 3523 days

#1 posted 05-07-2016 04:16 AM


Grat design, and execution. Made from your own wood cannot be sweeter than that. You should be proud, I’d be. LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)'s profile

Sheila Landry (scrollgirl)

9239 posts in 3600 days

#2 posted 05-07-2016 04:30 AM

Just beautiful work! It came out so nice! <3!!!


-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs ( Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"

View fatman51's profile


335 posts in 2517 days

#3 posted 05-07-2016 05:31 AM

Nice bed! Excellent work in spite of the delays. I have the same problem with worms in the pine and douglas fir that I mill out here but I figure that if I let them work for a while, they loosen the bark up and the logs are easier to peel.

-- The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself. Benjamin Franklin

View Mark Wilson's profile

Mark Wilson

2757 posts in 1743 days

#4 posted 05-07-2016 06:37 AM

Oww!, said the guy who’s run plenty of fingers into disc sanders. Geeze. You could have at least taken the photo while there was still some blood covering it up. That’s ghastly.
And, that’s a wonderful looking bed. Am I to understand that the head- and foot-board are solid? Shaped with the router? That’s wonderful. I thought it was F&P. Your way is much better.
And, I’m awful glad to hear Mom’s okay.
And, when you’re holding something on a belt or disc sander, don’t push so hard. Pushing hard doesn’t make the sandpaper cut any better. In fact, it just heats it up, and makes it grabby. I’ve always wanted a Captain’s bed. Noww that I see how easy it is to build one, I probably won’t.

-- Mark

View CFrye's profile


10896 posts in 2520 days

#5 posted 05-07-2016 10:12 AM

Beautifully done, Lady!

-- God bless, Candy

View BB1's profile


1599 posts in 1528 days

#6 posted 05-07-2016 10:58 AM

Very beautiful bed. The hard work definitely paid off with a great outcome. Inspiring. Thank you for sharing the story of the build (and your mom’s recovery).

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 4946 days

#7 posted 05-07-2016 12:49 PM

What a wonderful project. Makes me proud to be a woman woodworker- even if I never make something as magnificent as this. I take off my hat to you.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24165 posts in 3786 days

#8 posted 05-07-2016 01:08 PM

OUTSTANDING!! to say the least. That is one beautiful bed. You are a true craftsman and a very fine detail person too!! Take a bow on that one.

Too bad about the finger. I’ve done it through a glove already. They seem to take a long time to heal, too.

Cheers, Jim

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

View a1Jim's profile


118016 posts in 4257 days

#9 posted 05-07-2016 01:23 PM

Outstanding build a great looking bed and fine workgalship :)


View helluvawreck's profile


32086 posts in 3547 days

#10 posted 05-07-2016 01:30 PM

Wow! This is a very impressive bed. You have certainly done a fine job on this piece.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 3024 days

#11 posted 05-07-2016 04:00 PM

beautiful bed

View Dennis Zongker's profile

Dennis Zongker

2809 posts in 4272 days

#12 posted 05-07-2016 04:06 PM

Sweet! Fantastic design and craftsmanship.

-- Dennis Zongker

View Lenny's profile


1653 posts in 4207 days

#13 posted 05-07-2016 05:35 PM

Congratulations on a wonderful piece of furniture. From design to finish, you did an incredible job. If it’s any consolation, add me to the list of those who have had the same belt sander injury (stock was too thin and went under fence).

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3501 posts in 4393 days

#14 posted 05-07-2016 08:34 PM

Thanks, LJs, for all the encouraging remarks. The first photo of my sanding injury is actually five days after it happened so it was healed quite considerably. (I couldn’t stand to look at it to even take a picture when it first happened.) From your comments, it happens all too frequently. At least it wasn’t life-threatening . . . just a good warning to think things through more thoroughly.

A1Jim, I got a kick out of your political correctness—workgalship . . . how clever! ;-) I’m actually one of those old-school grammarians who always uses the masculine when speaking/writing singularly, e.g., “He should do as he likes,” not “He/she should do as he/she likes,” or “They should do as they like,” (when talking about only one person). I am a bit old-fashioned; I even believe women should submit to their husbands! Years ago my secretary addressed a group of ladies “yous guys.” I cringed and she said, “I’m sorry . . . yous gals.” I told her she could call me whatever she liked but you does not need an “s” to be plural. LOL

Mark Wilson, yes, the head- and foot-boards are solid oak made with rail/stile bits. The raised panels are ¾” so I routed both sides, (back is a shallower routing). I’ll try your advice on the sander. I guess I’m always afraid of the piece getting away from me.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Sasha's profile


1092 posts in 1893 days

#15 posted 05-08-2016 04:40 PM

SWEET SLEEP (dream) ............ And that mice and cockroaches weren’t found in boxes….. LOL….
I sympathize on a trauma.

-- Ganchik Sasha. Life is not a draft, tomorrow you will not redo......

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