Cherry Mission Style Platform Bed

  • Advertise with us
Project by Ick posted 09-04-2016 02:42 PM 1809 views 6 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Mission style prairie bed made in cherry.

Hardwood is local to eastern Oklahoma. Picked it up at a kiln about 90 miles east of me, price and quality make it worth the drive (and I don’t have many other options). Legs have walnut top and bottom caps and molding. Plug covers are walnut.

Ordered a Wood River benchtop mortiser, and I used the 1/2” chisel exclusively.

Headboard and footboard each have 54 spindles (1/2” X 1/2”) – Queen size bed.
Drawers have half-blind dovetails. the fronts are cherry, and the sides are poplar. The bottom is aromatic cedar. Installed on soft-close drawer glides.

Lots of pre-finishing, or at minimum, pre-staining. Lots of restrictive areas to try to get a consistent finish into. It took some extra time, but I think it was definitely worth it.

-- Craig, Oklahoma

10 comments so far

View Eugd's profile


65 posts in 1384 days

#1 posted 09-04-2016 04:33 PM

Very very nice!

View bondogaposis's profile


5223 posts in 2624 days

#2 posted 09-04-2016 08:03 PM

Very nice, that is a lot of spindles!

-- Bondo Gaposis

View gsimon's profile


1308 posts in 2386 days

#3 posted 09-04-2016 09:16 PM

definitely worth it! – wonderful looking piece

-- Greg Simon

View EarlS's profile


2337 posts in 2620 days

#4 posted 09-05-2016 12:59 AM

That is a lot of mortising. Turned out great but then I’m a bog fan of Mission style furniture. Are you planning to make matching side dressers?

What did you think of the Wood River mortising machine?

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

View Ick's profile


36 posts in 3813 days

#5 posted 09-05-2016 01:43 AM

I’ll be making 2 chests and 2 nightstands.

I read a lot of reviews and follow PintoDeluxe on here, and he was leaning toward the Steel City. This was one of the few that had a steel bed and fence. I think PintoDeluxe went with the PowerMatic, but it was over $100 higher, so the yankee in me, got to me. It’s my first mortiser, but i can’t say I’m disappointed. Went into the shop about 2 weeks after I got it and the gas shock had given up, but they replaced it without any issue, so that’s good to know.

-- Craig, Oklahoma

View Benchworx's profile


5 posts in 906 days

#6 posted 09-06-2016 03:05 AM

Gorgeous bed Craig! How long did it take you, from your first cut until the finish was dry?

View Ick's profile


36 posts in 3813 days

#7 posted 09-06-2016 01:05 PM

I’ve got about 100 hours in it.

-- Craig, Oklahoma

View Ick's profile


36 posts in 3813 days

#8 posted 09-06-2016 01:45 PM

EarlS, I went and read your Blog, and found it very interesting; and warrants more of an answer on the BenchTop Mortiser.

My first woodworking “machine” was a 1978 ShopSmith Mark V (which I still have, although relegated to minor duty). So, I’ve got a drill-press (of sorts). They have a mortiser attachment, but the table/fence are aluminum and will deflect. I knew that they would deflect an unacceptable amount to go this way. I tried to go with the Steel City, but with them being out of business, etc., etc.. I decided to go with the Wood River, which supposedly was made by Steel City. It seems to be a very beefy machine. I decided against the PowerMatic based on the price and the amount of mortises that I’ve cut to date, in my life.

It comes with 2 different gas shocks, of different lengths, and I had to use both for various mortises. I’ve got to find somewhere to store the shock that isn’t mounted, and I’ll probably forget where that special place is. It’s not a total loss, because I had the long one go out. The shocks hold the heavy motor head up, a scrap wood jack does the same thing. Like I said, I found that Wood Craft has the spare parts and did a good job of providing a replacement.

The legs on the bed are slightly under 4” thick. I planned a deep mortise (~3”) to set the spindle rails into. The chisel length restricted me to about 2.5”, but that was fine.
An item that I liked on your Blog, was the ‘why’. Since, I’m new to mortising machines, I wanted to know the process, and why. The book said that when mortising a wider mortise than the chisel, to drill holes that were spaced apart and then drill the connector hole. I found that the chisel was very hard to retract on a deep hole (even had to resort to persuasion with a rubber hammer). I found that drilling adjoining holes gave chips a relief and I didn’t suffer the binding.

Another item that I gave a lot of thought to, was how to ’index’ the spindles. I have 54 spindles in the headboard, or 27 on each side. Any error introduced by spacing spindles would telescope by the time I got to the end. I didn’t find anything in the manual, or any discussion online, as how to equally space mortises. I finally talked myself into not ‘indexing’, just measuring. I took an 18” steel ruler and marked a line every 1”. I figured if I got one off the next one would make up for it. I’m very pleased with the result, I can’t tell any variation, or even lean on any spindles.

-- Craig, Oklahoma

View JPJ's profile


819 posts in 2892 days

#9 posted 09-07-2016 01:33 AM

Nice job!

View jim1953's profile


2736 posts in 4114 days

#10 posted 09-07-2016 07:48 PM

Great Lookin Bed

-- Jim, Kentucky

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