Cherry sleigh bed

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Project by TungOil posted 01-25-2017 02:53 AM 3133 views 12 times favorited 24 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Here’s a few photos of a sleigh bed my wife “commissioned” from me 13 years ago. Solid cherry and cherry veneers, finish is six coats of Waterlox.

This was an interesting project and stretched my skills in several areas. I had to set up a vacuum veneering rig and make some pretty complex bending forms to fabricate the curved headboard and footboard panels. The crest rails came from a single piece of 16/4 curly cherry that I shaped using a special jig that held the blanks on centers like a lathe, and allowed me to run a plunge router back and forth along the length of the crest rail. Both rails were rough shaped with a straight bit in the router, then hand scraped to finish.

Thanks for looking!

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

24 comments so far

View Kelster58's profile


759 posts in 1695 days

#1 posted 01-25-2017 03:05 AM

That is absolutely amazing!! Outstanding work, you are truly a craftsman. My hat is off to you. Take Care !!

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View JimYoung's profile


413 posts in 2742 days

#2 posted 01-25-2017 03:25 AM

Well worth the wait!

-- -Jim, "Nothing says poor craftsmanship more than wrinkles in your duck tape"

View Andy's profile


40 posts in 2926 days

#3 posted 01-25-2017 03:29 AM

Great looking piece TungOil. I’ve always wondered how people made the crest rail. Would you be willing to share pictures of your setup for routing it?

-- Andy

View rtbrmb's profile (online now)


784 posts in 3543 days

#4 posted 01-25-2017 03:48 AM

Very impressive work. The lines all flow smoothly.

Thanks for sharing.

Bill in MI

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3658 posts in 4867 days

#5 posted 01-25-2017 03:53 AM

Your wife has great taste! Your craftsmanship looks superb.

Welcome to LJs.


-- “Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” Benjamin Franklin -- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View TungOil's profile


1384 posts in 1649 days

#6 posted 01-25-2017 04:07 AM

Thanks al!

Unfortunately I had to get rid of the fixture for making the crest rail when I moved recently, but I’ll try to describe it. It worked on the same principle you might have seen used to flatten slabs. Basically I created a five sided box with dead straight top rails to reference off of. I built a sled for the router that slid from end to end utilizing the edge guide to cut straight lines. I mounted the blank with a screw on centers like you would mount a blank in a lathe. By indexing the blank about five degrees at a time I was able to slowly shape the crest rail profile. Very slowly- each rail took about 20 hours to rough shape.

This worked really well and the rails are still dead straight to this day. This was a real concern since both rails were cut from the same huge 16/4 board, which immediately bowed hooked and twisted when i split the board. The nice thing about using this fixture was that it really didn’t matter how twisted the blank was, it came out straight!

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View TungOil's profile


1384 posts in 1649 days

#7 posted 01-25-2017 04:53 AM

My wife had a few photos from when I did this build. This is the only one showing the crest rail. I used a lathe turned 2” diameter floating tenon on each end.

-- The optimist says "the glass is half full". The pessimist says "the glass is half empty". The engineer says "the glass is twice as big as it needs to be"

View Scott Oldre's profile

Scott Oldre

1128 posts in 4586 days

#8 posted 01-25-2017 12:15 PM

That’s as pretty as they come. Looks very solid and will no doubt last for years.

-- Scott, Irmo SC

View oldrivers's profile


2629 posts in 2721 days

#9 posted 01-25-2017 12:49 PM

Pretty Bed, Great workmanship.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 4021 days

#10 posted 01-25-2017 02:48 PM

Wow! This bed is so outstanding. You did a beautiful job on this project.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 3498 days

#11 posted 01-25-2017 03:48 PM

great looking bed

View woodenwarrior's profile


255 posts in 3349 days

#12 posted 01-25-2017 05:12 PM

That’s gorgeous!!! My wife wants the same from me…and she’s been asking for about the same amount of time. LOL!

-- Do or do not...there is no try - Master Yoda

View Thom's profile


36 posts in 2578 days

#13 posted 01-25-2017 10:02 PM

Nicely done came out perfect Waterlox really brings out that cherry. AWESOME JOB!!!

-- Thom CT.

View pottz's profile (online now)


18637 posts in 2139 days

#14 posted 01-25-2017 10:40 PM

thats absolutly gorgeous tung oil,that cherry is just beautiful and after 13 years it still looks like you just finished it.i am kinda of dissapointed that you didnt use TUNG OIL though-LOL.fantastic work.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View Dave's profile


157 posts in 4351 days

#15 posted 01-25-2017 10:48 PM

I’d love to see a blog on the build. I want to make one of these and yours is awesome!

-- "I'm not afraid of heights. I'm afraid of widths." - Steven Wright

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