Arts and Crafts Queen Bed

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Project by Tim Pursell posted 02-18-2008 10:41 PM 5915 views 33 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This was a very long drawn out project. I made the posts & rails, cut & fit all 66 sq. spindles, then got waylayed by other projects. For over a year! Once I got back to it I still had not figured out the best way to attach the sideboards to the Head & footboards. I wanted something very strong, but not obvious. My son had been playing with a handfull of “super” magnets one day & left them laying out. HMMMMMM?!? A little experimentation & EUREKA!! The “thru” tenons in the second photo are fake. They hide two 3/8”x12” bolts that connect to blind nuts morticed way back in the side rails. The fake tenon ends have dowels glued into shallow holes to center them in the bolt access holes. I installed T nuts & bolts (for adjustment) with the super magnets epoxied to the heads. That’s the third photo. They do not have to touch the bolt heads, just get close & they snap into place. Looks great & the bed is rock solid. The posts themselves are lock mitered 4” sq. with blocking glued inside at the tenon joints.


29 comments so far

View Kipster's profile


1076 posts in 4362 days

#1 posted 02-18-2008 10:45 PM

Ingeneous jointery. I learn something everyday in LJ’s. thanks for the tip.

-- Kip Northern Illinois ( If you don't know where your goin any road will take you there) George Harrison

View CharlieM1958's profile


16284 posts in 4827 days

#2 posted 02-18-2008 10:50 PM

What a great idea!

And anyone who has the patience to cut and fit all those parts has my highest admiration.

-- Charlie M. "Woodworking - patience = firewood"

View Critterman's profile


601 posts in 4419 days

#3 posted 02-18-2008 10:51 PM

Another great project and great idea too….I seem to be saying that a lot about your projects…LOL Another Favoite, guess I’ll have the entire collection before your done…[GRIN]

-- Jim Hallada, Chesterfield, VA

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 4908 days

#4 posted 02-18-2008 11:53 PM

Thanks for sharing this, & I love the beautifully colored finish.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 4431 days

#5 posted 02-19-2008 12:27 AM

That is an outstanding idea with the fake thru tenons. The innovative ideas that surface here never cease to amaze me. A bed is on my to do list (along with a number of other #1 projects. My wife doesn’t seem to understand that there are only so many hours in the day. Everything is her #1 priority and she want its NOW). I have been debating how to connect the rails and posts. This looks to be rock solid, which is what I am after.

While I am a fan of arts and crafts furniture, I don’t know if I would have the patience and perseverance to cut this many mortise and tenon joints (I count 78). I can understand why you put it down and came back to it later. After awhile it becomes a mind numbing exercise.

thanks for the post.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View DocK16's profile


1186 posts in 4696 days

#6 posted 02-19-2008 12:34 AM

The finished product was well worth the wait. Beautiful fleck in the Q saw white oak. And a very ingenious idea on the joinery or should I say pseudojoinery.

View jcees's profile


1078 posts in 4408 days

#7 posted 02-19-2008 01:12 AM

Smoooooooooooth move, my man. Nicely done. Kudos for your outstanding solution. Good looking bed too.


-- When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world. -- John Muir

View griff's profile


1207 posts in 4371 days

#8 posted 02-19-2008 01:19 AM

This is a great idea, I enjoy making beds and i`m always looking for a more solid and sturdy frame .

-- Mike, Bruce Mississippi = Jack of many trades master of none

View Dan M's profile

Dan M

121 posts in 4553 days

#9 posted 02-19-2008 01:22 AM

Fantastic! Now I just need to convince the wife that the current bed frame is a little ‘tired’ ... ;-)

-- Dan M, SW Suburbs, Chicago IL

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 4597 days

#10 posted 02-19-2008 01:30 AM

Great bed! Very nice “fit and finish”.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Dano's profile


222 posts in 4641 days

#11 posted 02-19-2008 01:54 AM


I always check out the pictures before the text an man you had me, I looked at the through tenons and was in awe as to how well they fit, then I read the text and you burst my bubble. Neat idea!

-- Dan in Central Oklahoma, Able to turn good wood into saw dust in the blink of an eye!

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 4383 days

#12 posted 02-19-2008 02:00 AM

What a beautiful bed. You did an outstanding job on it. Thanks for sharing.

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View grovemadman's profile


556 posts in 4380 days

#13 posted 02-19-2008 02:01 AM

Nice bed, I’ve been wanting to make one like it for some time. I like the color of the finish you chose! Your nightstands on your next post are great too!

-- --Chuck

View Tim Pursell's profile

Tim Pursell

499 posts in 4391 days

#14 posted 02-19-2008 02:43 AM

Scott Bryan, count again there are 66 sq spindles two tenons on each—thats 132 mortice & tenons right there. The rails, top & bottom are tenoned in each end, thats 8 more. Then the side rails have BIG tenons pluged int each leg—-4 more. An even gross. Phwew, Im tired just counting them, no wonder I took a year off!! lol


View JLYoung's profile


32 posts in 4390 days

#15 posted 02-19-2008 03:05 AM

Very nice bed. Love the heavy legs and the great joinery idea. That one never occured to me while I was building mine. I looked at the traditional bed bolts with the little dangling cap but covering it with a fake through tenon is stroke of genious. How to you like the lock miter bit. Any problems getting the setup right to make a tight joint? I’ve never used one but was considering it for the Stickley “quadrilinear post”. Any tips on it’s use?

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