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View grub32's profile

Bed build help...

by grub32
posted 12-30-2011 04:54 PM


22 replies so far

View DS's profile

DS

3320 posts in 2954 days


#1 posted 12-30-2011 05:10 PM

You will want solid posts as opposed to hollow ones that mitered corners would make.
The head and foot boards need to be sturdy and the bed rail to corner post joint will take an enormous amount of stress.

A large mortise and tenon joint, or perhaps a commercially made metal connector to secure the bed rails to the corner posts are necessary here.
This is not the place to “whimp out” because you have 4/4 stock. Glue it up solid. Dress the edges to hide the 4/4 if you want.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 3608 days


#2 posted 12-30-2011 06:47 PM

A am also about to build a bed. I have the lumber and the plans pretty well worked out in my head (I never use published plans).

My bed will also have big, heavy duty corner posts (3.5×3.5) and they will be solid (glued up) wood. In my case, I will be gluing up some 8/4 lumber.

DS251 is correct about the importance of a solid connection between the rails and the posts. Yet, you need to be able to dismantle this connection to take the bed down. I’ve decided to use 2 conventional bed bolts at each post. I’m going to add a decorative piece on the outside of each post that covers both holes. It will pivot in the center to expose both holes.

As an FYI – I am a real “no hardware” woodworker. Yet, for this connection, I can’t think of a way to avoid hardware. However, I will have no visible hardware.

My wife’s birthday is March 9th – so I need to get started shortly.

If curious – I don’t follow any published plans, but I am inspired by this bed and something like this is what I will make with bubinga and curly maple. I have purchased some stunning waterfall bubinga for this project.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/Gallery/GalleryImage.aspx?id=27538

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View DS's profile

DS

3320 posts in 2954 days


#3 posted 12-30-2011 06:54 PM

Rich, With a large mortise and tenon joint from the rails to the posts, you can pin the tenons to the posts with removeable bolts from the inside face of the head and foot boards. This is usually strong enough without using commercial brackets.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View casual1carpenter's profile

casual1carpenter

354 posts in 3009 days


#4 posted 12-30-2011 07:36 PM

Grub, correct me if I’m wrong but you want to do this?

Just my thought but you are talking a lot of precision work here, a little off angle, a little cup, a little wander, etc and you might not get the results you desire. I understand you wish to hide the glue joints in addition to using material already on hand. Depending on the woods individual characteristics, I think the grain is going to show the joint to the informed people.
My ex would not have gotten mad if I spent a little money on her birthday, and you still have some of your stock to build something else.

View casual1carpenter's profile

casual1carpenter

354 posts in 3009 days


#5 posted 12-30-2011 08:17 PM

DS251, I wonder if one could adapt your M&T post to rail thought by using a double mortice and a separate tenon / spline glued into the post, perhaps with additional pinning or other.

The dowels could likely remain unglued and driven out to dismantle this connection to take the bed down. Granted they would need to be tight and if driven too many times would become loose.

View casual1carpenter's profile

casual1carpenter

354 posts in 3009 days


#6 posted 12-30-2011 08:28 PM

WudnHevn has a valid point I believe, found references to Bird’s Mouth Spars for sail boats. It’s more that I do not trust glue and a simple miter joint that much, and there is also the point of rail attachment to consider.

View grub32's profile

grub32

215 posts in 3582 days


#7 posted 12-30-2011 10:07 PM

Well I think I will use the stock i have and face the ends so it doesn’t look like it was glued. I appreciate all the insight.

Grub

-- Educator by Day, Wood Butcher by Night!!

View Les 's profile

Les

201 posts in 3224 days


#8 posted 12-31-2011 02:39 PM

Solid glue up posts are the ONLY way to go. With good glue joints, it will be hard to detect after finish. As far as Rail hardware this is the only way to go. You can’t see them once the bed is put together and the more weight you put on the bed the tighter they get.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2003269/3200/Bed-Rail-Fastener.aspx

Here is a photo of installation in the foot board post.

-- Stay busy....Stay young

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4541 posts in 3608 days


#9 posted 12-31-2011 03:58 PM

Les,

I have seriously considered that type of rail hardware. My fear is that this type of hardware can bind and it can be very hard to take the bed apart.

Is there a brand that you use that is less prone to binding?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Les 's profile

Les

201 posts in 3224 days


#10 posted 12-31-2011 04:22 PM

Rich,

No, I have always used this one. I have never had a problem with binding, just a slight blow under the bed rail and off it comes. I have seen movers use a short length of wood and sit one end on the floor and drop the rail on it. It pops right off. For the cost you can order a set and play around with them.

-- Stay busy....Stay young

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3503 days


#11 posted 12-31-2011 07:49 PM

My thoughts on mitering the legs together are that you are either very optimistic, or exceptionally gifted. I would make the legs out of solid. For connecting rails to legs I’d use knock down hardware, or a bolt in an insert with half moon washers:
http://www.scfhardware.co.uk/product.php/242/1/bf10yp_easy_fix_bed_fitting/9ffce1ad89372708bed4996311e13465
http://www.scfhardware.co.uk/product.php/248/0/nut08_m8_nut_zp

View TJU's profile

TJU

72 posts in 3190 days


#12 posted 12-31-2011 08:26 PM

I just made a bed last spring with 3.5” posts. I debated the same things. I decided that I didn’t want to fuss with the miters becasue it is hard to clamp and I also made it hollow. I have no regrets in how it’s made. I used bed bolt to connect the rails and the bed is solid. If you are concerned about it’s strength you can glue blocks inside were the mortises and bolts are. I ended up makingthe legs with 2 of the sides rabbeted so they fit together with good long grain gluing. after 1/16” round over on the edges you can’t see the glue lines unless you get close and look for them. It is something like what you would do with white oak legs. If you can tell me how to insert a sketchup drawing I can show you my leg.

Tim

-- Although the voices aren't real they have some pretty good ideas.

View grub32's profile

grub32

215 posts in 3582 days


#13 posted 12-31-2011 08:27 PM

That is the hqdware that I bought from woodcraft yesterday. I feel that mitering the legs would not be a monumental task…at least not as difficult as you make it out to be.I am only worried about it’s strength and this the reason I will glue em up and veneer the faces.

Can I tell you that I love my domino for this type of work.

Thanks again,

Grub

-- Educator by Day, Wood Butcher by Night!!

View grub32's profile

grub32

215 posts in 3582 days


#14 posted 12-31-2011 08:30 PM

Tim, I would love to see the drawing. I would assume you can save it as a jpg and load it to a photo site and insert the link…if you can’t do it send it to me and I will create the link for you to post.

Grub

-- Educator by Day, Wood Butcher by Night!!

View BobAtl's profile

BobAtl

49 posts in 3226 days


#15 posted 12-31-2011 08:46 PM

I’m thinking about building a “big girl bed” for my great niece and appreciate the info y’all have shared here.

I was at the Rockler store this morning and they also have several hardware options for attaching bed rails. I’ll probably go with one of theirs. Just thought I’d throw that in the discussion as another source/option to consider.

-- Bob, Atlanta

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3503 days


#16 posted 12-31-2011 08:47 PM

You wudnhn’t understand. Maybe gifted was the wrong choice of word. Perhaps I should have said “you would want to have a lot of time on your hands”.
This is much more complicated than a candle holder or ‘rustic mantlepiece’.
All four sides of each leg would have to be machined to exactly the same width and planed at precisely 45 deg.
Edge 1 on each piece has to be done on the jointer, so there’s a lot of work in even preparing the first edge.
Then, to ensure that each piece is perfectly parallel and the same width, they have to go thru the thicknesser, so you’d have to make a jig to run the piece at the right (45 deg) angle.
You couldn’t do edge 2 on the jointer as you would never get exactly the same width on all four sides.
So you’ve already spent five times longer than it would have taken to make solid legs at this point, and you still have to glue it together. These legs are going to dominoed together, so there’s another process to add to the mix. Then add the poplar core. Even with dominos, this is an awkward glue up with the potential to go wrong. You probably wouldn’t have enough cramps to do it all in one go either, so there’s some more added pain.

I hope that makes sense to you.

View TJU's profile

TJU

72 posts in 3190 days


#17 posted 12-31-2011 09:04 PM

I found a part of the post in the scrap bin. I drew on the glue lines so they could be seen better. 3 of the sides are from 4/4 and one is from 6/4. Thats just what I had. The bed bolts are in the 6/4 side and are covered by the fake tennon.

-- Although the voices aren't real they have some pretty good ideas.

View TJU's profile

TJU

72 posts in 3190 days


#18 posted 12-31-2011 09:08 PM

My advice is to avoid the miter. I made table legs like that once and I didn’t enjoy it, and the glue line is not as strong.

Here is the finished leg.

-- Although the voices aren't real they have some pretty good ideas.

View TJU's profile

TJU

72 posts in 3190 days


#19 posted 12-31-2011 09:14 PM

Adding a core just sounds like adding something that could potentially split your glue lines open. If its going to be veneered just laminate 3-4 pieces together ( or make it out of MDF;) ).

Tim

-- Although the voices aren't real they have some pretty good ideas.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 3503 days


#20 posted 12-31-2011 09:24 PM

Wud, you could probably do it with nothing but a hand saw and No 6 plane because you’re special.

View Les 's profile

Les

201 posts in 3224 days


#21 posted 12-31-2011 09:41 PM

I guess we all have our way of doing things, but I would glue up the 4/4 and go with that. A lot stronger and a lot easier. When you are done you will be the only one who knows any way.

-- Stay busy....Stay young

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2172 posts in 3384 days


#22 posted 01-01-2012 03:39 AM

Lots of good post comments here. I am currently doing two bunkbed sets. Posts are 3.75, glued up, three pieces of 5/4.

I used the Rockler hardware for attaching rails. Posts 2,3 and 4 here show some of that process. You can get 6 or 4” lengths.

There is a right side up on the female part. I note in the posts how to mark them to mortise for clearance for the hook.

I like that they bind, especially in this bunk situation. And they will always come apart with a bop or two.

I highly recommend Jeff Miller’s book on beds. He covers it all with very clear text and spot on illustrations. Check your library.

Kindly,

Lee

-- "...in his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

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