Mission style bed - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 11-17-2008, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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Mission style bed

This is a work in progress...

I'm building a king-size mission style bed from African mahogany, as well as a matching nightstand. I've built a number of these from oak, but when my wife said she wanted to get rid of the queen and get a king I saw an opportunity to do something different. I got quite a bit of African mahogany that has some pretty crazy figure to it.

The bed isn't glued up yet, just dry fit to check everything. Now I have to take it all apart, face plane some burn marks off some of the slats, and use the block plane to chamfer every sharp edge.

In the past I've always used lots of biscuits to join the headboard/footboard stretchers to the legs but decided to do it right this time and use large mortises and tenons.

This is also the first time I've used a doweling jig for the slats, which is about the slickest thing ever! Quite a bit of layout, but it couldn't have worked better!

I use knockdown bedrail fasteners on the bedrails where they connect to the headboard and footboard.

I'll post pics as the project progresses.
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post #2 of 40 Old 11-17-2008, 07:35 PM Thread Starter
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Pics of the whole footboard. Headboard's not built yet...
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post #3 of 40 Old 11-17-2008, 07:36 PM Thread Starter
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And here's a sample of the wood with teak oil and a couple coats of wipe-on poly.
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post #4 of 40 Old 11-17-2008, 10:14 PM
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Termite: that looks absolutely awesome!!! I can't wait to see the finished project. I have built several beds, twins and queens....tell me, what are you going to use for side rail joining to the headboard/footboard posts? I've used the knock-down fasteners, never tried a through-bolt. Looks like you're thinking along the same lines, since I see no layout for a bolt hole.

Just curious, would be interested to know your thoughts.

good work, and keep the pics coming

regards,
smitty
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post #5 of 40 Old 11-17-2008, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the kind words Smitty.

I haven't ever used through bolts for joining the siderails, probably because I started with knockdown hardware on the first bed I ever built. They're super-strong and draw the joint down nice and tight when they're installed at the right depth. People always comment at how rigid the headboard is....No wiggle at the top is what I shoot for.

If I could go to the garage and not tinker with stuff, I'd be able to get the projects I undertake done a lot faster.
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post #6 of 40 Old 11-17-2008, 11:48 PM
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Termite I'm with Smitty, that is be-yoo-te-ful!!!! Man o man make sure you keep the pics coming as I too want to see the finished project. Building a bed is on my short list of projects for 2009.

John
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post #7 of 40 Old 11-18-2008, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks Jdixon. I'll definately keep the pics coming as it progresses. I'm so excited to wipe teak oil on it I can hardly contain myself.
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post #8 of 40 Old 11-18-2008, 08:56 PM
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Nice work! I love the Mission Style in furniture.....I have a set of plans for a Mission Style grandfather clock...for when I have time.

Ladwig Construction
Hennessey, Oklahoma

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post #9 of 40 Old 11-19-2008, 03:32 PM
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Omg!

Very very nice!Didnt realize that type wood came out so nice finished.
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post #10 of 40 Old 11-20-2008, 08:55 AM
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Absolutely beautiful.

It is very impressive as far as furniture design and appeal.
Its even more impressive that you can make 164 perfectly aligned dowel holes. I will never doubt you again.
I also think its great that you have pics in different stages of development.
Fantastic job.

Tony B



Retired woodworker, amongst other things, Sold full time cruising boat and now full time cruising in RV. Currently in Denison, Tx
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post #11 of 40 Old 11-20-2008, 09:04 AM
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Thekctermite You have done a great gob. I to am a great fan of mission furniture. My only problem with your work is, Now my wife said "why dont you build that for me like that nice guy did for his wife". Man oh Man I need to start hanging out with idiots so she wont expect so much from me. Great job anyway.

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post #12 of 40 Old 11-20-2008, 09:10 AM
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One more thing. When you first get marred, you can both sleep in a double bed. As time goes on you move up to a queen size. More time passes and you are in a king size bed. After a few more years you will be sleeping in two separate rooms. It is the natural proses of life. I just thought you needed a heads up.

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post #13 of 40 Old 11-20-2008, 11:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the compliments everyone, and thanks Handyman for the sage advice. The king size mattress was actually purchased for our first anniversary, so there's truth in your words. My marriage withstood a major test last night...The glue-up of that darn thing. All those little dowels make for a glue-up nightmare. She was helping me since four hands are better than two...She was the glue spreader. I did a lot of cussing because it was a real challenge to align everything and get the clamps on it before the glue dried, and she gets annoyed when I get PO'd and get loud and beligerant when working on something...I tend to talk to my projects when they don't cooperate.

I used titebond extended-open glue, and barely had time to get it done in time. Stressful. The bad thing is that I have to do it again with the headboard. I need to find some sort of glue that is slower setting, but I don't have a clue what that would be.

Tony B, the doweling jig makes the alignment of the holes really, really easy. It is self-centering, so all you have to do is make a jig, mark the slats, line up the jig and drill. Each end takes maybe 20 seconds to drill. Getting the width of the spindles right has been the biggest challenge, due in part to my weak math skills. I had to figure out a dimension that would fill the space, look right, and have the exact same spacing all the way across with no wide or narrow spots. Hey, I learned to convert fractions to decimals!
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post #14 of 40 Old 11-21-2008, 09:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thekctermite View Post
...... All those little dowels make for a glue-up nightmare....... I did a lot of cussing because it was a real challenge to align everything and get the clamps on it before the glue dried,
Here's an easy way to get all the pegs in the holes without fighting them to much. Before glueing them, make one end pointed. You can do this on a sander or even a bench grinder. Glue the flat ends of the pegs first and clean the exese glue off. Them an hours or so later glue the pointed ends and stab them in the holes. Have one end pointed makes alignment a little easyer.

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post #15 of 40 Old 11-21-2008, 12:16 PM Thread Starter
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I used pre-made dowels with the tapered ends. I do like the idea of gluing them into the stretchers ahead of time though. Might try that on the headboard.
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post #16 of 40 Old 11-24-2008, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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Here's pictures of this weekend's progress on the headboard.

This is a cross-section of the bottom stretcher that nobody will ever see. Instead of using two layers of 4/4 thick expensive stock, I used one layer of mahogany and one layer of poplar. The poplar will face the wall and can't be seen. To complete the illusion I glued a piece of mahogany over the top of the poplar so it appears to be solid mahogany from the top.
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post #17 of 40 Old 11-24-2008, 12:32 AM Thread Starter
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I did the leg-to-stretcher attachment a little different on the headboard. The mortises and tenons took a long time and were a pain, and considering they're not really structural in this application, I deemed it a waste of time. So, I went with a combination of biscuits and pocket screws. Gotta love not having to use clamps.

They'll be totally out of view unless the mattress is removed. Even so, being a sucker for clean work, I used cherry plugs. They don't match the poplar at all, but are a close match to the mahogany.
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post #18 of 40 Old 11-24-2008, 12:47 AM Thread Starter
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I also got the top cap screwed on the footboard. The top caps are pretty highly figured, and I didn't want the plugs to jump out at you. My wife was very clear that she hates the plugs and wanted to avoid them completely, but screws through the top are the strongest option with the least visible impact....So she got outvoted. I cut the plugs from the same piece of wood and worked pretty hard to match them to the figure. She's pleased, thank goodness.

The footboard is sanded to 320 and is glass smooth. I'm resisting the temptation to put the teak oil on it until I get the bedrail fasteners mortised in.
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post #19 of 40 Old 12-02-2008, 07:40 PM Thread Starter
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Here's a progress picture from the past weekend. It shows the knockdown hardware and my siderail mockup piece that I used to practice with my mortise template (background), as well as the female pieces of hardware on the bed's legs.

I assembled the siderails to the headboard and footboard. A couple raps with a soft rubber mallet does it. The headboard is over 50" tall, and it has absolutely no wiggle when the bed is assembled...Much better tighter joint than can be had with bed bolts.
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post #20 of 40 Old 12-02-2008, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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A little more progress. Tonight I couldn't take the suspense so I decided to take advantage of the 50 degree weather and get some teak oil on the footboard and one of the siderails. The headboard and the other side rail have some more sanding and detail work to do before I'm ready to finish them.

I'm pretty happy with how it looks considering how much variation there is in the color of the wood I used. I was really afraid it would be all over the map, color-wise.

Who knows when it'll be warm enough to start applying the wipe-on poly. Might have to move this project into the heated basement from the unheated garage.
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