Is mortise and tenon best joint for bed headboard? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-14-2016, 09:27 AM Thread Starter
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Is mortise and tenon best joint for bed headboard?

I'm making a new one to replace current and it's king size that will look like the one in the picture.

For the horizontal boards fitting into the posts is mortise and tenon the best way to go?

With the horizontal boards being around 81" what is the best way to cut tenons?

Do you think the horizontal boards just being glued together like a cutting board will be good or should I consider tongue and groove?
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post #2 of 16 Old 09-14-2016, 09:53 AM
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M &T joints for the base frame will be best. As for the headboard, you can use butt joints or T & G.
The headboard does not have to be M & T'd into the post.
The bed pictured is made from construction grade lumber. The thick dimensions will be strong but construction grade lumber will shrink on you. Lock the M &T joints on the frame with a hidden screw or a dowel from the backside.
Construction grade lumber usually looks better painted than stained imo.
Good luck.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #3 of 16 Old 09-14-2016, 01:15 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
M &T joints for the base frame will be best. As for the headboard, you can use butt joints or T & G.
The headboard does not have to be M & T'd into the post.
The bed pictured is made from construction grade lumber. The thick dimensions will be strong but construction grade lumber will shrink on you. Lock the M &T joints on the frame with a hidden screw or a dowel from the backside.
Construction grade lumber usually looks better painted than stained imo.
Good luck.
I'm using spalted maple that has been kiln dried.
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post #4 of 16 Old 09-14-2016, 03:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevortdogR View Post
I'm using spalted maple that has been kiln dried.
Good. That will be a big improvement over the construction grade lumber pictured.
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If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-14-2016, 04:19 PM
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If it were mine ...

I would use butt joints and glue on the head board, no dowels T&G or biscuits. Just joint the edges to get them square and straight.... no easy task on boards that long.

Lacking a jointer, I would use my straight line rip jig, and lacking one of those, a hand plane a constant mating of the the edges to insure a good "gap free" joint. This won't be easy either way regardless of how you do it. The reason I'm recommending a large panel in a mortise is to prevent racking under "high stress" activities. IYKWIM.

OR you can also just use long angle brackets on the back side and screw the head board to the posts allowing for some season expansion in the screw holes. This would be less work than a mortise, but requires a drill press and some filing to elongate the screw holes.

Mortise and tenons on all the frame members as well OR you can use the common metal brackets that you push down to lock into position from Rockler or other bed hardware sources. They still require a small mortise to set the bracket flush... I donno?"

The Spalted Maple should be just great looking!

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #6 of 16 Old 09-14-2016, 05:27 PM
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A mortise and tenon joint is best to join almost anything, especially the through mortise and tenon. It's just a lot of work most folks aren't willing to do. The panel in the headboard I would let if float loose though. You don't need the headache of wood movement making it crack.
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post #7 of 16 Old 09-14-2016, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
I would use butt joints and glue on the head board, no dowels T&G or biscuits. Just joint the edges to get them square and straight.... no easy task on boards that long.

Lacking a jointer, I would use my straight line rip jig, and lacking one of those, a hand plane a constant mating of the the edges to insure a good "gap free" joint. This won't be easy either way regardless of how you do it. The reason I'm recommending a large panel in a mortise is to prevent racking under "high stress" activities. IYKWIM.

OR you can also just use long angle brackets on the back side and screw the head board to the posts allowing for some season expansion in the screw holes. This would be less work than a mortise, but requires a drill press and some filing to elongate the screw holes.

Mortise and tenons on all the frame members as well OR you can use the common metal brackets that you push down to lock into position from Rockler or other bed hardware sources. They still require a small mortise to set the bracket flush... I donno?"

The Spalted Maple should be just great looking!
I have a jointer so I'm good there.

This is just a headboard I'm making, I'm not making rails or a footboard. I will match up current bolt holes of headboard with the posts I'm making so I can just fasten new headboard without any issue.
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post #8 of 16 Old 09-14-2016, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
A mortise and tenon joint is best to join almost anything, especially the through mortise and tenon. It's just a lot of work most folks aren't willing to do. The panel in the headboard I would let if float loose though. You don't need the headache of wood movement making it crack.
Is beadlock or domino is what you mean by "float loose"?
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post #9 of 16 Old 09-14-2016, 06:13 PM
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The original post was misleading. A picture was shown with the post saying you wanted to build a bed like the picture. Hours later it is revised that it will not look at all like the picture. It will be made from different wood and will be a headboard only.
The responses were initially wasted trying to follow the original post.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #10 of 16 Old 09-14-2016, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevortdogR View Post
Is beadlock or domino is what you mean by "float loose"?
No, float loose means the panel is just loose in a groove like that of a panel in a cabinet door. The beadlock or domino is a far cry from mortise and tenon.
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post #11 of 16 Old 09-14-2016, 10:29 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Neul View Post
No, float loose means the panel is just loose in a groove like that of a panel in a cabinet door. The beadlock or domino is a far cry from mortise and tenon.
I see, that makes sense.
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post #12 of 16 Old 09-14-2016, 10:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toolman50 View Post
The original post was misleading. A picture was shown with the post saying you wanted to build a bed like the picture. Hours later it is revised that it will not look at all like the picture. It will be made from different wood and will be a headboard only.
The responses were initially wasted trying to follow the original post.
Sorry my post was misleading to you. I thought with the heading of the thread I created was specific about a headboard and the picture was just to show the style I am building it after.
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post #13 of 16 Old 09-23-2016, 06:57 PM
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Agree with Steve. Besides m&t isn't all that much more work and helps align everything at glue up. Through tenon have to be much more precise so I have yet to do one of those but will...
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post #14 of 16 Old 09-26-2016, 06:08 PM Thread Starter
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Agree with Steve. Besides m&t isn't all that much more work and helps align everything at glue up. Through tenon have to be much more precise so I have yet to do one of those but will...
The only problem with m&t would be cutting the tenons on the long horizontal parts.
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post #15 of 16 Old 09-26-2016, 07:18 PM
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Exactly!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrevortdogR View Post
The only problem with m&t would be cutting the tenons on the long horizontal parts.
Easier to use "loose" tenons, but making mortises in end grain ain't all that easy either. Lesser of two evils kinda.... A bandsaw with end supports would be a great way to make them on long lengths and it's the way I make them regardless of length.

I made a Mission style headboard using mortise and tenons with plugs to secure them. You may find something useful in the build thread:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/mi...d-build-37911/

The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)
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post #16 of 16 Old 09-27-2016, 04:50 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodnthings View Post
Easier to use "loose" tenons, but making mortises in end grain ain't all that easy either. Lesser of two evils kinda.... A bandsaw with end supports would be a great way to make them on long lengths and it's the way I make them regardless of length.

I made a Mission style headboard using mortise and tenons with plugs to secure them. You may find something useful in the build thread:
http://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/mi...d-build-37911/
I don't have a bandsaw.
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