First Furniture Project - Rustic Bed - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
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post #1 of 3 Old 02-09-2012, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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First Furniture Project - Rustic Bed

I am getting married in May and I would like to build a bed for my future wife as a wedding gift. I have done some small woodworking projects in the past and think this is a good first furniture project. I saw a photo of a bed that I would like to build, but I'm not sure how I should get started. Do any of you experts have suggestions to make this project successful? How would you construct the headboard? What is the best way to assemble the completed bed frame? Thank you all in advance for your advice.
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post #2 of 3 Old 02-11-2012, 09:17 AM
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I would start with accumulating some dead fallen tree branches from the same species roughly the same size and laying them out until you get the pattern you like. Depending on how thick the bark is on the branches, you might be able to use a potato peeler or just use a sharp knife and skin the bark off. The knife marks can be sanded off. After the bark has been stripped the branches should dry pretty quickly. After the bark has been stripped you will be able to see what the color and grain looks like. Better if you know the species of the tree but having the limbs raw wood, you can select a lumber species that best matches the grain and color of the branches.

Now go ahead and build your bed frame and dry assembly the headboard and footboard. Then lay out your branches over the front of it in and mark each branch with a number from left to right so you know how they assembly. Imagine each branch going into the frame an inch and put a mark 1" from the edge of the frame on the limb. Also draw the size and angle of the branch on the bed rail. If your smallest branch measures 3/4" in diameter use a 3/4" paddle bit and drill holes in the rails. You would drill it in the center of the rail and be careful to match the angle you have drawn when you made your layout. Now that you have all the holes drilled the use a sharp knife and whittle the ends of the branches round and 3/4" in diameter as close to a dowel as you can. When this is completed dry assembly the branches with the bed rails and see if the bed posts still line up with the rails. If so you should be ready to assembly. If not you may need to drill the holes a little deeper or whittle on one or more branches to fine tune it. When you assembly don't go to heavy with the glue on the limbs. Since they will be a little out of round the glue will run out all over the place and make a glue stain. Anyway if the frame of the bed stays together the branches would stay in no glue unless one was broken.
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post #3 of 3 Old 02-11-2012, 10:44 AM
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You might want some strong branches since you'll be using them as hand holds in a rather aggressive fashion as a newly wed, just sayin. Bed bolts are a good choice for connecting head and foot boards to the bed frame. They will allow you to tighten things up as the wood changes with humidity, lessen the squeaking, as well as allow taking the bed apart for moving. One issue may be finding 4x4s that are dry enough so they won't twist, warp or check. Looks like a white pine frame. I'd probably go with 1 1/4" hickory branches.
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