Queen size bed from 2x4 lumberThis article also avalable in French
I wanted to build a bed for a friend. I started out with these plans, but ended up making a few changes along the way.
I bought a bunch of 2x8s and 2x10s. The bed uses a lot of 2x3 lumber, but 2x10s come from larger trees and tend to be much better quality lumber.
Also flattening and straightening the edges on the jointer.
Then cutting it to length. With the wood sticking this far out from the side of the sled, I have to hold it down near the blade to keep it from tipping off the saw. A sliding miter saw would be useful, but I don't have one, nor do I have room for one.
In my minimal-tool bed build I assembled the legs after joining them to the headboard so I could free-hand drill a dowel hole through both parts. But this time, I didn't go for minmal tools, and it was more convenient to glue up the legs before joining them to the headboard.
I figured it would be nice to add some curves to the top of the headboard. I made a printout of half the profile using my BigPrint program and traced that onto the wood by pressing hard on the pencil, leaving an indentation in the wood.
I'm joining the legs to the head and foot boards using "floating tenons", basically a tenon that goes into a mortise on either side. Sort of like Festool Dominoes but bigger. I made the floating tenon parts by routing a half-round on either side of a 1/2" thick strip of oak.
Then routing out the slot mortises in the headboard posts using my slot mortiser. I don't use the slot mortiser very much since I built the pantorouter, but it does a really nice job of slot mortises, and it's fast to set up.
At nearly 5' (1.5m) in length, the workpieces overhang the machine quite a bit, though still ok without additional support. The workpiece stays stationary, so I could add extra support if needed.
I'm gluing blocks of wood between the slats to help keep the slats in place.
I cut a bit off the thickness off the ends of the slats, so they would sit a bit lower in the bed frame. I used the "top" of the slats as a reference surface against the fence, except I had to use a block of wood between the workpiece and the fence so I could then curve the cut out of the wood.
Now back to working on the head and foot board. All the exposed edges get a 1/4" roundover. I did some of this with the pieces still dry fit, so I wouldn't accidentally route an edge that joints another piece.
Then routing a 1/2" (12mm) roundover to three edges of the headboard posts. The horizontal boards of the headboard join flush with the back edge, so the inside back edge of the headboard posts doesn't get a roundover.
I drilled a pilot hole through both parts, then screwed it together using 2.5" long #10 wood screws.
After that I took it all apart for varnishing. I screwed a piece of wood to the side of the headboard so it could stand on its own. The other pieces I had resting on my table saw while I varnished them. I applied two inside of the frame, three coats to the other surfaces, and a fourth coat to the front of the headboard, which is more likely to get wear.
And here it is again, four years later in 2019. The bed had been moved to a different room because that room was turned into a second nursery room. Rachel and I actually got to sleep on it while visiting Ottawa.
Mike White sent me pictures of his king size bed, built the same way.
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