Sunday, September 30, 2012

Steve's Bed

For the last couple months, my project was to make a bed for my son to last him the rest of his life. It needed to be sturdy. I wanted it to have storage. It should be neutral to go with many decors, but interesting on its own.

I had the basic design. Two boxes for the sides, simple head and foot boards, toe kick frame underneath to prevent things from rolling under the bed. I was planning to make it from poplar and plywood, painted with a black and white motif. Jeff convinced me to make it from brown, wormy maple. It's harder than poplar, interesting in its own right, and less expensive.

Steve already has a maple changing table, so it would kinda fit in. Not an exact match, but he likely won't be taking his changing table with him.

Because of its solid design, I made the bed in five main pieces: two side boxes, head board, foot board, and frame. The boxes overhang the frame and are kept aligned with blocking along the inside edge. The boards have threaded inserts match drilled to through holes at the box ends, so the boards are bolted from the inside and no hardware shows from the outside. Each box is designed with three compartments, the middle one having a shelf at mid height.

The maple is finished with a light stain and several coats of acrylic. Lighting sanding it by hand using 320 grit made for a smooth finish. Steve still needs a bed that is easy to clean.

Overall, it was a good project. One that I am very proud of. It was, also, a real pain to do the final assembly since the inserts have a way for not setting in perpendicular to the wood face. Matching those up blind, while on your hands and knees and hoisting an eighty pound box with one hand made for good exercise but left me surly, too. It was quite the work out to move those pieces up two flights of stairs from my basement to his room. I didn't have the luxury of doing the box assembly upstairs, like I did for my bathroom, because these pieces were bigger and required more woodworking.

Hope calls it Frankenstein's Bed due to its massive, Gothic styling.

Now it's done and I can start worrying about my next project - reflooring and painting the house. I already have the wood on order and am scheduled to pick up my first batch in a couple weeks. Yikes!

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