Sunday, April 16, 2017

queen size bed iii (fin)

continuation from part ii I Used P. Galbert's chair finishing schedule from his delightful book "Chairmaker's Notebook". It involves a layering technique of red milk paint and then black, with a burnishing to let the red eep through in spots. then a topcoat of thinned out oil poly. the paint i used was general finishes' which comes really too thick from the can so i water it down a lot to get it to that inky texture that Peter discusses. it's a lot of work and was a good practice.
Picking up from last log entry, I am now fitting the stretchers to the footboard and headboard sections (which were previously mortised before glue-up. This being poplar it was not too hard to get them driven home.
Here's a detail of my glueup plan for the foot board (which is how i did the headboard's lower stretcher, too). These will be pegged as well just to be damn sure
I wanted this pic included to illustrate how i drilled the holes into the stretchers, using a long 3/8 bit and the post's predrilled holes as a guide. I took the time to build some clamping blocks to attach to the rails so that they would hold the assembly together after It ahd been squared up. worth the time, and it worked a treat, actually. i was sweating this a bit.
I neglected taking a pic of the frame with the red undercoat...probably too caught up in the fact that i was painting something so big, so it is with a few coats of black-ink
and here i'm burnishing the black to just skim off a bit of the high spots. there are some wobbly places from the spoke shave that reveal my familial tremor. just have to roll with it. i like the tool marks, as long as they add to the overall effect. nice little scallops out of the wood that really show in this finishing technique.
Mr. Jonas Jensen's blog here discusses aging hardware using the acid from burning onions with your hardware to age it. I tried and like the results. Basically i just heated up my bolts really hot on the stove, and then caked them with some minced onion, 'quenching' them a bit. I returned them caked with onion to the flame and it really did burn those bolts nice and brown. I love carmelized onions.
Here it is installed. I built it maybe 2" too long and will have to adjust at some point. We are getting a fancy new mattress delivered on Thursday, so i will wait until it's here before making any final revisions to these rails!
Oh, PS, I built this "spine" for the mid-span support of the slats. Queen sized beds are 60" wide so it's too long a reach to do without some sort of post to keep things level. this was skrewed to the slats


  1. If you have to shorten the 'rails' to accommodate the new mattress, then I suppose that you'll just saw them (the rails off - let's say at the foot end of the bed - and then shorten the bolts as well. Is that the plan?

    What goes over the bolt heads? in their countersink holes?

    This is simply a gorgeous piece!

    The coloring has got to be like a stain - it goes deep into the wood so that over the years, wear on the edges will not reveal the layering of different solutions, right?

    Are the slats fastened into the rails? But they are screwed into the mid-span 'spine'

    The bed looks quite sturdy which is always an additional comfort after a hard day in the office and a relay/ricochet on public transportation, eh?

  2. Thanks pop - luckily I did not have to shorten the rails. The only place where the slats are attached is at the spine.

    I'm not planning to plug the holes...The caps would probably just get lost anyway...

    The edges and toolmarks are already burnished to reveal the red underneath...That was the effect I was going for anyway :-)