Friday, November 29, 2013

Finished Cherry Pencil Post Bed

This king size pencil post bed made it to the New York City area last week. Below are a few shots of the finished bed.  
posts and top cross pieces ready for loading into the car
My signature, date and weather when finished, on the back side of the headboard.
a bed, too big to photograph properly.  photoshop?

My slat system that supports the mattress.

The rail to post bolts that I use on all of my beds.  Very strong.

Right now in the shop, I am busy on a Farm House Bed, a Painted Pencil Post Bed, and a couple of  New Waltham Side Chairs.

It should be getting a bit warmer tomorrow.
Enjoy the rest of the holiday weekend.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pencil Post Bed Progress

Fitting a headboard for a pencil post bed can be a challenge since the posts are not straight and as you can see in the picture below, the joining face on the post can not be scribed directly from the post to the headboard stock.  That was a long sentence.

 Below, you can see the cutout and joint marked in pencil and a spline is bent to create the curve of the top edge of the headboard.

The shot below shows the headboard joint during the first test assembly.  The post is not yet sanded.

Here is the whole bed, minus the top cross pieces.
Finished photos will come soon.  As you can see, it can be difficult to set up a king size bed in my shop. Photographing it is much harder.

This bed is getting it's final wax coat today and will head to the New York City area early tomorrow morning. 
Enjoy the cold.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Making the Pencil Posts for a cherry king size bed

Making pencil post is one of my favorite jobs that I do.  The post that runs as a square for about 2' (depending on the finished height of the mattress) and then transitions into an eight sided taper to the top is a very complex piece to create.   It starts with machine accuracy as the four posts are milled out square, drilled at one end with a registration hole, and tapered on four sides on the table saw with a jig that is only used to that purpose.  Then the fun starts.

The spar-makers scribe scratches lines that follow the taper and designate where the addition four facets will be added.  I have been using this same scribing tool for about 27 years ever since Tom Kiley showed me how to make one after learning from an article in WoodenBoat magazine.  I started my professional furniture making career while working for Tom in Charlotte, Vermont in 1986.  

Anyway, this tool was originally used to help make a tapering sailing ship spar even as it was cut with hand tools.    In the case of the pencil post, we are leaving the facets on the post.  If I wanted a rounded taper, I would just plane off all of the edges of the facets. The spar makers scribe is pictured below. The tiny points between the pegs are the scribes.

Back to beds.  In the image below I am carving the fair curve of the lamb's tongue with a straight chisel.  It takes a lot of practice to get this right but it is the best way to make this transitional part from facet to square.

The images below are of a completed lamb's tongue and facet.  At the bottom is a video of finishing a facet with a hand plane.

Back to the shop to get this bed done.

Enjoy the darker evenings with the clocks changed back an hour.  Personally, I'd rather that they did not change it so that I could get more done outside in the afternoons.