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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Walnut Victorian Spool Bed (ca.1850) Part 3 : Assembling The Bed

This is the third post concerning the bed I have been restoring and modifying to accommodate a queen size mattress. In this post, I will detail the fabrication of the rails that connect the posts for the head and foot board, the construction of the side rails, and the assembling and staining of the bed.

The first part of the post concerns the construction of the rails which connect the head and the foot board. By this I do not mean the side rails, but the fixed rails on either end of the bed. Here are these rails squared and milled to the proper dimensions:
To transition from the fixed rail to the posts, I used a cove on either end that curved down to meet the posts. This was done with a router and a cove cutting bit. I cut two coves with one pass, one on each end of the boards. To do this, I clamped the two rails together and sandwiched them between two pieces of pine which prevented the ends from tearing out with the force of the cutter. Here is a photo of the boards clamped and ready for the router:

With one pass, the router cut the cove on both boards:
Here is a photo of the boards with the clamps removed:
After cutting the coves, I created the mortise and tenon joinery to assemble the rails and the posts. Here is a photo of all of the pieces prior to glue up:
To make the side rails, I milled two Walnut boards to the proper thickness and fixed two Poplar boards to them running along the length of the boards. These Poplar boards will act as a support to the mattress. Here are two photos of the side rails after the Poplar was fixed to the Walnut boards.

Back to the head and foot board extenders, the last step was to glue up the components. Here are two photos showing the head and foot board extenders being glued up.

After the extenders were glued, They were fit to the old head and foot board to ensure a proper fit. Here are two photos of the head and foot boards with their extenders.
This photo shows all of the pieces sanded and ready for staining. The old head and foot board are the same Walnut as the new, but as Walnut oxidizes, it turns lighter in color and has a orange color. With the use of stain, I can match the two different colors.
The photo below shows the bed after all of the components were stained.
After staining, I attached the new bed hardware to the bed and assembled everything. I also cut two pieces of 3/4 inch plywood to support the mattress instead of a box spring. Details of the head and foot board assembled with the plywood support installed can be seen below.


This photo shows one slat that I made that mortises into the center between the two side rails. This acts as a support for the two sheets of plywood where the ends butt against each other. The plywood is also supported by the legs described earlier.
Here is a photo of the 3/4 Size bed set up with the new side rails.
This side view shows the bed with the extenders set up to accommodate a queen size mattress.
The next post will show the completed bed!

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