In my last post, I began building a bed frame from quarter-sawn cherry.
The next day, I realized that I had made my first major mistake:
I thought that the glue joints between the posts and the sides of the panels were a couple of nice, tight joints. But when I took off the clamps, I found I was wrong.
Not one, but both joints had gaps I could stick my fingernail into. I knew I couldn’t ignore that, especially not on a piece of furniture that I hope to see every day for the next 30 or 40 years! I really didn’t want to try to match putty, since the wood will significantly darken over time. That, and I wasn’t sure how deep the gaps went. The back side of the joint looked tight (figures!), but I didn’t want to risk leaving a weak point in a structurally critical joint.
So I did something I have never done before. I sawed my joint apart and started again.
From what I could tell after I sawed it open, the original gap wasn’t very deep, maybe 1/8″, and probably not a structural problem, but I’m glad I re-did this one, even if it cost me some time.
That looks a lot better to me.
Later, the same afternoon, I finally got to the fun part: plowing the grooves in the rails and stiles with my new plow plane!
And here she is, with all the boards she handled. It’s the first time I’ve used this plane for any length of time, and I did all of these grooves on one sharpening. Man, that A2 steel holds an edge!
And now, so as to make this whole process less abstract, here is how the head board is going to be laid out:
I’ll have three panels, roughly 16″ wide and 20″ high, though I’m going to cut the mortises and tenons in the frame and get that all assembled first before measuring for the panels, just so I have an exact fit. Of course, I’ll be using haunched tenons to join the top rail to the posts, but otherwise this is going to be pretty straightforward joinery, so I’ll spare you the process pics of the M&T cutting (unless something goes drastically wrong or unbelievably right). Once I get those cut and dry-fitted, this is going to start looking more like a head board.
The rails on the head board will also be drawbored. I thought about using cherry pegs, for matching, but finally I decided I should use pecan pegs since they’ll be much less likely to break, and I have what seems like an inexhaustible supply of pecan billets right now.