Sunday, July 29, 2012

Let's taper these posts

Once I cut all of the mortises - for both the bed hardware, as well as the headboard and footboard - it was time to taper the posts. Taper jigs are a little frustrating - I've never found one I've really bonded with, nor have I ever seen a shop built one that was built to last. They take a little bit of trial and error to set up.

And in this case, these bed posts were so thick, I had to make two cuts on each post to get through the 4.5" thickness. It wasn't hard, I had to use the taper jig once, to cut the leg normally, from one side. Then reverse it to cut the other side.

That was a little scary, and one of my fellow tenants snuck up behind me while I was cutting and nearly gave me a heart attack. Those second, reversed cuts took a little extra concentration, that's for sure.

Here are the footboard posts being tapered.

And the taller headboard posts.

This is how they will eventually sit, when the bed is assembled.

I attached the side rails to the posts and set the bed up, to get a dimension for the headboard and footboard rails.

My supply of Sassafras boards was dwindling - and I chose the best four boards left to complete the bed.

The only piece that required gluing was the wide headboard piece, so I glued and clamped it together.

Then I started on the other pieces while it dried. The footboard was was easy - I cut it to length, and then machined some tenons on the end, using a straight bit on the router table. Normally - this would be a pretty dicey cut to do by myself - but this wood is light, and it's easy to handle a long board, even by myself.

The footboard fit into the post mortises perfectly - my next step will be to add a bit of carving on the footboard.

Here's what I have in mind.

I love playing with fonts and layouts on my computer, and when I get everything right, I rubber cement it to the wood and then carve right into the paper.

Luckily, Dennis is teaching a carving class at my shop, so I might ask for some help with this! And if I'm lucky, I'll borrow a chisel or two from his amazing collection.

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