Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pencil Post Bed - Cherry - Part 1

A few years ago I decided to undertake a project that I thought would be no problem; a King sized pencil post bed. After all, it' only had 9 pieces, how hard could it be? Well, the challenge with this bed was the fact that I had not dealt with single pieces of wood this large as a finished size. First, it is important to note that all the pieces are made from a single piece of solid cherry, not pieces glued together to make thicker pieces. The posts were made from 12/4 cherry, to a finished size of 2.5"x2.5" and the rails from 6/4 cherry, to a finished size of 1.5"x6". Selecting the stock was tricky because I needed to find pieces wide enough, long enough, and relatively straight enough; I needed as straight of grain stock as I could find.

So, after picking through stock at my local lumber store, Peach State Lumber, I came home with this stash.
From PencilPostBed

The pieces were pretty straight, no curves or bows in them, but they did have a cup in them. With all pieces having a finished length of over 70+", they were too big for my power tools so it was off to hand tools. I started by hand planing one side as flat as possible, then I could feed it through my power planer. This is the setup for hand planing them flat.
From PencilPostBed

You can see in this picture below how I use chalk to keep up with my progress, while also checking with a square. Anywhere chalk shows up, I know there is still more to be taken away.
From PencilPostBed

Finally! After a couple days of planing, and thinking my arms were going to fall off, I have a flat side.
From PencilPostBed

Now that I had one flat side, I could use my power planer to do the other side and go to final thickness. I had to use some out feed supports due to the length.
From PencilPostBed

Once I had all the pieces milled to thickness, it was back to the hand plane to flatten and smooth one edge.
From PencilPostBed

Once that edge was smooth, I could rip the pieces on the table saw to near finished width, leaving myself a little room for cleanup with a hand plane again.

That takes care of the milling of all the wood. In the next part, I will talk about the process of creating the pencil tapers, and how nerve racking that was, as well as creating the lambs tongue detail.

3 comments:

  1. wow. . .really interesting procedure. . .thanks a lot for showing it to me...keep it up. .
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