Shaker Inspired Cherry Bed
This project for our guest room is based on tradiational Shaker beds but is my own interpretation. Turning the cherry posts was great fun and used the absolute maximum length of my Delta midi lathe, about 42″ (with a bed extension). It is finished with five coats of a hand-rubbed varnish-oil mix.
Our guest room needed a new bed. My wife looked at commercially available models but balked at the cost. I kept saying "I could make that..." She eventually made me prove it. Bed is solid cherry (except for pine slats).
The queen size bed is made from 5/4 cherry with 12/4 for posts and 1x6 pine from the orange box store for the slats. The bed is held together using traditional bed bolts. Since these pictures were taken, I have added some teardrop-shaped covers (made from cherry) for the bolt holes in the posts.
For extra support, my design uses a center support and a turned center post underneath. I looked a several historic Shaker designs before deciding on the features of my own. The turned posts draw directly from a traditional Shaker design vocabulary, as do the square spindles in the head and foot boards.
The slats are kept in place with pegs that key into slots in the ends of each slat. the bed is designed to use without a box spring, so essentially it is a platform bed design. the dark color of the pegs is from walnut, not ebony!
Lots of mortises! I planned to use a hollow chisel mortiser for all of these, but the pieces were too tall to fit under the chisel. Rather than look for some kind of modification, I ended up drilling the waste and cleaning up the holes with a corner chisel. Spindle tenons were cut on the table saw with a dado blade. Including the spindles, head/footboards, and sides, the bed has 52 mortises.