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As my feet began to hang over the edge of my old bunk bed (I’m sixteen), I decided to build myself a new bed. I built the bed primarily out of cherry, from my own design. I didn’t want to buy a new mattress, so I did not build in a tall footboard to allow my feet to hang over the edge. The corners are all joined with mortise and tenons, but only the head and foot are glued together, to facilitate it being taken apart to move. I bought special Allen bolts for the lengthwise joints, because I wanted a nice clean look without having to make a lot of plugs. I also mortised a crosspiece across the center of the bed, in order to better support the sheet of plywood and keep it from sagging. The main support for the plywood consists of pieces of poplar that I glued and screwed into grooves I routed on the rails and stiles. I went to such lengths because I was worried about the grain direction of some of the cherry, as it went diagonally across the thickness of the board in some places, making it prone to breaking. I wanted big, beefy legs, so I laminated four 3/4 inch thick x 3 inch boards to create 3 inch square legs. To make the bent lamination in the headboard, I first created a form out of MDF. Then I laminated a two inch square piece of cherry, and cut it into strips on the bandsaw. I took several extra short pieces of cherry and added some walnut to make a nice accent. I glued up the lamination in stages around the form, and with lots of clamps. I added the lamination to the headboard with a mortise and angled tenon. This wood had a lot of tearout and other problems that I spent a lot of time fixing with a handplane, scrapers, and sandpaper. I didn’t mind too much, though, as I got all the wood (a lot more than I needed) from a friend. I brushed on several coats of thin shellac, sanding between coats. Then I applied wax with steel wool and buffed it out with a rag. The bed is a little creaky, but overall I am very happy with how it turned out.
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