Cherry Pencil Post Bed
This was my second bed project. It is similar in construction to another cherry bed I made for home (also here in the reader’s gallery), but this one is a very different style. I took inspiration from two Fine Woodworking articles on pencil post beds, one by Christian Becksvoort and the other by Lonnie Bird. I borrowed ideas from each article but the bed is not quite like either one featured in the articles. This bed was made for donation to a charity auction and drew a respectable winning bid.
This is a shop-made router jig I used to form the tenons on the ends of the bed rails. They were just too long and heavy to do any other way. The entire bed is solid cherry, except the index pins for the slats (walnut) and the slats themselves (pine).
Detail of the hand-cut lambs tongues where the tapers met the square section of each post. Counting the four on the center support post, there are 36 lambs tongues on the bed. I enjoyed learning how to make these.
Shaping the headboard at the bench. Note the small platform holding the closer end of the headboard even with the vise. This is a z-shaped piece that fits in a bench dog hole on the bench and then drops down to match the depth of the vise. The pile of chips is from drawknife, spokeshave, and plane work to taper the octagonal posts.
The completed bed can be configured with either finials or with a testor frame. Here it is shown with finials, and one of my wife's quilts on top to complete the effect. the bed uses traditional bed bolts (8) which makes for a very sturdy frame.
Here is the bed shown with the testor frame. The bed is solid cherry, and the posts are single-piece, formed from 12/4 cherry. The frame has a full set of 1x6 pine slats that form a platform. There is a center support that runs from head to foot, with a support post in the middle.