The Pencil-Post Bed
Build this classic design with the help of templates and a jig for machining tapered octagons
Synopsis: Christian H. Becksvoort’s pencil-post harks back older times. Becksvoort starts by discussing the origin of the style and then explains how he uses 6-in.-long bed bolts that extend through the posts and into nuts that are trapped within the side rails and the head and foot rails. This type of bed must be made to break down completely, and he explains how to do so and how to taper the 80 in.-tall posts. He uses a jig to bevel the upper portion of the post and explains how he makes and assembles the rails, mortises, headboard, and tester. Side information covers headboard templates and how to modify the overall design.
The pencil-post bed is a classic form that has been in use for centuries, The high posts were originally designed to hold a canopy frame, or tester (pronounced teester), as shown in the photo at right. Before…