You made your bed; now go lie in it

I can finally sleep in my new bed!! This full-size platform bed is oak with poplar drawers and plywood platform parts dadoed and pocket-hole screwed together. The drawer configuration is the same on both sides of the bed, but the left-side drawers are ¾ extension and the right side are full extension.

This has been another of those projects that has been a long time in the making. However, it took no where nearly as long as the project that inspired it.

This bedroom is about the size of today’s homes’ small walk-in closets. Originally there was only a small wardrobe cabinet for a closet. The built-in armoire required moving the door and electrical to install it.

After that project, I decided more storage was desirable and determined that a platform bed with drawers would be the best use of space.

It was a two-steps-forward, three-steps-back project almost from the start. After completing the parts to the platform base, I dovetailed the drawer boxes. I chose some inset brass hardware for the drawer fronts so I wouldn’t bump my legs on the handles.

I ran into my first delay when I began to plane the oak for the foot- and headboard. Since our oaks are dying faster than we can burn them for heat, we have always milled dead oak so I’m used to lots of worm holes. However, a few years ago a major wind storm leveled a large number of our living trees so we had the best ones milled into lumber. I was delighted to see how nice the lumber was compared with the dead trees we had previously milled and wasn’t expecting this:

All the boards that had bark remaining on them were infested with live worms. YUCK! I didn’t want my planer all gummed up with worm innards so I stopped planing and dug them all out.

When I resumed planing, my planer blew a bearing and I ended up having a major project trying to replace it. I was pretty proud of myself for figuring out (with a lot of your help) how to replace them, even though it took me a long time to accomplish.

I was able to complete the foot- and headboard before my next delay. I made jigs to hold the curved rails so I wouldn’t route my fingers off.

As I continued on, I realized that the ¼” router bit was too small and the ½” bit was too large for the fluting on the bedposts, so I ordered a 3/8” bit. While I was waiting for it to arrive, I decided to make a few adjustable trivets for a wedding shower gift.

While drum sanding the pieces to the correct thickness, I placed my sanding conveyor under too much load and it quit. Meantime, I attempted to sand a small, thin piece for another project on my stationary belt sander. It slipped under the fence and . . . ouch!

After more help from all of you and a local motor repair place, I was finally able to locate the part needed for my husband to repair my thickness sander, and my finger was healing nicely, too.

I was almost done with all the parts to the bed when my mother was diagnosed with cancer. I dropped the project to meet with doctors along with my parents to determine her treatment. After her surgery, I stayed with my parents until they felt they could handle things alone. (They kicked me out just a week after the surgery.) Mom is doing fantastic; the cancer had not spread; and the doctor feels there is only a 10% chance of the cancer returning.

I had taken the bedposts with me while I stayed with my folks so I could sand, stain, and varnish them but because I returned so soon, I hadn’t even unpacked them from my car. Once they were finished, I started the assembly and that seemed like a forever job. Not having enough room to assemble it in the shop, I had never put any of the pieces together before I was done with all of them so I was praying for them to fit together right.

A few tasks were left until the end so the connecting hardware would align correctly with the height of the various parts.

My husband and I determined that I would have to remove the old bed and assemble the new one in place. I must have been hallucinating when I thought I would be able to get it together in a day and sleep on it that night. It took me over a week . . . even though, oddly enough, everything actually fit as planned. My husband’s turning skills completed the final touch – the finials for the bedposts.

[Did I mention: I’m not good at what I do, but at least I’m slow!]

If you actually made it all the way to the end of this, thanks for reading . . . and thanks for taking a look.

L/W

Woods: oak poplar plywood

Tools: tablesaw routers sanders band saw

Tags: bed platform platform bed

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13 Comments

Jack ...

Love it, love it, love it! The fluted posts are beautiful, as is the entire build. Congratulations LWLL.

Wheaties - Bruce A Wheatcroft ( BAW Woodworking) ...

What a fantastic job . It really looks great .

a1jim ...

very cool great job

lightweightladylefty ...

Thanks for all the encouraging remarks. I figured out that I worked on this bed since about last August . . . a lot longer than I had hoped!

L/W

jim webster ...

very well done

johnmorrison ...

MOST BEAUTIFUL PLATFORM BED I’VE EVER SEEN, AND THE ARMOIRE IS JUST AS BEAUTIFUL ALSO.IT TOOK A LONG TIME BUT THE RESULTS WERE WORTH IT

RobsCastle ...

well after all that activiy there should be a picture added of you snuggled up, and fast asleep in your fantastic looking bed!

Sheri ...

Beautiful work!! Sorry to
Here about your mom, nothing is worse then hearing those words. I love the drawers for extra space under the bed that space usually never get used.

Manitario ...

This is a great looking bed! Loved reading the backstory; most long projects have a bunch of unexpected twists and turns to them.

Mike40 ...

You really aced it L/W. Great looking bed and cabinets and so well made too. Not a small undertaking either!

lightweightladylefty ...

Thank you, all, for your heartening remarks. After reading Steve’s blog, I’m really ashamed that I complained about all the very minor delays over the eight months which it took me to build it.

L/W

Billp ...

Very impressive and I love how you stuck thru all the obstacles and finished your beautiful bed. Glad to hear your mom is doing better.

lightweightladylefty ...

Bill,

Thanks for your kind comment. The trials did kind of knock the wind out of me and I’ve resorted to updating my dust collection system now and not worked on a “real” project since the end-grain cutting board.

L/W

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You made your bed; now go lie in it