Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mission Style Bed

In the early 1980s, Dixie Klima and I went bed shopping. Our daughters (Kathryn Klima and Emilie Hardman) were ready for new just-for-them big-girl beds. Emilie's first bed was a white metal bed with brass details and she used it one day at a time until it was nearly 20 years old.

A few years ago, Rick decided to make a Mission Style bed for Emilie. Made of quarter-sawn oak, stately, heavy and beautiful, it now fills Em and Josh's room in Somerville. The next year he made a Queen size Mission bed for Jay and then he made a Murphy bed for Jay. Now he is building a King bed, slightly different in style, very different in size. This is a log of that newest bed.

Here's the center of the foot board.

This closeup shows the end of a wide slat getting a bit of fine tuning for a fit before assembly. (The tool is a number 90 Stanley bull nose plane. It's from England and is about as hard to find as black ebony.)

The center of the headboard was assembled next. "Hidden behind" these photos, of course, were hours and hours of planning, cutting and sanding.

Work continued in the basement to make the posts for the ends of the head and foot boards while the big elements spent some time in our messy garage.

The end posts were added. These are not single pieces of wood but laminated pieces so that all sides show the "flames" of quarter sawn oak.

Once the posts were on the headboard and foot board, Rick started working on the details. He tried on flat top pieces of different sizes to find the right size and shape to finish the posts. There are four holes in each post - one on each side of the top and two at the bottom on the side that shows. The other side of the bottom will be attached to the side rails. Ebony plugs will fit into the holes. The tiny plugs are cut and shaped to fit precisely in the holes.

This is the treatment chosen for the tops of the posts. The ebony plugs have the same pyramid shape.

Two days after putting up the image of the post tops and the ebony plugs, Rick was ready to start putting the stain on the wood.

A nearly-completed night stand in the same style.

1 comment:

Bo said...

It's fantastic. What is the stain? Tell us more about the finishing materials, please.