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The Four-Poster Bed

Build this classic, Early-American style bed in any size -- from twin to King -- to suit your needs.

Headboard and Frame
1: Start by gluing-up the stock for your Headboard (A), according to the list of materials. Be sure to joint all edges first and use a sufficient number of bar clamps to achieve a tight fit of all mating boards. Wipe off any excess glue squeeze-out immediately with a damp cloth and allow the joined boards to dry for a full 24 hours before proceeding.

2: Enlarge the pattern shown in figure 1 onto an appropriately sized piece of cardboard or stiff paper. Scrape off any remaining wood glue that you may have missed on the surface of your stock. Cut your pattern out and trace it onto your glued-up Headboard blank.

3: Using your bandsaw or a hand-held saber saw, cut out the Headboard shape.

4: Use a Drum Sander to smooth all edges on the headboard. Shopsmith's special Oscillating Drum Sander will speed the process of achieving the super-smooth edges you need. Also, use a hand-held belt sander or pad sander to sand the front and back surfaces smooth.

5: Cut the Head and Foot Rails (B), Side Rails (C), Side Rail Cleats (D) and Slats (E) to size, according to the list of materials. NOTE: Remember that the sizes of these pieces will have to be altered if you're making a double, Queen or King-sized bed. If you're planning to make a Queen or King-sized bed, it would also be a good idea to make four or five slats, instead of the recommended three used in our twin-sized example.

6: Use your Dado set-up to cut the tenons on the ends of the Head andFoot Rails (B) (See Fig. 2), and Side Rails (C) (See Fig. 3).

7: Cut the 3/4" deep x 2-1/2" wide dadoes in the Side Rail Cleats (D) to hold the Slats (E) (See Fig. 4). Remember that if you're planning to build a double, Queen or King-sized bed, you'll need to create four or five dadoes in these Cleats instead of three.

8: Using your Drill Press with a 3/4" Brad Point Bit, bore a 1-3/8" deep stopped hole on each side of the Side Rail centerline, as shown in Fig 3. Use a hand chisel to join these two holes into an oval that will accept the nuts for the 6" long bolts that will anchor the Side Rails (C) to the posts (F) during assembly. NOTE: If you prefer, these recesses can also be created using a Hollow Chisel Mortising Package in lieu of drill bits and a hand chisel.

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