Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Daddy Bed

The Daddy bed. Almost all finished.
Every child deserves a daddy bed. When children are young they get held by their parents most of the time. As they get older they get hugs as they scrape their knees, have conflicts, and any time they just need them. A little older and things change. 

For a teenager, what used to be the perfect time for a hug just a year or two earlier becomes an unforgivable trespass with little or no warning to the parent.

A few holes in the wrong spots.
A few fixes.

The solution is to hide the hugs as something else. In my case I have hugs hidden into the custom bed I designed and made for my daughter.

The bed is out of building stock Douglass fir. The posts are 4x4s. The rails for the head and foot boards, as well as the mattress rails are 2x6s. Inside the mattress rails are supports for a mattress board, they are made out of 2x3s. The mattress board is a 3/4 inch particle board cut to size.

Those Headlok screws are
not lined up!

According to a friend of mine, I over-engineered my hardware. Each side of each mattress rail has two 3/8x6" lag screws holding it to the 4x4. The same hardware could have been used for the other rails. I chose to use six inch Headlok screws with finished heads instead, so I could cut down on my finishing hassle. 

The Headlok system claims to be stronger that 3/8" lag screws, so I could have used them for everything, but I feel safer with more metal. The Headloks usually don't need to be pre-drilled, but when you are going through 3 1/2" of Doug fir they tend to wander, so pre-drilling is recommended. 

I wanted a simple finish so I opted for fruit colored Danish oil. It was easy to apply and looks good. It is a little thinner than I expected, so I might have to refinish in a few years. 

The headboard.
The footboard.

I planned on leaving the bed a little rough from the outset so I did not mercilessly sand to perfection. Ink lumber markings are still visible, as are a few measuring lines. I even have a bunch of extra holes from planning the lags and Headloks into the same space. They are not ugly and help tell the story of the difficulties I had in making the bed.

And I did have difficulties. None of the lumber is perfect. Every piece is cracked or warped. And I found out I cannot drill straight. It just isn't an option.

I am happy with the bed though. It is not perfect, but it looks good and is strong. 

Most importantly it was made with love and was received with love.

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