Captain's Bed

    This a Captain's bed for our son.  In order to maximize space in his small room, the drawers under the mattress will serve as a chest of drawers.  This is my own design.  As with the cherry entry cabinet, this has been drawn out with TurboCAD in 3D.  Joinery is not included in the drawings -- I allow for that as I build the piece.  The piece is cherry with plant-on panels at the head and foot.  The base cabinets are birch ply with cherry face frame.  Drawers are cherry front, inset drawers with ash as the secondary wood for the drawer sides and back.  Wooden runners were used for the drawers.

The following are rendered drawings with hidden lines removed

The following are rendered drawings that give a feel of the overall design approach as envisioned


March 19, 2006
    The base cabinets have been built and all drawers have been cut and milled.  I am currently in the process of planing and scraping the drawers, glueing them up and doing final milling on the sides prior to applying finish.  Next step will be to cut the grooves for the drawer runners and mount the drawer runners in the carcases.  Our son had initially asked if I could make "the bed so it could flip open and he could have a compartement to hide in."  After explaining that this would be a bit difficult given the size, I did put in some false bottoms in the bottom outside drawers so that he can have a "hidden compartment" in which to put stuff.

  The two pieces shown below are the left and right drawer cabinets.  The backs of the two cabinets will be attached and the mattress will go on top.  The headboard and footboard are two separate pieces that will complete the bed.  Those two pieces will be made after the bases are complete. 
  As a note, the epoxy you see in the second picture is for attaching axles to the wheels for a pine car project, not for any part of the Captain's bed.

June 18, 2006
    The base cabinets are finished with Moser's Danish oil and 3 coats of Watco Wipe-on-Poly, satin finish, then two coats of clear wax are applied.  The following shows the finished right side drawers and the left side drawers in the process of being finished as well as some details of the dust skirts.

Dust Skirts and Detail

Cabinet and Center Dust Skirt

Drawers Being Finished

Cabinet with Drawers

July 1, 2006
    Bases and drawers are finished and drawer hardware is installed.  The selection of the pulls included inputs from our son.  These should go well with the curves of the headboard and footboard.  [Note: The date on the camera is messed up, it is showing dd mm yyyy, so no, these weren't taken on January 7, but on July 1]

Left Side with Handles

Alternate view of left side

Right Side

July 1, 2006
    Bed installed in bedroom.  I made a temporary headboard and footboard while the real headboard and footboard are built.

Assembled in the shop


In the bedroom:

December 2, 2006
    The footboard has been completed and installed on the bed.  The images here are not as good as I would like, taking pictures was a bit tricky since the room is so small.  This at least gives an idea of the design.  The medallion is the same as the drawer escutcheons. 

One of the reasons the footboard took some time to finish was the intermediate project of putting up shelves around the top of the room.  I mail-ordered 5/4 poplar from Steve Wall lumber for this project and used Lee Valley hidden hangars to make these floating shelves.


  Footboard in place


The panels are plant-on panels, not raised panels.  This was outlined in an article by Ian Kirby in "Woodworker's Journal" August 2005 pp 49 ff. The panels were chamfered.

The posts were shaped using a 2" rabbeting bit in the shaper with a bearing over a template.  The posts are curved on both outside dimensions



May 27, 2006
    The headboard has been completed and installed.  The bed is done!

Headboard in the shop

  The headboard was built to be visible from both the front and back of the bed in case anyone wants to put the bed in a location where it can be seen from all angles (as opposed to having the headboard against a wall).  The bottom panels are plant-on panels since they don't need to be seen from the back.  The top panels are a raised design I came up with to allow raising on both sides so that the panels are visible from both front and back.

                                          This is the view from the front of the bed                                                 View from the back of the bed (Mattress side)

Some more pictures of the headboard front


Some more pictures of the headboard back

Headboard installed and completed bed

Progress Log

  Time:  676 Hours.
  For those interested in a chronological use of that time, the following Excel spreadsheet tracks the time required from design through current status:
Progress Log File

Last updated: 05/27/2007 mkl