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So, being unemployed for the last three months has left me with a lot of time on my hands. I've been meaning to post this for about three weeks, but here are photos of the project that has occupied much of that time. http://www.flickr.com/photos/sarahandbrian/sets/72157625033544881/ In short, I built a bedframe for our 8' diameter cushion we've been using for a bed. For those who don't know, the cushion is this: (link NOT safe for work) http://www.liberator.com/eng/product/black-label-zeppelin/10064 Since round beds are expensive to buy a frame, I opted to build one. Because Sarah's often discussed wanting a four-poster, I put four tall posts on a semi-octagonal base. Because I could, I put a set of corner shelves in while I was building it. Since the frame was going to make it impossible to put anything else in that corner anyway, I figured I'd custom-fit the whole thing to the room.

This ended up with a frame that's 3/4 of an octagon with a square corner on one side - as though you'd trimmed 3 of the corners off a square. I used redwood 2x4s for the base-"B" grade redwood to minimize knots. The corners are all joined by dovetail joints - learning to hand-cut dovetails on an angle was all kinds of fun. ;) As you can see in the photos, I put four 2x4s through the center, with 4x4 redwood posts holding the whole assembly 1.5' off the floor so that we have plenty of underbed storage. On this base, I put down redwood 1"x6" planks for slats, and screwed them to the frame. This means that the frame creaks a fair bit, since the slats can't move around to absorb some of the movement on the cushion, but since we have to fluff the cushion occasionally, I didn't want to have slats go flying around. I put the whole thing together with a lot of screws, and managed to avoid having to glue anything, which means I can take it apart when we have to do something like paint the room. I had to assemble the bed in place, with a lot of help from [livejournal.com profile] theboy12  because there was no way that this would fit through the door of the room. I was pleased that I only had to make a couple of small modifications on final assembly - less than I'd expected given that I couldn't test-fit it all together entirely first because without the screws in place, the tall posts wouldn't stay up.

Overall, it was a fun project. I learned a lot about working with hand tools - since I've got a one-car garage, I don't have space for major power tools, and they're rather pricey anyway. I did use a power sander, though I also found that using a hand plane and drawknife for much of my shaping work meant that I only had to use fine grit sandpaper to get the finish I wanted. About half of the ~$1000 spent on this project went to a good set of hand tools - saws, sharpening materials, a dovetail guide, and other bits. The rest went to wood, finish, and other consumable supplies. Overall, pretty good, considering that the least expensive 8' round bed frame we found was ~$2000, and now I've got some useful tools - I'm already using them on some other minor projects around the house.

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professionalhenchman

February 2015

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