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  1. #1
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    Headboard Project

    I've been working on building a headboard as my most recent project. This has been my biggest project to date and made me realize that an assembly table of sorts would really be nice to have. I've learned a lot throughout this project so far and ran into some pretty frustrating things. I assumed using a flush trim bit with a template to make the top curved piece would be easy... The change from along the grain to the end grain caused real issues with the router and I remade the end pieces approximately 5 times to get a good one. Also, gluing up the center frame and panel section was one of my most stressful glue ups. Between working on the ground and getting all of the joints to line up was an adventure to say the least. Anyways here are some progress pictures and hopefully I'll be making the top cap this week and then onto paint to match our bedroom furniture.

    First the design:



    Then onto building:









    The center section glue up is currently drying. The top cap is 3" wide and 3/4" thick, being that I don't have a band saw and I'm limited to depth of cut on my jig saw I was going to cut it from 2" stock and clean it up. Then glue on a piece of 1" stock that is cut close to final dimensions and use the 2" piece as my guide with a flush cut bit. I'm weary of using the flush cut bit again, but I think my issue is that I need to have it as close to final shape as possible before ever turning the router on. Any suggestions on making this piece?

    - Bromley
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    Re: Headboard Project

    First the design:
    Interesting but I can't see much detail from the headboard design pic and I'm curious as usual. Where'd you find that headboard pic/design?

    Overall it's coming along with a few bumps and curves along the way but that's woodworking. Hang in there.

    What's the joinery shown in the "HeadboardProgress" pic? 4 pieces of wood with odd shaped bridle joints? How'd you make those?

    I assumed using a flush trim bit with a template to make the top curved piece would be easy... The change from along the grain to the end grain caused real issues with the router and I remade the end pieces approximately 5 times to get a good one
    .

    I don't understand the router issues for those end pieces because the center arched section appears to have worked okay with the same bearing mounted flush trim bit/template technique.

    So the other joinery is mortise/tenon for the frame and grooves to capture the 4 plywood panels which float with no glue?

    Also, gluing up the center frame and panel section was one of my most stressful glue ups.
    Why was that? The frame and 2 plywood panels. A couple of dry runs for assembly and clamping are always useful so there are no surprises when the glue flows and the clock is ticking.



    BTW, I'm not being critical but curious and preferably helpful.

  4. #3
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    Re: Headboard Project

    No worries I don't take it as critical at all, I appreciate the input.

    The headboard was designed by me based on what my wife had requested. Some of the joinery was designed on the fly as I began to assemble it. You are correct that for the top curved rail there are 4 pieces joined together with bridle joints. Those joints were cut by hand with a dovetail saw. The large arced pieces were not as much of an issue with the router as the two ends that have a much tighter radius arc. I'll do my best to explain.. Looking at the piece in the bottom left of the second picture. The left end of the piece is straight and aligned with the grain. Then there is a tight radius arc before the second straight section. As the router goes around that arc the grain changes to almost end grain and caused it to catch and tear out multiple times. I think the biggest issue was not sawing close enough to my lines and trying to use the router to take too much material, but I'm open to suggestions.

    That's correct that the rest of the joinery is essentially mortise/tenon joints. The 4 plywood panels do float in the grooves. The biggest struggle was probably poor planning. It would have been nice to clamp the top rail down to a table so that I could push against it to slide the parts together. Working on the ground and with no extra hands proved difficult to get all the joints together. You live and you learn though and it did go together quite well just a bit stressful.

    The last piece to make is what I'm calling the "cap". It is 3" wide (as wide as the to legs) and matches the curved profile. It is 3/4" thick. I considered a bent lamination, but I'm sure that would have its own drawbacks as well.

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    Re: Headboard Project

    you may be taking to deep a cut. do it in several passes lowering the bit with each pass. pay attention to the direction of the cut. you want the bit to pull towards the template so counter clockwise is the direction you should be going with the router.
    fred p If it ain't broke you aint trying hard enough

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    Re: Headboard Project

    Quote Originally Posted by mbromley View Post
    I've been working on building a headboard as my most recent project. This has been my biggest project to date and made me realize that an assembly table of sorts would really be nice to have.
    I made this folding/rolling base and assembly table about ten years ago. I still use it and it's been one of the best things I built for the shop.

    http://www.popularwoodworking.com/pr...ing-table-base
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    Measure twice... cut once... SCREAM LOUDLY... get another board

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  8. #6
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    Re: Headboard Project

    That's a pretty slick table design with a small footprint. BTW, are those pics from your real shop or a shop "showroom" that's ##### and span?

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  10. #7
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    Re: Headboard Project

    That folding table is a great idea! I may have to add that to my list after I build my miter saw station/lumber rack to clear up some space.

    Cutting at multiple depths is a good recommendation and I probably should have used a different style router bit. The one I used has the bearing at the bottom which prevented me from being able to work down in depth. I think next time I either use a top guide or buy multiple size bearings to more slowly work up to the final dimensions.

    Unfortunately and fortunately I'm on vacation in the outer Banks for a week so this project is on hold but I'm excited to get back and finish it up so I can start on the next. I'm learning more with every project.

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    Re: Headboard Project

    I've finally had time to continue working on this headboard. I had been procrastinating because that top trim piece in my design intimidated me. After working through this I can think of a few different ways I would have done this if I was to do it over again. However, I would love your guys input on how you would tackle that top curved trim piece. It is 3" wide and 3/4" tall (depending on how you look at it).

    My approach this time was to trace the profile of the top of the headboard onto a glued up section of 8/4 stock. Then VERY slowly jig saw it out. I used a clean cut 12 tpi blade so it was quite the chore to make the complete cut. My biggest fear with the jig saw is always getting a perpendicular cut, making sure to steer the blade and not bend it. I successfully made it through the cut and then used 80 grit sand paper, a file (don't have a rasp yet), and a card scraper to work the curves. At this point I have it matching well enough, I would say within 1/32" to 1/16" everywhere. After painting I doubt you will notice what little gap there may be in some areas.

    Next up is to cut the outer profile and sand it smooth. Then I will rough cut a piece of 4/4 stock, glue it to the back side of this piece and finally trim router it to match.







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    Re: Headboard Project

    I had some time last week to finish cutting the first piece of the top trim. It took some sanding to get it to fit nicely, but I'm pretty happy with it at this point. Now to glue up a 4/4 board, trace, cut, glue up, and trim router to size to reach the desired ~3" thickness. Getting pretty close to complete and I'm ready to be done with this project so I can get started on the next.

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    Re: Headboard Project

    Looking terrific!

    Thanks for the WIP details.

    Wayne
    ..............found out many years ago that Elbow Grease doesn't come in a bottle!!!!

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    Re: Headboard Project

    Now to glue up a 4/4 board, trace, cut, glue up, and trim router to size to reach the desired ~3" thickness.
    I'm not following what you intend to do and how the above is going to get you there. Sorry, but I sometimes need minute details to get the picture.

    I'm lost again but I have been since your post #8 on August 7. I went back to you original design pic but can't see much about the details but you're the builder and that's what matters.

    In any event it's an impressively detailed undertaking on your part for a "first" project. It's gonna be nice when finished too.

  16. #12
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    Re: Headboard Project

    No worries Jeff, its tough to put into words. I will work up the 3D model to represent my approach. The way I'm doing this is not the ideal way to accomplish the result, but I'm working within the tool set that I have available. Hopefully some more detailed pictures will help clear things up.

    -Bromley

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    Re: Headboard Project

    Had some time today to continue working on this project. I jointed some boards and glued them up during the week last week and rough sawed the curve out with the jig saw today. I then glued it to the current 2" thick piece of curved molding to make it the final thickness. In an effort to take smaller passes on the curves and have better control over the router, I decided to throw together a quick router table with some scraps I had in the shop. It turned out pretty well so I went ahead and put some hardwood edge banding on it and a couple coats of wipe on poly.

    My favorite tool in the shop...


    Picked it up off of eBay and spent a good number of hours getting the blade tuned up. Now it works great and is a blast to use!

    Here is the curved trim section gluing up:



    Hopefully this image helps make sense of what I was attempting to explain. I roughed cut the curved profile of the 3/4" piece leaving about 1/16" all the way around. I'll use a flush cut bit to trim it to the thicker section that has already been sanded and fit to match the top of the headboard profile. The only reason I did it this way instead of gluing up a panel to the right thickness and cutting it all at one time is because a jig saw is really the only tool I currently have at my disposal to make these curves. Cutting a 3" thick curved profile with a jig saw did not sound like much fun.

    Then my quick and dirty router table. I put the plywood strips at the base on each side to allow me to clamp it down. I'll put it in place where my table saw is so it should be at a good working height.





    This week I should have time to finish up the top trim and get this thing together once and for all.

    -Bromley
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  19. #14
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    Re: Headboard Project

    Well per usual this is taking much longer than anticipated just because I struggle to find the time to work on it. I finally used the router table and trim router to finish up the top curved trim. Tonight I attached it to the frame/panel with counter bored screws that I then filled with dowels. All that is left is to trim the dowels flush, some final sanding, and paint. I picked up the Earlex 5500 system to paint this piece so I will be experimenting with that. Hopefully within the next week I can finish this up once and for all.



    -Bromley
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    Re: Headboard Project

    Looking good so far! Keep at it.
    I am about to spray my first project (in the next few weeks); base will be black lacquer and the table top a clear finish. Looking forward to seeing your results too.
    Henry W
    Prolific creator of sawdust, and sometimes shavings - with the occasional completed project.

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