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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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  3. #2
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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.

  5. #4
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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

  7. #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?

  8. #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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