Log Furniture Workshop!
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Log furniture Workshop found at Rusticmade.com

Log Bed Training

 

Welcome to the
Log Furniture Work Shop!!!


Just regular people building log furniture!


Building Log Beds!
Update: Queen Beds are 60" wide not 59" (Quick Note I've built Queen Beds for years
using a 59" stretchers and never had a problem)  so No Worries if you have already built
your queen beds with a 59" stretcher.  Just a small change.


Because of the amount of pictures needed to explain how to build this type of furniture I will make these web pages dial-up and dsl friendly!  Just click on a link to enlarge a picture and later on I will have actually viewable movie clips.

In this article I will cover how to make a queen bed out of rustic pine.  As I go thru the procedures in making these types of beds I will cover what tools and jigs I use to get this type of work done.   When making log furniture the dimensions vary greatly so I will use and refer to the line of furniture that I normally make.   The Low Post and High Post Log Beds.

Here's an example of a log bed! (This is a picture of a King Bed with 54" posts for the headboard and 40" posts for the footboard.)  The spindles in the headboard are 23" and the spindles in the footboard are 17-3/8".

We will cover a low post queen bed with a handmade steel frame in this article. At the end of this article I will show you how to change your measurements so you can have a wooden frame with two side rails.  I will define a low post queen bed as the headboard being 48" tall.  On a high post log bed the headboard posts are 54" tall and the foot board on both styles of beds are 40" tall.

The only difference between any size bed is the length of the stretcher and this is determined by the size of the mattress.  So a queen mattress is 60" Wide.   So you will have a stretcher that is 60" long.

The stretcher measurements for various beds are;

  • Twin bed stretchers are 38" Long
  • Full bed stretcher are 54" Long
  • Queen bed stretchers are 60" Long
  • Kind bed stretchers are 76" Long

( The stretcher is the horizontal top and bottom rail for the headboard and footboard as show in the picture above.)

This will make more sense later on.

I will go thru the material list first.  And I will have pictures explaining what each item is.

    Head Board Material!
  • 2 -5" to 6" pine posts 48" tall
  • 2- 4" pine post 60' long for stretchers between the posts (queen bed)
  • 5- 4" spindles with 2" x 2" tenons on each end
Here's a picture of the rack that I have in my shop for peeling the bark off the logs and cutting and planning them.

The rack in this picture is just two.....2" x 6" x 2" turned up edge ways with V notched in them.  You will need a kicker going back to the wall stud to fasten to.  This rack will allow you to do various kinds of work;

  • Cutting your material
  • Planning your material
  • Sanding your material
  • Staining
You get the idea.

Now I use a 14" electric chain saw to cut all my material.  I always try to make a square cut even when I'm in a hurry.  Safety is a big deal so here's what I use:

  • Safety Goggles Always
  • Ear Plugs
  • Dust Mask
And never align your self right in-line with the chain saw bar or blade.  Make it a habit to hold your head off to one side.  This will help if your chain saw ever kicks back. You won't get hit in the forehead.

Now we will cut the material.

Place a 5" to 6" log on your rack that you made and cut;

  • 2 @ 48"
  • 2 @ 40"
  • On-Line Video Clips for making the posts for the headboard and footboard!

    These video clips  are 1 min 12 sec long.
    Windows Media Player 56k to 128 DSL Click Here

    Real Media Player 56k to 128 dialup  Click Here

This will be the head and footboard posts. Now...........use the lower half of your log for the headboard post.  The lower portion of the post will be bigger than the upper portion.  The logs I get are usually tapered so I use the top half of the log for the footboard.  Now...

we can cut the stretchers. So place a 4" log on the rack and cut:

  • 4 pieces @ 60" long for a Queen Bed
  • On-Line Video Clips for making the Rails for the headboard and footboard!


    These video clips  are 1 min 09 sec long.
    Windows Media Player 56k to 128 DSL Click Here

    Real Media Player 56k to 128 dialup  Click Here

Now you will put a 2-3/4" tenon on the 59" stretchers.  Refer to this link on tenons and tenon jigs.

Log furniture Workshop found at Rusticmade.com
On-Line Video Clips for making the Tenons for the top and bottom rails for the headboard and footboard!


These video clips  are 2 min 46 sec long.
Windows Media Player 56k to 128 DSL Click Here

Real Media Player 56k to 128 dialup  Click Here

Note: I do realize most people do not have the tools to do this....but I can show you how to get setup right so you can. The drills that I use have to put in a jig to use.  Otherwise I could get hurt....even break a wrist.  So this is not overkill....just safety!

Now you have put your tenons on your 59" stretchers you can refer to the picture below.

Log furniture Workshop found at Rusticmade.com

Now you will drill the holes in the post for the stretchers.  Measure down from the top of the post and drill your holes at 6" and 24"....use a 2" forester bit with a self starting screw in it.  This helps to keep the bit from jumping around and helps pull the bit into the wood.  Of course you will find center on the post and lay it out before drilling.   Always do this.....it's a good habit to get in......it's makes everything fit up better.

Log furniture Workshop found at Rusticmade.com

Now the next step will be cutting your spindles for the headboard and footboard.

  • On a low post log bed the spindles will be 17 3/8" Long for the headboard and footboard
  • On a high post log bed the spindles will be 23" long for the headboard and 17 3/8" for the footboard.
You will put a 2" tenon on them. (refer to tenon link.)  You will have a total of 10 spindles 17 3/8" Long for a low post queen bed.    Here is a list of how many spindles I use on each bed:
  • Twin Bed - 4 Spindles
  • Full Bed - 5 Spindles
  • Queen Bed - 5 Spindles
  • King Bed - 7 Spindles
After you get done with your spindles you will have to drill the holes for the spindles in your stretchers.   Refer to the picture below.

Log furniture Workshop found at Rusticmade.com

Now you will lay out your stretchers and drill your holes.   First find center which should be 29 1/2" and make a mark.   Then measure 8 3/4" two times out from center towards each end.  You should have 5 holes.

Drill your holes with a 2" forester bit ....2" deep.  Then get all your pieces together and lay them out on a flat surface and put your headboard and footboard together.  It should look like the picture below.

 

On-Line Video Clips for drilling the holes in the rails for the headboard and footboard!

These video clips  are 1 min 12 sec long.
Windows Media Player 56k to 128 DSL Click Here

Real Media Player 56k to 128 dialup  Click Here

    Here are some tips to making your headboard and footboard go together smoothly.

  • Blow all the shavings out of the holes with a air hose.
  • Sand the spindle tenons lightly
  • Use one inch straps to pull the bed together.
  • Use a rubber mallet only.... to pound the tenons in and bring the bed together.
  • Dry run the bed together before applying the glue
  • Uses straps to rack the bed one way or the over to make it stand right
  • Important note: .....the better you do on your tenons and drilling your holes will determine how easy your bed goes together.

    Once you have these procedures down you can make posts all day .....then stretchers another day......then spindles other day. Make all your pieces ahead of time and just put them together as your orders come in.

    Log furniture Workshop found at Rusticmade.com
  • When you are done your headboard and footboard will look like this picture here!

    Use these steps to make any size bed.......just change the stretcher measurements as listed above.  Note....These measurements are to be used with a steel frame which I will explain in another article.  Now I will show you how to change your measurements so you can make your bed frame out of wood with two side rails.

    Log furniture Workshop found at Rusticmade.com

    Making a Log Bed with Two Side Rails

    The best place to start is with the queen bed measurements.   We know from the article above that a queen bed mattress is 60" wide.....and we used 60' stretchers for it.  Because the side rails will be on the out side of the mattress you will have to add 5 to 6" to your stretcher measurement.

      Example a stretcher on a
    • Twin bed was 38".......to add two rails your measurement would be 43 to 45" wide.
    • Full bed was 54"......now it is 58 to 60" wide.
    • Queen bed was 60".......now it is 64 to 66".
    • King bed was 76".....now it is 80 to 82"
    After you make one of these you'll know exactly what your measurements should be. That takes care of the width for the headboard and the footboard.  Now we will build the frame and two rails.

      You will need 4 poles 4" in diameter at;
    • 86" long
    Then measure up from the bottom of your corner post and drill a 2" hole at 6" and 14" and make it 2" deep.  Your frame and side rail will go here.

    Log furniture Workshop found at Rusticmade.com
  • Log furniture Workshop found at Rusticmade.com
Then for the cross members for the frame you will need what ever the stretcher measurement is. Use the stretcher examples above.

The queen bed was 64".   put a 2" tenon on it.

Put 2-3/4" tenons on the 4 side rails. 

For the cross member holes just make four equal space.......you could use three cross members if you wanted.

Now the frame length is different for each bed.......there are;

    Length for a twin is 77"
  • Full bed is 77"
  • Queen bed is 82"
  • King bed is 82"
  • Note; California King Beds vary ......for .the mattress measurements I have
    ...72wide x 84 Long.  Build accordingly.

    These measurements may be changed a little, just make sure that your not to short......the mattress has to have room to sit down in between the headboard and the footboard.  Please review "Steel Bed Frame"


    Charles R Raines

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    Charles R Raines
    3750 Nostwick Rd
    Thompsonville, MI 49683
    1-231-499-4023