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Through tenon and tusk in bed design

GLAUCON's picture

I am making plans for an Arts and Crafts queen size bed. Many bed designs incorporate hook hardware to secure the side rails to the head and foot boards, and to allow the bed to be broken down when shipped or moved. I like the idea of a through tenon with tusk, particularly for this type of period design. I know that beds have been designed with this type of joinery, but I haven't done it myself. Any thoughts or pointers? Any considerations about sizing such tenons? Insights would be welcome.

Glaucon


If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Glaucon

If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Midnight's picture

(post #86307, reply #1 of 22)

I did this a few years back, using tusk tennons rather than any mechanical fixings to assemble the bed... The tennons were straight forward, driving mortices through them when I had to get them right first time led to a  few sleepless nights before I came up with a jig to deal with the accuracy issues... Things might have been easier if the tennon size I opted for hadn't been so huge... but they worked...


Mike Wallace


Stay safe....Have fun

Mike Wallace

Stay safe....Have fun

GLAUCON's picture

(post #86307, reply #2 of 22)

Thanks Mike.

How "huge" was your tenon? I'm trying to figure what would be large enough to upport a queen sized bed, balanced against issues such as wood movement, etc.

Glaucon


If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Glaucon

If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Midnight's picture

(post #86307, reply #3 of 22)

If I remember right, the rails had a finished size of 1 3/4" x 10" deep while the posts had a 2 7/8" section... the through tennons were something like 1 1/4" x 7" x 7"... I know I went wayyyyy long on the tusk length, but I'd nothing to guide me re the amount of long grain required behind the wedge to prevent the wedge blowing the whole joint out.. All the structural parts of the frame were quarter sawn Scots Oak, the wedges were made from 1/2" rosewood...


Personally, I wouldn't wanna go beyond queen size without adding a central rail although doing so woulda blown this particular design... I didn't have the option of taking the easy route and simply using box springs; end recipient insisted on slats... designing them to emulate box springs without sagging in the centre was a bear, but I got there with the help of a structural engineer's calcs.


Mike Wallace


Stay safe....Have fun

Mike Wallace

Stay safe....Have fun

GLAUCON's picture

(post #86307, reply #4 of 22)

Hmmmmm. A queen size bed for the domestic (U.S.) market. Sounds like a center rail might be mandatory...

Glaucon


If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Glaucon

If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Midnight's picture

(post #86307, reply #5 of 22)

not according to the plans I started out with... though I've seen some with half baked supports intended to prop the centre of box springs... didn't exactly inspire with confidence, yea..? King size is a different story however...

Mike Wallace


Stay safe....Have fun

Mike Wallace

Stay safe....Have fun

GLAUCON's picture

(post #86307, reply #6 of 22)

Seems like all Americans are heading for "king size" these days...

Glaucon


If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Glaucon

If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Midnight's picture

(post #86307, reply #7 of 22)

hmmmmmmmm.... would be the same here if our average bedroom size permitted it...


adding that 3rd rail's gonna be a design challenge... best solution I could come up with when toying with the idea was a tapered sliding dovetail..


Mike Wallace


Stay safe....Have fun

Mike Wallace

Stay safe....Have fun

joinerswork's picture

(post #86307, reply #8 of 22)

All,


Tusk tenons on a bed...Headboard held away from the wall... tuskers at shin level poking out into the room...


Ray

MonteB's picture

(post #86307, reply #11 of 22)

Ray, I was thinking the same thing...


Monte

Midnight's picture

(post #86307, reply #12 of 22)

Tusk tenons on a bed...Headboard held away from the wall...


which means it won't wake up half the block when newlyweds do what newlyweds DO.. whatever that is...


Ahem...


tuskers at shin level poking out into the room...


which alows a design opportunity when shaping the top cap of the footboard... also makes sure the dozy burgers wake up in a hurry when they forget it's there...


<shrugs..


Mike Wallace


Stay safe....Have fun

Mike Wallace

Stay safe....Have fun

joinerswork's picture

(post #86307, reply #13 of 22)

Mike,


Well, as the fellow said to the DR. after he laid his shin open on a tusk tenon,


"Suture self."


Ray

GLAUCON's picture

(post #86307, reply #14 of 22)

Fortunately suturing shins is something I do better than most other types of "joinery". And real men don't use lidocaine...

Glaucon


If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Glaucon

If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

joinerswork's picture

(post #86307, reply #20 of 22)

Glaucon,


No lidocaine.  I wouldn't want you to think I was needling you.  ;-))


Ray

Midnight's picture

(post #86307, reply #15 of 22)

<groanin......


ya know... people have been justifyably thumped for far FAR better than THAT...!!


;P~


Mike Wallace


Stay safe....Have fun

Mike Wallace

Stay safe....Have fun

joinerswork's picture

(post #86307, reply #21 of 22)

Mike,


I love it when my jokes elicit a groan.


Ray

JamesS's picture

(post #86307, reply #17 of 22)

I'll try to remember where I bought the hardware to attach the center king rail


 


James

JamesS's picture

(post #86307, reply #16 of 22)

Just finished a cherry king bed, Used a center rail for the box springs attached at foot & head with special hardware I found on the internet.


 


James

Midnight's picture

(post #86307, reply #22 of 22)

<shakin heid slowly...


hardware... sheesh... that's cheatin... where's the challenge in that..??


;)


One lesson I did learn from building the newlyweds bed... I thoroughly slathered all the wedge secured joints with paste wax to minimise the squeaks when the owners ummmmmm.... well....  "test" it..?? Anyway... I guess I kinda lubed it a bit too well... new kid arrived 10 months later... Madea  note t leave the joints dry next time... should make for a fairly efficient contraceptive...


Ahem...


Mike Wallace


Stay safe....Have fun

Mike Wallace

Stay safe....Have fun

russell's picture

(post #86307, reply #9 of 22)

Hey Glaucon,

I don't know if this would work for your bed but I've used this joint before and it works beautifully. It's called a sage kama joint. The first time I saw it was in home furniture magazine in an article that David Fay had written, I'm not sure if he invented the joint or if it's a traditional japanese joint? But anyways here's the link to his website and the article, hope that helps. http://www.davidfay.com/Articles/95.fall.hf.php

Cheers.

Russ.

www.jensenfinefurniture.com

GLAUCON's picture

(post #86307, reply #10 of 22)

Wow! I like that a lot... thanks!

How hard is it to cut the mortise with the sloping sides? Any thoughts?

-m

Glaucon


If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Glaucon

If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

russell's picture

(post #86307, reply #18 of 22)

Hey Glaucon,

The sage kama joint isn't all that hard to make. Personally I use a slot mortiser to do most of the mortise. Then using a paring chisel and a 2" thick block of wood with the appropriate angle cut into it, I clamp the block to the work piece to guide the chisel and clean up the angles. The same results can be obtained using a drill press to rough out the mortise and then clean up with the chisel. Cheers for now.

Russ.

www.jensenfinefurniture.com


Edited 11/28/2007 10:31 am ET by Russell

GLAUCON's picture

(post #86307, reply #19 of 22)

Thanks Russ, I appreciate your insights.

Glaucon


If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...

Glaucon

If you don't think too good, then don't think too much...