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Designing and making an Emperor size Sleigh Bed

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robertlaurenson

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@Cabinetman great looking bed, but not exactly the same style we are going for,
The style in this picture is what we are going for, i know it will be more work, shaping and routing the corner pieces and the large dowel at the top, but love the look of it, going to make the foot end lower though, so it's just above mattress height, rather than what it looks like in this picture. Would look at just buying this from the company that sell them, but for the reasons above i really want to make it myself.
Also going to put a pull out drawer in each side, the leather cushioned parts will be made by my wife, so it's going to be a real family thing and with the money from my grandparents money paying for the wood it will have real sentimental value, hopefully for generations.

My only question now i've started drawing it, is the thickness of the wood for the side rails and corner parts, don't want to go thicker than i need to for cost, but also don't want it to be too thin. Thinking around 30mm, Then due to the 7ft width, a rail the same in the center, 32x190 (standard size for Ash in a local store) do you think that would suffice?
Annotation 2022-01-03 162913.jpg
 

gcusick

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I used some of these:


to replace the (failed) horrid slot-together things on our bed. I used 2 per corner - the side rails on the bed are ~150 x 25 veneered ply. Easy enough to fit, and they’re still solid and quiet after about 3 years.
 

Austin Branson

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Hello Robert,
It’s always difficult to tell from photos, but I would guess the rails and corners to all be around 40mm. The rails look about 300 or 350mm deep to me. The Cabinetman example looks beautifully made to me, if I were you I would try to get friendly, and get more info on construction details, especially support of the mattress and drawers. Best wishes.
 

Cabinetman

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Hello Robert,
It’s always difficult to tell from photos, but I would guess the rails and corners to all be around 40mm. The rails look about 300 or 350mm deep to me. The Cabinetman example looks beautifully made to me, if I were you I would try to get friendly, and get more info on construction details, especially support of the mattress and drawers. Best wishes.
Absolutely no need to get friendly ha ha ha ha. Looking at that bed I think the way it’s made is that the sides are made and glued up in one piece and then the bolts that hold the sides to the ends are at the top hidden behind that brass decorative plate and the bottom one is probably hidden behind the foot section, Those bolts shown above whilst pretty good seem to have just the threads on the short pieces into the wood of the bed to give traction at one end, But then in another picture the two great big round bits seem to be fastened together which would work well. Bit confusing. You could of course just go for stainless threaded bar big washers and nuts and a hole cut into the underside of the top rail to slide the washer and nut into, you would need to design it so that these holes in the top rail are covered up when you assemble the rest of the foot to it.
Thickness of timber for the side decorative bits and rails, The 32 x 190 sounds good but I would think you would need to cut one of the 190s along its length and fasten each half to one of the 190s creating a side rail which is about 285 wide, as you have surmised it’s all about designing with what you can get/have. Don’t be afraid to ask if you need any help as it’s quite an ambitious project, not sure how experienced you are or what equipment you have?
Slats, I always use 4”x1” par (Planed all round) pine but a very wide bed like that I think needs a central heavy rail going front to back, probably loose mortised into the head and foot rail somehow, you could of course fit a foot/leg to it in the centre of the bed like IKEA do. Ian
 

MARK.B.

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All great advice given above(y) and please tell me you will post a pic or two along the way:), you might want to save up a few bob for the new linen, it wont be cheap and you need all new X 3 (my Mrs says so and I am not brave enough to contradict her :eek:)most places will not have that size and those that do will not be cheap . One other thing to consider is just how big the thing will be, if you have a large bedroom then no problems , most modern builds would struggle to fit a double and still leave enough room to swing an cat . A king size may be a better option for an heirloom piece as there is more chance of it fitting various bedrooms over the year's , If you look in any auction house you will find loads of beautiful hand made furniture that are just to big to fit in a modern day house:(:cry:.
 

TheTiddles

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If you’re going to do it, don’t cheap out using thinner wood as an economy, the saving will be small and easily forgotten, the compromised design will be there when you go to sleep and waiting for you every morning, every day, always haunting you
 

Jameshow

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Typo for tenon? Well if it was a tenon it would be glued the same as the foot and head rails, and then you could never take the bed apart to move it, particularly at 7 ft square. Ian
Edit, fairly obviously if you didn’t glue the tenon it would be – well let’s say squeaky lol.
Ok I take the Darwin award!!!
 

robertlaurenson

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@Cabinetman Thanks very much for that detailed reply, actually just heard back from the local store, they can get 40x250 also which may be a better fit all round with the shapes on the ends.
As far as experience goes, i am a Marine Engineer to trade, have a workshop full of Engineering, Metal Work and Woodworking tools, so nothing i don't have at the moment i can think of. I have a business in my time home from sea building Aluminium boats, and have done quite a lot of joinery and woodworking, made tables, cabinets, kitchen units, few sheds etc. I know this will be a level up, but for the reasons i am doing it I am willing to give it the time and dedication it will require.

@MARK.B. Yes i will gladly post pictures of this, will be more than a proud thing to do for me, so will gladly share. Currently doing the design in Rhino, got the side rails and 4 corners done, just moving on to the two ends just now.
 

Cabinetman

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@Cabinetman Thanks very much for that detailed reply, actually just heard back from the local store, they can get 40x250 also which may be a better fit all round with the shapes on the ends.
As far as experience goes, i am a Marine Engineer to trade, have a workshop full of Engineering, Metal Work and Woodworking tools, so nothing i don't have at the moment i can think of. I have a business in my time home from sea building Aluminium boats, and have done quite a lot of joinery and woodworking, made tables, cabinets, kitchen units, few sheds etc. I know this will be a level up, but for the reasons i am doing it I am willing to give it the time and dedication it will require.

@MARK.B. Yes i will gladly post pictures of this, will be more than a proud thing to do for me, so will gladly share. Currently doing the design in Rhino, got the side rails and 4 corners done, just moving on to the two ends just now.
Oh well that’s great, we’ll sit back and enjoy this Robert, no pressure lol.
Personally if you have the equipment to do it I would not buy the 250 wide, if it cups it will give you real problems. And 32 is more than adequate thickness.
 

robertlaurenson

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@Cabinetman I'm looking forward to it now, might not happen overnight, but it will happen. Half drawn now, going to need to laminate some boards for the corners as they need to be fairly wide to get that shape. Thankyou very much for all your help, got your drawing also, all extremely helpful. Thanks.
 

Cabinetman

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Glad to have been of help Robert, it’s going to be interesting to watch you as you bring this to fruition, best of luck, not that I think you need it. Ian
 

Sgian Dubh

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A video of the construction used in Revival's beds is at this link. I'd say the video's revealing because even though it only shows selected stages of construction it told me all I'd need to know to pretty much reproduce one of their beds. Anyway, connection of the side rails to the footboard and headboard is clearly seen in the video at about 1:20 minutes in and onwards from their for about 10 -15 seconds; you might need to scroll back or forth to get to that point. The connection method is quite a common one, i.e., a couple of dowels for alignment and a threaded bed connector bolt plus washer and nut. Slainte.
 

robertlaurenson

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@Cabinetman and everyone, just about finished the first draft of the design, here are a couple of basic renders from Rhino, based on the revival beds one, not exactly the same, but close.
The only part i'm not sure about are the feet, should i leave the bottom of the boards to come down, or chop them flush and put feet of some sort on it?
Any opinions welcome. :)
New Bed.jpg
New Bed without mattress.jpg
 

Cabinetman

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I remember being told if you’re going to make a statement make a statement, and as that is a huge Baronial bed go for it, I think they look quite good those feet, I presume you have checked with her Ladyship.
As you must have quite a large bedroom have you considered a sloping headboard, it doesn’t need to be much of an angle to greatly add to the comfort when leaning against the headboard reading etc. Ian
 
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