The Shaker Twin Bed in Ash

Ash and Walnut Shaker Bed

Late last fall, I was building a pair of twin beds, same simple design, but in different species.  If you didn’t read about it then, here is the last post on it.  Today I went over to assemble the ash bed to the delight of a soon-to-be 3 year old who got it for Christmas from her favorite uncle (me).  The second, in cherry, I will post when it is complete, but is destined for my soon-to-be 2 year old daughter, so I have a little time before it needs to be complete.

The finish on the ash and walnut bed is waterborne pre-catalyzed lacquer (Hydrocote Resisthane) applied over bare wood by HVLP.  The result was a very durable clear finish which, over the ash, will maintain the creamy appearance for a long time.

The ‘unique’ aspect of these beds is the joinery for the rails, which I call a ‘wedged half dovetail’ though it probably has a better name:

Wedged half Dovetail

Wedged half Dovetail - Section View

I was mildly concerned that using the wedge from the inside would not work, since most of the time, this type of joint has the wedge from the outside of the leg, forming a wedged-dovetail of sorts. I was wrong to be concerned. Aside from having to hold the components together while driving the wedge, once wedged the bed is solid.  It doesn’t rock or rack at all even with me trying to get it to.

I decided not to add the curvature to the walnut wedges for the ash bed, but I may do it when I get back to the cherry bed.  Here’s what the final assembled joint looks like:

I also turned a little mallet to go with the bed for assembling and disassembling, also in Ash and Walnut.  I intended on drilling the handle and adding a leather loop to hang from a peg behind the headboard, or perhaps underneath, so the mallet would not get lost, but I forgot all about it until this very moment.

Finally, the bed all made, my niece will spend the first of many nights in her rock-solid ash and walnut bed.


About Nick

Nick Roulleau is founder, craftsman, designer, joiner, finisher, floor-sweep and all of the other roles at Mansfield Fine Furniture. A woodworker for more than a decade, Nick started the company with the goal of filling the need for heirloom-quality furniture hand-made from premium woods. Every piece is designed to suit the customer's needs and desires, hand-picking each piece of wood, and built one piece at a time, using both modern and centuries-old traditional methods to yield furniture to last for generations.