Author Topic: Headboard  (Read 1333 times)

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Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2307
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
« on: July 26, 2017, 06:05 PM »
I have previously done a post on a bed project I am doing for our young (mostly broke) friends. I am pretty confident about building the frame. Building the headboard really worries me.

The picture I am working from shows a flat 24' high by 80" wide headboard. I am using quarter sawn white oak boards that I am buying from a local store, Carltons Fine Woods.

My worry is in getting the darn thing flat. I'm thinking about using Dominos to join 5 5" boards that I will joint in advance. I plan to glue up 2 boards and then 3 boards and  then running them through my planer. The next step would be to Domino the 2 pieces together.

Any better ideas?

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Offline RobBob

  • Posts: 1308
Re: Headboard
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2017, 06:18 PM »
You could use long splines instead of Dominos.  The splines would run almost the full length of the boards.  See the August 2017 issue of Fine Woodworking, page 37, for a picture.

Offline HarveyWildes

  • Posts: 781
Re: Headboard
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2017, 02:07 AM »
Dominos will do the job well - I've had good luck spacing them about every 8-10".  You can undersize them if you want, since they don't really serve a structural purpose in this case.  For me, the Dominos would be quicker than splines.

Offline deepcreek

  • Posts: 727
    • TimberFire Studio
Re: Headboard
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2017, 05:13 AM »
Not knowing the design (a pic would help), it sounds like you're trying to create a glue up of solid lumber roughly 24x80".  Correct?

Your key to both initial and long term flatness is the moisture content of the wood when you do the work relative to the humidity in your shop and the humidity in the bedroom of the house.  The wood should be 6-9% from the kiln,  I have seen it at 12% at hardwood suppliers with hot, humid open warehouses.  Then I have to sticker it for months in my air conditioned shop and it may or may not be usable after re-drying.  This is necessary because when it ends up in an air conditioned (humidity removed) or heated (dry air) house, the wood will move as the moisture level drops back towards 6% so you want to be as close to that as you can before starting.

QSWO is more stable than flatsawn but it is still wood and will move.

Dominos will help with alignment but do not necessarily form an internal skeleton that resists the forces of wood movement.

Use a jointer to get one face of the boards dead flat to begin with.  Wait a couple of days before planing the opposite face parallel in case the board moves back to where it started and you have to joint the face again.  Repeat the process and if it happens again, discard the problem boards and replace them.  I don't even bother with twisted boards as they seem to be the worst about having a memory.

Use parallel style clamps AND clamping cauls to get the panels flat during glue up.

A planer is for making two faces parallel.  The only way a planer will flatten wood is if it is placed on a dead flat sled and any bowed, twisted, cupped spots are shimmed underneath.  Otherwise, the rollers will just push it down as it passes through the planer and it will pop back up as soon as it is out.

If your headboard has perpendicular ribs or struts on the back side to attach to the bedframe, you will have a cross grain situation and must allow for seasonal wood movement of the panel.
« Last Edit: July 27, 2017, 05:16 AM by deepcreek »
Joe Adams
TimberFire Studio
Houston, Texas

Offline Birdhunter

  • Posts: 2307
  • Woodworker, Sportsman, Retired
Re: Headboard
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2017, 05:56 AM »
Good advice. I do have a big jointer.