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tenoning the headboard plank

To make the tenons on the ends of the headboard plank, simply cut rabbets on both sides of both ends.

1.On one end of the headboard, mark out the thickness of the tenon centered on the edge.

2.Set up a router with a 1/2 in. Rabbeting bit to cut a tenon slightly over 1/2 in.thick.

3.Clamp a piece of scrap at the far side of the headboard to prevent tearout on that edge. Don’t worry about tearout at the top of he headboard because it will be cut away when you cut the headboard profile.

4.Rout both faces of each end of the headboard.

5.Saw away the waste on top and bottom of the tenons. Pare the stub away with a 3/4-in.- wide chisel.

6.Test-fit the tenons. If they are to tight, trim them to size with a shoulder plane, a rasp held flat on the cheeks, or some sandpaper on a block, rasps and sandpaper tend to leave the area near the shoulder a little thicker than the rest of the tenon, and you’ll have to pare this flush with a chisel.

7.Go back and finish tenoning the headboard rail. Use the bottom edge of the headboard- the top is about 1/32 in. Wider- as a ruler to mark out the exact length of the rail between the tenons, then cut and fit the tenon to the leg mortise.


Cutting the headbaord

Shaping the top of the headboard is best sone with a router and template. This will leave a clean edge with only the corners to square up. To do this you need to make a routing template as shown in” headboard Routing Template” on p.80.

1.place the template on the headboard so that the uppermost step is 14 3/4 in. From the edge.

2.Trace the template onto the headboard.

3.Flip the template over and mark the other side. Depending on your bandsaw, you may have to mark out the shape for half the headboard on the back side.

4.Cut most of the waste on the bandsaw within 1/16 in. Of the line.

5.Reposition the template on the front of the headboard and on the right side as you would see it from the footboard. This will allow you to rout in the proper direction.

6.Clamp the template in plage, with the center marks aligned and the top edge flush with the top pf the headboard.

7.Set up the router with a straight pattern bit, which has a ball-bearing pilot above the cutter, and rout the profile flush with the template.

8.Route the other side from the back of the board.

9.To cut the routed corners square, use a sharp chisel. First pare across the grain to get rid of the bulk of the waste. Work from both sides so you don’t split off any wood.

10. Fot the finish cuts, work down from the top first. Then carefully work in horizontally. Use a sweeping cut with the flat side of the chisel riding on the surface and the handle off to one side.

11. Once all the corners have been squared up, scrape and sand the edges flat and smooth.

12.Ease or lightly chamfer all the edges on the headboard.

13.File or chisel all the chamfers so that they meet at a 45 degree angle.


Gluing up the headboard and footboard

1.Spread glue in the footboard mortises and very lightly on the tenons, then assemble the joints.

2.Clamp the joint with a clamp on each side and slightly offset from each other

3.Spread glue in the headboard rail mortise, and lightly on the rail tenon, but don’t put any glue in the long mortise for the headboard plank.

4.Put the rail into one leg, then insert the headboard plank. Then put the other leg on and clamp the rail as you did for the footboard.

5.Check the distance between the rail and the headboard to make sure the headbard is lined up properly.

6.Then clamp across the top of the legs to hold the headboard in place and drive # 8 by3-in. Drywall screws into the countersunk pilot holes in the legs to pin the headboard in place.

7.When the screws are tight the legs are snug againnst the headboard, plug the pilot holes, and trim and sand the plugs flush with the legs.

8.Because the tenons now plug up the bolt holes in the legs, redrill them with a 3/8-in. Bit.