Now that it’s almost all said and done this project went together pretty quickly! It was last Saturday that we purchased the mattress and Monday when I purchased the Poplar and Maple (shop grade) plywood to make it. I guess working on being efficient paid off. In the previous blog the panels had been painted and all of the parts were assembled. Friday found me tying up all of the loose ends with the goal of painting tomorrow. The weather man promised that our unusually long monsoon season with rain and high humidity was over but guess what — yep a very brief thunder storm this afternoon. Made me very happy that I was able to put all of the painted parts inside of the shop!
The way this bed is designed is that there are two sections to that up the base of it. These are panel and frame construction and very light in weight; something I’ll appreciate as I wrestle them up our spiral staircase as they go from the shop to the bedroom. Here I’m pre-drilling the supports. These are dado’d out to lock the two sections together. Size of them is a full inch thick by 3″ wide. After carefully marking them it was time to drill for the threaded inserts. These can be problematic so here’s a quick tutorial on how I went about installing them.
I would have preferred the type that are inserted with an Allen wrench but the only thing available locally were the slotted ones, they’re notorious for breaking off but here’s a cure for that. After drilling the 3/8″ hole required for the insert; you use a fender washer instead of a screwdriver. Screwdrivers are tapered and I believe that’s a big part of the problem. With a fender washer, the curvature of it will go into the insert which gives you a better grip on the brass insert. I find it easier to stay square with the washer vs. a screwdriver because your fingers are down close to the insert.
My next hint is to use a bolt (1/4 20 in this case) along with either a nut or a wing nut. After getting the insert started squarely into the hole, thread the bolt into the insert and then lock it down with the wing nut. With the wing nut you can do it by hand, if you use a regular nut you’ll need to also use a wrench. Once they’re locked together as a unit you can now use a ratchet wrench to finish the job. Adding some beeswax to the mix makes this process even easier. Just run the threads of the insert over your wax and it’s much easier.
So much for that, next up was to prepare for the paint. Most of the bed will be under an overhang and barely visible. Even though it’s a painted piece I wanted the surface to be as good as I can get them. That means planing; a smooth plane for the flats and then a block plane to add a very slight chamfer to the edges. Miscellaneous holes to drill, pieces to glue up, and parts to sand and I’m ready for the finish. I’ll leave you with this shot of my open air spray booth. I’ll let you know that I was able to apply three coats to everything and get it back into the shop to cure before the sun came over the house. I’m happy!