The updated finial design. Here I have added a base for the finial to rest on.
ne design change I made after drawing the SkecthUp illustration of the Tornado Bed was to add a little base to the finial. If this base did not exist, then the finial would sit on top of visible end grain, which I decided wouldn't be proper.
Making the bases was pretty straight forward: four pieces of wood cut into small triangles. Sort of a challenge to make them all square (some of them are slightly out of square, but they're close enough). See below...
Using my 45 degree miter gauge, I cut four pieces to form the finial base.
Using painters tape, I join all the pieces together and add glue.
All taped up, the bases are set aside so the glue can dry.
I once visited Tommy MacDonald's website. I was viewing a video about the construction of his very impressive bombe secretary. Tommy was cutting a delicate piece of molding and he commented that it took something like 15 attempts before he got one that fit just right. I remembered that when it came time to form the finials for my bed project.
Here you see the glued-up stock which is 2 3/4" square. I move my fence to the left side of the blade and repeatedly cut away 2 3/4" blocks which will become the finials.
I envisioned making some elaborate jig to cut the corners away, but what I came up with was actually pretty simple. The blade is tilted to 35 1/2 degrees.
Here is where the Tommy Mac video influence comes into play. I cut seven finials and begin to decide which four I'll actually use. Already the one in back has been excluded due to some tear-out along one of the edges.
After selecting the best finials, I use a 3/4" forstner bit and drill holes to make way for the dowel tenons. I cut corresponding holes in the bases.
I then temporarily attach a base to the top of each post with two carefully located screws. The finials and the bases will be permanently attached with glue after I stain everything.
Here is the head board along with the and foot board mostly completed.
At this point construction of the Tornado Bed is about 97% completed. I am toying with the idea of adding dowel pins to the mortise and tenon joints located in the head board and foot board, and technically, I need to cut slats for the box spring to rest on. But the major work from this point forward will be final sanding and applying the finish: pre-stain conditioner, stain and polyurethane - no small task. The end is in sight!
This project is being built in response to the historic tornado outbreak that occurred in Alabama on April 27th. On that day, 63 tornadoes struck our state which claimed the lives of 247 people and caused between $2.45 billion and $4.2 billion in property damage (click the image at the right). The Tornado Bed will be given free of charge to a needy victim of the April 27th tornado event.
To view all posts on this project click here. This is post thirteen in this series.
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