April 27, 2011
New Headboard

So the wife and I had been looking for quite a while for a new headboard. I’d say it’s about time. The headboard we are currently using I “modified” years ago when we went from a waterbed to a box springs and mattress bed. Basically I cut one of the side rails of the waterbed in two and used the two parts to hold up the bookshelf-style headboard we had on the waterbed. It wasn’t pretty but at the time we didn’t have the cash or the time to go looking for a new headboard. Then, after about 8-10 years we got a Select Comfort mattress – you know, the “sleep number” bed. I really like the new mattress, but it is a bit lower than the box spring and mattress.

So we went out looking. And kept looking. And looked some more. We went to furniture stores. We went to bed stores. We went to woodworking shops. We found a couple of headboards that were nice but we didn’t want the entire bed frame; we just wanted the headboard. And they were expensive…. some went for over $1500 just for a headboard. The ones in our unspoken price range were flimsy and cheesy looking. We even went to a local business who built our kitchen cabinets. They do custom woodwork for anything, including custom design. Their offer was a bit high as well.

After all the looking we were getting a bit frustrated. So I decided that I’ll make a headboard. The wife was OK with that. Next, we had to decide on a design. After much debate a Shaker design was what we decided on. It helped that our son had a Shaker style headboard for her to see. Next, we had to decide on the wood to use. It came down to maple or hickory, and the wife decided hickory. All decisions were made, so now it’s time to buy wood. Off to Menards!

Menards can be frustrating at times, and this was one. The Menards in town does not carry hickory 4×4’s in stock. And if I order them, they are simply glued 1×4’s instead of a true 4×4. Well, I can do that! So I did. I glued up four 1×4’s to make a 4×4. I made two of them for the posts and then went to a friend who had a planer and evened up the sides and – voila! – two 4×4 posts! Then I used a roundover bit on the router to smooth out the corners of the 4×4’s.

Also, Menards does not have hickory veneer plywood, only oak. So I got birch plywood for the recessed panels. Yeah, birch is a much lighter wood, but hopefully with the stain on it won’t be too noticeable. Of course, the birch recessed panels will be at the mattress level so they won’t be too visible.

Everything is sanded smooth, so I’m now at the point where I need to stain all the wood to make the finish more consistent. So here’s the photos:
Front of the headboard  From the end  From the other end  The slats

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