I made pretty good progress during the week on the Tornado Bed, even though I had a heavier than normal travel schedule. About mid-week, I decided to go ahead and glue-up the boards needed for the bottom cross member. This enabled me to cut all of the cross members to length with the same set-up at the table saw. I did just that Saturday morning…
Getting the process right
With this bed, I have had to really concentrate on performing the right task at the right step in the process. For example, it is always better to cut similar components at the same time (not literally at the same time, but one after another in a group). In my early days of woodworking, I would often fabricate these components separately, in some cases on different days, after changing the set up on my table saw. Cutting boards separately often slows the process and can cause one board being slightly different from the others. Organize your cuts – this speeds the process and yields fewer errors.
Another example has to do with a mistake I almost made. I was about to cut the cross members to final size, before running them through the planer (the opposite of this is better). In the past I have sized a board only to later realize I should have run it through the jointer first. When jointing, snipe can occur at the end of the board. Leaving the board long gives you the ability to simply cut away the snipe. The same is true with a planer. Joint or plane first, cut to final size last.
After bringing the boards down to final dimensions, I then formed the tenons on the ends. This is simply a process of first using my cross-cut sled and setting a stop block on my saw fence.
I had to do a little chisel work in the mortises and trimming the tenons to fit. Once that was completed, everything slides right into place. It is such a relief when this goes well.
Coming up next: final fabrication of the rest of the components needed for the headboard. I’ll need to cut a slot in the middle and upper cross members to receive the panels, as well as the stub tenons of the stiles. I’ll also have to cut a slot in the stiles – it should be an interesting week in the shop.
This project is being built-in response to the historic tornado outbreak that occurred in Alabama on April 27, 2011. 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.