The Tornado Bed
Comments 5

Tornado Bed: the hardware, part 2

My table saw becomes a work surface while adding rail hardware.

After some slow progress on the Tornado Bed, things have advanced extra quickly this week. It seems that all the time I devoted to making a precision jig for the hardware mortises paid off, because I basically used that same jig for the head board and foot board posts with just a minor adjustment. There were moments of anxiety while sinking my router bit into the side rails (previous post). Not this time; I powered up my router with more confidence and got after the mortises in the bed’s posts.

I draw the outline of the rail (the rectangular box) and mark center lines horizontally and vertically.

I then align the center lines on my template with those drawn on the post.

The process used above has the collar in the base of my router riding along the inside of the template. The router bit then cuts the needed mortise for the hardware. I get a uniform cut around the perimeter and a consistent depth of cut.

A chisel is then used to clean up the cut. The hardware is temporarily installed using sheet rock screws.

In the photo above, note the two openings in the hardware. I use chisels to mark the location of these openings to help with the next step.

I add secondary slots to the original mortise.

I then clamp a straight edge to the foot board and use my router to cut slots in the mortise. These slots are needed to allow room for the hooks found on the male part of the hardware.

Here, I have the post hardware installed.

I did all this work during the week. It has become harder to find significant time to work on this project. I have to insert a little time in the evenings and some early mornings in order to make this progress. Then on Saturday, my wife and I went to this…

The season opener for University of Alabama Crimson Tide football.

We are alumni of the University of Alabama and my daughter is an undergraduate there. Close to 100,000 of our ROLL TIDE friends cheer the Tide on to their first victory of the season. The weather co-operated, we had great seats, and afterwards, we met up with our daughter for some bar-b-que. Big fun.

Today, I cut the mortises and installed the hardware for the headboard.

I still see this project lasting until the end of September before I am finished with it, but at least 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.


  1. It is exciting. I still have a lot of work to do. The staining and finishing aspect of this project alone will take some time. But, it is fun to see the bed taking shape.

    Thanks for leaving a comment!

  2. The joinery looks great Jeff. The fear each time of plunging in that router will always make us think twice. Yours turned out perfect. So, how was the BBQ? 🙂

  3. Thanks David.

    Jason – the BBQ was great as usual. We get it from a local place called Full Moon BBQ. We picked up four pounds which is the most I've ever ordered and we met at our daughter's apartment which is a block from the stadium. About 10 of her friends stopped by and we had a big time.

    Thanks for the comments!


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