Doll Bed 3

I am grateful, Lord, for revelations of Your majesty! In the eyes of the one who dares to examine the smallest part of Your mighty works, You leave no doubt of Your power. Nor will the one who seeks refuge in You fail to understand that You are strong to save! You overcome those who hate us on Your account. You draw us close to You in safety. Blessed are we, in You!

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Keeping a promise, today will complete a short series on making a doll bed for my granddaughter. Here is a link to the previous installment.

Mortised Bed Posts

The four mortised bed posts are seen in the photo above, and four identical cross pieces are required with a matching tenon cut on each end.  I did not capture a picture, but all of these have to have a slot cut on the inside centerline to inset the plywood that makes the closed head- and foot-boards.  It is tempting to want to cut this slot with the dado blade on the table saw, and that could work for the cross pieces where the cut extends from end to end.  For the bed posts, the slot is limited to the area between the mortises.  I cut these slots 3/16″ deep with 1/4″ straight router bit.  Because it is really difficult to get a saw setup to match the router setup exactly, I cut all the slots with the router.  These can be done with only the top and bottom guides to keep the cut in the center of the board.  One just has to be careful not to cut past the mortise on the posts.

Glue-up of foot-board

The picture above shows the glue up of the foot-board with the plywood captured in the slot.  One should always test fit all assemblies without glue.  Once satisfied that it goes together correctly, then add glue to the mortise and tenon joints only.  The plywood inset floats freely in the slots, allowing for expansion and contraction with humidity and temperature without splitting or cracking.

Basic Assembly

The bed rails in my design are painted angle iron.  I welded a bracket on the end to take a screw to hold the whole bed together.  This allows the bed to be broken down flat for storage.  It would be perfectly acceptable to make these out of wood, but then I would not have gotten to practice with my new flux wire welder!  Besides, I had the angle laying around from a previous project. The bottom deck is the same 3/16″ plywood that is inset in the head- and foot-boards.

Finished Doll Bed

The side rails are made from the same 1×2″ oak as the rest, except they are ripped in half to give a 3/4″ by 3/4″ finished cross section.  In between five vertical 3/8″ dowels are glued in to complete the rails.  Holes for the dowels were drilled using a drill press, so the depth is easily controlled.  The rails are mounted to the head- and foot-boards with dowels that are glued into the rails but not into the bed posts.  This arrangement allows for disassembly for flat storage.

Finally, the finish (after some light sanding) consists of two coats of a simple wipe-on poly.  I like this type of finish for items that get wear and tear because it can be refreshed  to deal with scratches with a light sanding and a new coat.

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Doll Bed 2

I am grateful for the protection afforded us by the armor of God, that You Lord, are our defense.

 

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. – Ephesians 6:12-13

 

Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? – Psalm 27:1

 

In my last post, I offered to give a description of the process of making a doll bed (crib) for my grand daughter, so here goes…

Her doll is nearly two feet tall, so that sets the basic scale for the project.  You might notice that the mattress is a queen-size pillow.  The head- and foot-boards are 1″x2″ oak assembled with mortise and tenon joints.  The inserts are 1/8″ oak plywood.  The basic tools are a table saw (including a dado blade set used to cut the tenons), a plunge router for making the mortises, and for rabbiting the grooves to hold the plywood. I also used a drill press to make holes for dowels used in the crib rails

The more non-obvious part of the process comprises making and using a jig to guide the router, so that is what I will concentrate on here.

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Router Mortising Jig

The mortising jig has the simple function of guiding the router so that you can end up with mortises in the center of the edge of the 1×2 bed posts. Centering is critical, so that the cross members align with the upright ones. In the picture above, you can see the workpiece clamped in between two scrap lengths of 2×8 lumber that I had laying around. On top of those are other scrap pieces carefully aligned and screwed down to limit the travel of the router.  There is no vertical movement, and only enough freedom for horizontal movement to get the correct width of the mortise.  The upper and side limits are only attached to the top 2×8, so that when the clamps are loosened, the work piece can be moved or a new one inserted.

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Router in Position

In the second photo, you can see the router in position in the jig, and the limited freedom to move sideways. It always takes me some trial and error on some scrap pieces to get the jig-fine tuned to give a good result.

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Finished Mortise, Still in Jig

This third photo shows the finished mortise. Using a 3/8″ router bit gives the right proportion for 3/4″ stock. Note the alignment marks on the jig.  These are needed to get the vertical spacing right on each post when clamping the workpiece. Many passes are made with the router, each slightly increasing the  depth. As long as the jig is a snug fit, this process will give a nice mortise with a snug fit and avoid overheating the router bit.

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Tenon

The cross pieces have a tenon cut to fit into the mortises on the bed posts.  I did this cross-cut work with a dado blade in my table saw. (A dado blade set consists of two saw blades separated by a group of “chippers” that remove the material between the two blades.) I used the full 3/4″ width of my blade to minimize the number of passes.   The material removed is controlled by the height of the blade, set to exactly 3/16″, leaving a 3/8″ thick tenon.  Passing through the saw has to be done carefully to get all four cuts to align exactly.  I clamp a block to my guide fence to serve as a starting guide for the length of the tenon.  This is much safer than allowing the end of the tenon to drag along the fence while going through the blade. A little sanding is all that is required to get the square tenon to fit in the round mortise made by the router bit.

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Test Fit of Joint

I took the picture above to demonstrate the fit while the bed post was still in the mortising jig.

I will post the remainder next time.

Doll Bed

For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us. – 2 Corinthians 1:20

 

I am grateful for the promises of God, for they are a mighty defense against the weapons of the enemy and my assurance that those he has formed against me will not prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)

 

Lord, thank you for filling Your Word with so many magnificent promises! May they be constantly in my thoughts and more and more on my lips.

 

I had thought about possibly showing the process of building this oak doll bed for my granddaughter, if there is any interest.

The project was inspired by the demise of her old one when her younger brother decided it would be fun to get in.  I’m sure it probably seemed like a good idea at the time.