Footboard Rails

With the headboard complete, most of the hard work is out of the way. The next job is to build a footboard and a pair of rails to wrap up the frame. Then you'll add the hardware to hold everything together. And finally, some cleats to support a platform for the mattress.

THE FOOTBOARD. First comes the footboard. You can see in the drawing above, it's much simpler than the paneled headboard — merely a pair of legs with a curved rail connecting them. Here again, mortise and tenon joinery supplies the strength.

IH only mention a couple things about the legs for the footboard. Here, I didn't have plywood panels to worry about, so I cut mortises that were a full %"-wide (detail V). And since the footboard has no cap piece, I routed a chamfer on the tops of the legs as well as the bottoms.

The footboard rail is pretty much self explanatory. The only twist here is the gentle curve cut into the lower edge of the rail. You'll want to do this after the tenons have been cut, as shown in detail 'a.'

To lay out the curve, I simply used a flexible strip of wood pulled into a slight bow by a piece of string tied between the two ends. And once you've marked the line of the curve on the rail, you can take it to the band saw to cut it to shape.

THE SIDE RAILS. The side rails only need a short mention. Just cut them to size and they're ready to go.

THE HARDWARE. Now that you have all the frame pieces made, the next step is to install the bed hardware used to fasten everything. For details on this, you can turn to page 28.

THE CLEATS. With the fasteners in place, the frame can be set up and the cleats that support the platform installed. First, I cut the headboard and footboard cleats to fit and glued and screwed them to the rails (details 'c' and'd'). The side rail cleats need to be set back from the ends of the rails in order to clear the end cleats, as shown in detail 'c.'

A These bed rail fasteners give you the best of both worlds. They make setting up the frame easy. And once it's together, it'll stay together.

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