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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:16 pm 
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I am working on a bed and have a crude mockup picture and hope you guys can understand my question. We have been working with dimensions and proportions so far but now I am thinking about how to do some of this. The birch ply "panel" you see will go on both sides (in reality it will probably be birds eye maple). The horizontal "frame" you see for it will actually be walnut and will extend all the way across the headboard through all the vertical pieces. I am concerned about being able to get the accuracy it will require for everything to line up properly and see two options, cut the vertical pieces in half and dado to fit the horizontal "bars" or try and use a mortiser to cut holes in the verticals. My problem with the mortiser is setting up a way to cut each one exactly the same. I can't think of a way to make a template or jig for the mortiser. By the way, the top horizontal rail may or may not extend out over the ends as shown now, I haven't decided yet.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 3:31 pm 
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Dado the entire length of the pieces the panels will fit into, then fill the excess dado on each side of the panel with matching sticks.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 4:09 pm 
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+1 what Gene said. That's what I'd do.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 5:05 pm 
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This also is a way to do this kind of thing:
Make a dentil strip to space and hold rather than mortises.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 8:41 pm 
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I make my headboards much like a raised panel door. Then mount the sides with bolts throgh the headboard/footboard using T nuts and covering the holes with wooden caps. here are two pictures. On the cherry head board I used mortise and tennions on the straight sections, glued the curved headboard onto the top straight piece and then assembled the posts. This let me cut the tenions on the table saw before assembling the curved section.Image
See ""

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 10:01 pm 
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I think I see your problem, getting the panels lined up evenly across the top on the horiz. piece in the "goal post". I assume you're gonna do the goal post first and then the top rail. If you then make you panels w/ long styles you'd be able to disassemble the goal post and pretty accurately mark the position for the tenons and see the required length for the style. Cut the styls to the right length and form the tenons. And cut the mortises as you usually would w/ a stop block on the table so that you can reverse position and get 'em even.

If that's not part of the plan I also thought that you could use floating tenons.

But then again, every time i think I see the problem and address the issue I begin to not see the problem. :confused:

My approach is always to let the piece show me what the measurements should be. This usually works very well unless you're making cabinets, of course. Because, as you well know, to paraphraise the old farmer when asked about his sheep, "sheep lie", he said.....so do rulers.

Sure hope you'll get back w/ you ultimate solution.

Joe T

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 11:00 am 
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I think I would go with mortise and tennon. Use a good solid stop when mortising, referencing each part from the same place and you should have no problems. A little more info might help too, like how wide are the verticles versus how wide are the rails framing the ply??

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 2:35 pm 
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Hey Hebertoo,

I think that either mortising method would work well if you remember that the purpose is to get a good fit around the tenon; not the frame member's full dimension. Your piece should have a proper tenon on the end, with a shoulder that will hide the edges of the mortise from view. This will not only look cleaner, but will increase the strength and stability of your MT joint.

Tom

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 14, 2010 10:34 pm 
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What I would suggest is that you half-lap the horizontal rails into the rear of the vertical stiles. Groove everything for a panel before you cut the half-laps. Then fill the exposed grooves with a filler strip and flush the filler strip to the surface. You could use the same wood as the panels as a complementary inlay if you'd like.

Put a screw or peg in the rear of the half-laps to hold them solid.


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PostPosted: Sun Jan 17, 2010 12:09 pm 
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What I did is make a jig for my router so that I could clamp it where each mortice needs to be. I leveled the jig so that the mortice would be vertical. It took time but worked nicely. The slats were then cut to length, each was different due to the curves, and then tenons were cut on the slats. There was a bunch of hand work, and do-overs. the slats float in the mortices.


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