Log Bedroom Furniture: Build a Bed Frame
Log bedroom furniture is stylish and perfect for any rustic or country decorating look. Use your basic woodworking skills to build your own log bed frame.
Step 1 – Find the Wood
If you are building your bed frame entirely by hand, then you need to find appropriate logs. Use dry wood or dead standing wood. You will need both smaller branches (about 2 inches in diameter) as well as large logs (4 to 6 inches in diameter).
If you choose green wood, you will need access to a kiln to dry the wood before you use it, or else it will crack.
Fire killed wood is ideal, since it is already dead. Rotten wood will fall down in a fire, and the bark will easily peel off of good wood.
Step 2 – Prepare the Wood
Use a drawknife, you’ll remove bark in long strokes (pulled toward you).
Logs can develop “planer's glaze,” which causes the pores in the wood to close as you cut. While this not be a problem for indoor furniture, the glaze can cause outdoor furniture to repel any stain you apply. To avoid planer's glaze, you can sand the logs with a high quality sander.
Make the mortise and tenon joints that are the hallmark of fine log furniture. One way to make these joints is to drill a hole in the center of a log, then rotate the log around a saw blade, cutting off the edges.
For uniform logs, you can use a chucking machine that operates like a pencil sharpener.
For the mortises, use a drill press that allows you to drill at an angle.
Step 3 – Build the Rails
Common rail sizes are 4 inches logs. They will fit into 6-inch posts at the bed corners, and 2 to 3 ½-inch spindles.
Make the rails with two joists all the way around the bed frame and attach them securely to the posts. They should go into the posts at least 2 ½ inches.
Use a nut and bolt as a security. This will also allow you to tighten the bolt if the connection loosens over time.
Step 4 – Construct the Bed
Once you have your rails put together, connect them to the posts and make decorative headboards and footboards.
Use 2 ¼-inch wood boring drill bits to make holes for the spindles at the head and foot of the bed. If you are making a fan pattern, space the holes 9 inches apart at the top and 7 inches apart at the bottom for the spindles to work properly.
Use cables and eye hooks to hold the bed tightly together after you have made all the wood joinst. Again, you can tighten these over time.