(First off: I apologize for not getting pictures of the process.)
A week or so back one of my roommates texted me in the middle of the night apologizing for the noise I may or may not have heard above my bedroom. I can only assume this is what was happening when his bed broke, but regardless of what nefarious things were going on above me I offered to repair the damage.
If I had been motivated enough to take a “before” picture you’d see that a side rail split completely down the middle. From the yellowish red color and grain of the lumber I’m pretty certain his bed was made from douglas fir. I had some on hand (it was the same stuff my old floors were made from), but I concluded that none of the material I had on-hand would stand up to the rigors of modern bachelor life.
I decided to make the new rail out of oak. I knew it was never going to be a perfect match, but hey–if the finish was going to get splashed with booze and seminal fluid on a regular basis anyway, why worry about a perfectly matched finish?
The rail is a little over 8″ wide with curved lifts at either end and an additional strip at the bottom notched for slats that run perpendicular and hold up the box springs. I cut everything to size and glued and screwed the bottom strip.
The rail had a groove cut in the end grain to accept the metal hardware. I’m not sure how the original was accomplished, but I did this cut as a bridle joint on my band saw and then cut and glued filler strips to close the ends back up at the top and bottom.
In order to create the curves on top of the side rail I traced the original on a piece of 1/4″ plywood and made a template. I rough-cut the new pieces on the band saw and then completed the curve with a flush trim router bit. I edge glued and clamped the curves to the main piece and left it cure.
Once the glue was dry I scraped both sides clean, then used a roman ogee bit to put a decorative edge on the new piece. It wasn’t an exact match for the curve on the old piece, but I didn’t feel like buying a new bit to match a piece that wasn’t going to match the original anyway.
I fail on matching the finish. I was told the original finish was Old English which translated in my brain to Early Colonial which I had on hand. Nope. Totally different. Sue me.
The metal hardware was pinned to the rail with metal dowel rod and unfortunately a few were missing, I bought a new piece of 1/4 metal dowel and made a jig to make it simple to cut off pins of a uniform 3/4″ length. I softened the edge of the pins on my grinder and put everything together.