Child’s Loft Bed, Session 6 – Mortising the Posts

I have been using this Tweet-Along to experiment with and refine the format of Tweet-Alongs on this blog.  For this Session, I have included only my own tweets and removed my username and the #flairww tag.  I am undecided about the timestamps and I would like to know what you think of them.  Take the poll below:


Please let me know if you would like to see the Tweet-Alongs presented in a different manner.

My next project is a commissioned loft bed for a child.  It has a set of stairs up to the bed on one side and a slide down from the other side.  There will be drawers in the side of the stair case and the top will be draped with cloth to complete the canopy.  This project will also be featured in an upcoming issue of Canadian Woodworking.

I documented my progress live on Twitter using hashtag #flairww which was useful because each update had a time stamp so followers could see the rate at which I progressed.  Catch up on the build.  Read Session 123, 4, and 5.


I’m back in the shop to mortise the Child’s Loft Bed’s posts to receive the rails. -12:27 PM Jul 30th, 2012

I used calipers to set the fence of my Domino XL to mortise the centre of the posts. -12:35 PM Jul 30th, 2012

Surprisingly, I had no difficulty using my Domino XL like this. -12:45 PM Jul 30th, 2012

I calculated the location of the mortises to ensure the mattress would be at the correct height. All the measurements will be included in the plans published with the upcoming magazine article in Canadian Woodworking. -1:08 PM Jul 30th, 2012

I’ve mortised for the four long rails at the top. I need to determine where to place the lower rail. -1:33 PM Jul 30th, 2012

Offcuts are handy for visualizing. The long rail would be awkward. -1:36 PM Jul 30th, 2012

I’ve set up my table saw to cut the Domino tenons to length. -1:59 PM Jul 30th, 2012

That was a successful dry-fit. I’m done for now. The next step will be to install the bolts. -2:58 PM Jul 30th, 2012

It’s nice to have a project that I can walk through, literally! -3:00 PM Jul 30th, 2012

I’m back in the shop after a much-needed break. I’ve laid out the locations of the bolts. Now I need to drill clearance holes. -6:02 PM Jul 30th, 2012

My self-centring dowel jig is barely big enough to clamp onto the posts but it works. -6:08 PM Jul 30th, 2012

Don’t have a dowel jig? Here’s a simpler way to drill straight, accurate holes. First, mark centre. -6:21 PM Jul 30th, 2012

Then start drilling freehand. Go just far enough to register the bit. -6:23 PM Jul 30th, 2012

Use a block of hardwood with an accurately drilled hole to guide the bit the rest of the way. -6:26 PM Jul 30th, 2012

The Domino tenons go further into the ends of the rails than the faces of the posts. However, the tenons are harder to extract from the posts than the rails. Surprised? Don’t be! Think cut nails! The wood fibres act like feather boards and work to hold the tenon in the mortise. (That’s my logic, anyhow.) -7:04 PM Jul 30th, 2012

When I drilled the posts, I also marked where to continue drilling into the ends of the rails. -7:29 PM Jul 30th, 2012

For floating tenons that are too tight to remove by hand, this is THE BEST way I know. -7:52 PM Jul 30th, 2012

I spent the rest of the evening drilling the remaining holes for the bolts and cross dowels.

I still need to add a cleat on the long rails to support the mattress-supporting slats.  I also need to fill in the space between the middle and lower rails of the headboard and footboard.  By the time that is done, I hope to have the finish of Maple Trestle Table rubbed out and the table out of the shop so I can work on the bed while it’s on its feet.  Session 7 is next!

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