My First Commission

It all started with a simple request. “Could you make me a bed too?” After I had completed my craftsman style bed, I had certainly mentioned it to my circle of friends. After spending a lot of time on that project and developing some new skills, I was proud of what I had built. Turns out, one of my friends liked the idea of a custom bed. That’s what led to the request above.

“Sure, I can make you a bed. What should it look like?” Thankfully the client had an idea in mind. After a discussion over the phone to get an idea of their design, I sketched up a rough diagram. Now I mean that I sketched up, as in, with a pencil, on a piece of paper. SketchUp hadn’t been invented yet. Then I sent a copy for review. Probably mailed, but there is actually a very good chance it was faxed. For those unfamiliar with a fax, I suggest

The headboard up close

Thankfully the sketch met with their approval and the building could commence. Unlike the first bed, this one is all Maple, though finished the same way. Several coats of tung oil and then paste wax. Something new I tried on this bed was a simple “fifth” foot for the bed. It was just a short leg with a wide flat top that would “pressure fit” at the center of the bed to relieve some of the stress on the slats/plywood that held up the mattress. If you walked around the bed, you couldn’t see it unless you got down on the floor to look for it.

The footboard

This bed was built in the same tiny shop and assembled over the same pool table as the craftsman bed. I also used the same Rockler mortised bed hangers. Thankfully this bed was less complex to assemble, but given that it was for a client, the glue up was still as stressful as ever. One extra twist is after it was all done, I drove it to the clients and set it up for them. That was fun to see it all complete and where it “belongs”. A bit different than receiving an online order and then just shipping it off in a box. That sounds nice too, but this was different.

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