making bed rails

Had a thought on how to easily make bed rails. Feel free to let me know if this will work or not.
I only have a Delta x5 jointer so I don't think I can make a solid rail straight enough.
What do you think of cutting 3-4 strips of mahogany plywood (apx. 6" wide), glue/screw them together and covering the ends with veneer? Would this be strong enough for twin, full, king bed?
If not are there any other ways to make them?
dave
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Dave, What you propose would be more than strong enough. If you clamped everything properly, you would have no need for the screws. My only concern would be the connection to the head/foot board. I used Rocklers bed rail fasteners. http://tinyurl.com/2oszp Attaching them to end grain plywood might be a touch edgy but with long screws should be fine.
I made/making a king bed for my son/daughter-in-law. I made the side rails from beech - 2 4/4 glued together and a 1/2" birch plywood insert. Very strong. Pictures of work in progress. http://www.teamcasa.org/workshop/currentproject.htm
-- Dave

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Had not thought about that. The plywood I have is solid core mahogany veneer, so that might help.
What about using 3 layers, with the middle being a bit longer on each side, like a tenon. Then cut matching mortises in the head/foot board?
Thanks dave

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Then I assume the rails would be permanent. They would work as you described however, I would pin the mortise with a couple of dowels.
Dave

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good thought, thanks
I will probably try to make them out of solid wood first, using some test lumber. I guess I could try to make some longer tables.
thanks for the help, dave

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It's good to see someone with some common sense here for a change. There is no way that that piddley-assed little jointer is going to do a job that any fool can see will require a 24" jointer with a 16 foot bed and a power feeder.
Don't waste good mahogany plywood. No need to use it on the interior plys where your basic CDX from the borg will do just fine.
Also the screws will not provide the even clamping force needed to laminate the boards together without voids. Vacuum bagging is what you need to do. You don't need buy an expensive setup either. An old waterbed bag will do just fine. As for the vacuum pump, if you have a truck (or even a [gasp] car) you already have one. Just insert a T fixture in any of the vacuum lines in the engine compartment, add a hose to connect to the waterbed bag, and you're good to go.
Art

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Actually, it being April 1, I was just yanking your chain. Your jointer will do fine if you decide to make them out of solid wood.
I made my daughters bunk bed rails out of 5/4 rough sawn red oak. I have a 6" Jet jointer and a portable planer which I used to mill them to final dimensions of a tad under 6" wide by 1 & 1/16 thick and all 4 are straight as an arrow. I did have a helper at the jointer to support the long ends though.
Good luck on your project and have faith in yourself. If I did it so can you.
Art
PS - Oh yeah, the vacuum bag stuff was 100% pure unadulterated BS.

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I mad a queen-sized sleigh bed out of hard maple and the bed rails were 1" thick and I was able to successfully joint the edges with my 6" Delta jointer. I can't remember the entire length of the rails, but they were slightly over the double-the-bed length rule for jointing. It was a pain and a killer on the back, but you only have to do one edge and then use the table saw and clean up with a hand plane. I suppose plywood would work as you are saying, but it wouldn't have sufficed in terms of weight in my case. I wanted the bed to have as much mass as possible.
Mike

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Dave, I made a pencil post bed for one of my daughters. I had to make a lot of long straight boards without a decent jointer. I have an ancient 4" Magna (Shopsmith) that will not join anything that big. I bought wood that was S2S1E (smooth 2 sides and 1 edge). I ripped the wood to width on a CS and hand planed the boards with a#7 handplane. I can post photos if you care to see the bed. SWMBO even bragged on it. :-)
It really is not that difficult to accomplish. I would practice on a scrap if I hadn't done it before. I'm not a radical neander, but sometimes the handtools make it easier and it's much quieter.
Have fun!

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I made a giant medieval four poster bed out of rough cedar with only a Delta 6" benchtop planer. You can do it. I use a bed bolt idea that I borrowed form the Taunton book on making beds. Mortise and tenon your rails into your posts. Then use a very long drill bit (My posts were 6 inched thick so I used the kind construction guys use to drill throug a finished wall) to drill from the post and through the mortise tenon joint and into the rail. Then I drilled into the side of the rail with a forstner bit so that the long hole exited into my forstner hole. I then could push a long bolt through the post, through the mortise tenon joint, and into the rail where it emerged into the forstner hole where I attached the nut. This assembly is called a bed bolt and it is very sturdy, unlike those screw on plates.

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Lee Valley has some bed bolts that are barrel nuts and only require a 9/16" dia hole for a nut mortise. Very easy to use!

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