Hey Stoutman or others,
I began making a bed similar to the Stickley bed you made earlier this
year. I am making it from cherry and there are some differences to
your desgn. The slats in the head and foot boards are 1/2 inch thick,
2 inch wide. I'm planning to cut motises in the headboard & footboard
rails to accept these slats but I can't decide if I should make them
the same size as the slats so the slats slide right in or if I should
make them smaller and cut tenons in the ends of the slats.
The latter approach would not show any edge of the mortise and might
be easier and quicker to facilitate but I'm concerned that the tennons
would be too thin if I stayed with 1/2 inch material.
How did you secure your slats?Any comments on this? Thanks,
Very good question. I struggled with this also and asked the group. I was
torn between using biscuits or tenons (floating or integral) and I decided
on biscuits (#20). Only time will tell if I made a mistake. We
(woodworkiers) tend to over engineer things, is a tenon overkill for a slat
or is a biscuit aqequate? I am banking on a biscuit being adequate for the
If you are going to go through the trouble of making mortises you might want
to make tenons.
Thanks for that comment on the tenon thicknesses and other notes too.
And thanks to the other posters for their input. I think that
tenoning these slats will hide the mortise channels. Read you all
My bed that I built, from Cherry, doesn't have seperated slats per se.
Instead they form a solid panel using T&G so I really had no choice but to
put dado's in the top and bottom rails to accept the 1/2" thick pieces.
That said, I did cut tenons if you will, on the individual pieces so they
slid into the dado but stopped at the shoulder. I think you could go
either way but I've found that by making the mortise/tenon thinner/smaller
than the slat, you cover up any mistakes made while mortising.
Just a tuppence, having build quite a bit in this style:
The only method with misson/A&C style slats that I've ever balked against
was the cheesy one of cutting a dado the length of the aprons and using
spacers in between the slats ... usually a very fussy shortcut, and being
much harder to hide the fact that you took one (shortcut).
All the other methods (traditional M&T, loose tenons, biscuits) will
generally give you a much better appearance (with cutting the mortises the
same size as the slats probably last on the list of the remaining methods,
appearance wise, only because it can also be a fussy proposition getting
that perfect fit on every single slat/mortise).
While there is nothing wrong with using other methods, chances are you will
be happier with both the results of using tenons on the slats, and with the
knowledge that what you used was a time honored, traditional method that
goes along with the style.
Also, since it is not absolutely necessary to glue tenoned slats into their
respective mortises when done properly (batch cutting the tenons without
changing tool setup goes a long way to a square fit), the glue-up of the
assembly can be considerably easier, a big consideration on a large, one man
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