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Thread: Posts for a bed frame

  1. #1
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    Posts for a bed frame

    So I'm going to make a bed frame and happened to tell my neighbor. He gave me several pieces of 8/4 red birch that he milled into triangles so when all 4 are glued together it'll make a 4"x4" post. It was for a couple that broke up before their wedding. My plan is to leave the top square and turn the bottom half. Then I thought about adding splines to hold the triangles together (in red). A coworker suggested using a contrasting wood so places where it's turned deep enough the spline would show through. For the life of me I can't visualize what it would look like. Here's a top view of the post. The red parts are the splines Which I could position and make what ever size I wanted. Would it look odd? I can make the slots for the splines on my table saw with a box blade so there would be no gaps so that would limit me to either 1/4" or 3/8" wide.
    post.jpg

  2. #2
    I would not want to see the splines, contrasting or not. With this type of glue up I would also be concerned that the growth rings were consistent among the pieces. There is always a possibility of movement that might open up a joint, but having inconsistent growth ring patterns might increase that potential.

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  3. #3
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    I don't think that splines are necessary for this. It is long grain to long grain, which is a strong joint all on its own. As long as you have a good fit on the faces, you should have no problems. If it was end grain to end grain, that would be different.
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  4. #4
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    I would not want to go the spline route. Long grain to long grain glue joints are really strong. No failures after gluing up a truck load of cutting boards.
    I would knock off a small sliver of the center points to ease gluing them together.

  5. #5
    Is it kiln dried? Would not do the pictured glue-up without kiln dried.

  6. #6
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    I think cutting through the splines would look odd, at best. I'd certainly do a scale model mock-up first to see if I liked it. You'd need to have the spline sized perfectly and and the groove perfectly flat and square so there wouldn't be ugly gaps. It would be quite challenging to do well.

    The splines might be helpful for alignment during glue-up, but certainly not needed at all for strength. I'd just glue them us using band clamps to keep everything in position.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by roger wiegand View Post
    I think cutting through the splines would look odd, at best. I'd certainly do a scale model mock-up first to see if I liked it. You'd need to have the spline sized perfectly and and the groove perfectly flat and square so there wouldn't be ugly gaps. It would be quite challenging to do well.

    The splines might be helpful for alignment during glue-up, but certainly not needed at all for strength. I'd just glue them us using band clamps to keep everything in position.
    +1 on all points. I agree with others who say it will glue up fine without spines.

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  8. #8
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    I would make practice pieces to see if I liked it. The pieces could be 18" long.

  9. #9
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    One more vote for not wanting to see the spines, but I might use them in the square ends to help with alignment during glue up.

  10. #10
    I think that exposing the splines is a REALLY bad idea. It would change the construction from four pieces joined with splines, to 16 pieces glued together. Draw or imagine a circle over your diagram. In addition, outer layers consisting of the splines and what had been the corners of the original square block would be unclamped glue joints. Unless the spline fit is very tight, you will probably have a visible glue line. And I’m joining the other posters in recommending skipping the splines entirely. They are unnecessary for joint strength, and any deviation from perfect alignment of the grooves can create visible glue lines.
    Last edited by Dick VanNewkirk; 01-19-2021 at 1:07 PM.

  11. #11
    Personal preference for me would be for solid wood. I just don't trust glue joints, even though I do use them for table tops. If you have very exact fitting splines, they could be used for decoration, but the few attempts I made for that were not very good.

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  12. #12
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    So it's not just me, good. In my head I couldn't picture it being something that would look good. I'll just glue them up without splines. There's lots of surface area for the glue so just glue alone will be fine. The bed frame is going to be a pedestal design so the feet aren't going to be easily seen anyway. Sometimes simple is better.

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