Back in 2002 I thought it would be interesting to make a Headboard for our new King sized bed.  And here it is…

I am a big fan of the TV series Doctor Who.  I have been watching it since High School.  I decided to incorporate a Dr. Who theme into the design of a Headboard.  The majority of people will not pick up on this, but I don’t woodwork for other people anyway.  I have to explain that in 2002 I did not own a digital camera.  I did have a lot of other cameras, but I took pics of my woodworking with a Polaroid, so these pictures are pretty crappy.

I figured that since I was going to do something this large and difficult, I might as well make it even more hard on myself by having NO mechanical fasteners of any kind.  That’s right, NO Nails, Screws or Brads of any kind are in this Headboard.  Just wood and glue.  I have always liked the way Red Oak looks.  The contrast between the veining and the rest of the wood.

I started with a sketch of what I wanted to achieve.  The only dimension I had to hit was the width.  Other than that, I pretty much winged it as per usual.  I started by buying the wood at St. Charles Hardwoods.  I bought S4S wood for the main panel because I do not own a planer.  “S4S” means it has been Surfaced on all 4 Sides – all sides are flat and square.  I priced how much the columns would cost by making them out of solid 4×4 Red Oak and nearly blew a gasket.  So the columns are hollow.  They are a little over 5′ tall and go almost to the floor.  More on that later.  The columns are held together with biscuits and glue and the tops are held on with pegs and glue.  The sides are all rounded off.  I dug out the middle of the front faces with the router to give it a design so they were not just flat and boring.  The tops are meant to mimic the roof of the TARDIS.

Next, I assembled the Main Panel using Biscuits and glue.  The Biscuit attachment I have for my router works great, and it saved me from having to pay a ton of money for a seperate Biscuit cutting tool.  Once I had the panel worked up I had to decide on how big I wanted the Seal of Rassilon design.  Remember this project I did?  That freehand routing test was to practice for this Headboard.

I printed it out, cut around it and traced it onto the Main panel.  I then freehand routed it out using a “V” groove bit.  I added the lines on the sides after becuase I thought the Seal wasn’t enough by itself.

I have a Ryobi detail sander with multiple sanding tips that I used to get into all the grooves and sand out all the burn marks.  That is an amazing tool, even if it really doesn’t have too many other uses and it makes your hand go numb after working with it for about an hour.  I framed in the main panel with 2×2 Red Oak like you would a picture frame because the 3/4″ edge wouldn’t have given me enough surface area for gluing.  Next, the Posts were installed.

The posts are held on with Pegs and glue.  Who ever invented the Strap Clamp should win an award.

And here is the Main Assembly completed and after sanding.

I sanded up to 800 grit because I was going to put Gloss Poly on it and I wanted it to be as smooth as glass to the touch, and it is.  Next, I put 3 coats of Red Oak stain on it.  I have never really liked “yellowish” stains on wood.  I am not the “warm” or “earthy” tone type of person.  So this Red Oak stain looked perfect on the Red Oak wood.

I then put 6 coats of Gloss Poly on it.  Yes, I really did put 6 coats on it.  I wanted it amazingly shiny.  The warning I would like to give people is that if you have sensitive skin, as I do, make sure you ventilate a heck of a lot more than I did.  I wore a respirator and opened the door to the outside when I was putting on the Poly, but the fumes made me break out so bad I thought I had hives, but it turned out it was just Contact Dermatitis.  I learned how freaky prescription grade antihistamines can make you feel.  I needed them so I didn’t itch my skin off.

Here’s the completed Headboard.

This sucker is HEAVY.  It’s 5′ tall and 6’wide.  One person can’t navigate it around alone.

Here’s where I explain when I said that the posts “go almost to the floor”.  When I first installed it on the bed, I attached it to the frame.  After a while we came to the realization that it was just way too heavy to leave it attached to the bed.  So when we painted the bedroom, I put 4 heavy L brackets on the legs and attached the Headboard to the wall instead of the bed.  That worked out much better.  The posts are a little bit off of the floor so it’s easier to clean the floor.

Here it is installed.  I also made the Nightstands, but that’s a story for another post.