Building a Headboard, Need Advice

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  • #136858
    glasertl
    Participant

    I was asked to build a headboard with reclaimed lumber from an old barn. The person wants the boards to be glued together vertically. Wanting to take wood expansion into account would it be best to use three mortise joints, like with a breadboard end, into the bottom support board of the frame or is there a better joint? I am pretty new to jointing but have been practicing mortise and tenon joints. Thank you for your help.

    #136864
    Peter George
    Participant

    If the boards are going in a frame, you might want to consider tongue and groove rather than gluing the boards together. That allows for the wood movement very nicely.

    Peter in
    Biggar SK
    "New York is big, but this is Biggar"

    #136866
    BrianJ
    Participant

    I might consider creating a shiplap joint to allow expansion. Why are they requesting it be glued? Are they worried about gaps? Will it be stained? Are they looking to create a smooth surface? Reclaimed lumber is bound to create some challenges.
    BrianJ

    Ontario, Canada

    #136867
    glasertl
    Participant

    Peter, thank you for your advice on the tongue and groove, that would have been perfect.

    Brian, what she has is a bunch of old weathered cedar, she does not want it finished but wants the sides glued to each other. To make this work, I think I have to back it with plywood. There is very little strength left in these boards. The current plan is to plane the most weathered parts of the boards to get the moss and lichen off, then glue them to the plywood. The part of the wood that was on the inside of the barn is rough sawn, she wants to keep that. Not sure what kind of finish I should use there. Lind seed oil perhaps?

    #136868
    Peter George
    Participant

    I think you should be ok if the boards are glued to plywood. The plywood should constrain the wood movement.

    As for finish, if the boards have started to get punky, you might want to look at a wood stabilizer. I’ve used one on some spalted burl that was a bit too spalted. It’s a very thin two part epoxy that absorbs into the wood and then sets. Otherwise a drying oil like boiled linseed oil might work. I’d try it on a scrap piece first.

    Peter in
    Biggar SK
    "New York is big, but this is Biggar"

    #136873
    pdunn88
    Participant

    Hi Tom,
    my wife asked me to make her a headboard a while ago. I made it out of Jarrah and it has two legs and two rails. I cut mortise holes in the top and bottom rails the size of the slats and the slats are captured in the mortise holes and are unglued to allow movement. I think I but jointed the rails to the legs, but after watching Paul Sellers work I think I should have put tenons on the rails and mortises in the legs. Only the legs and the rails are glued and I used Araldite for strength.

    Paul Dunn

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