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Greene & Greene Gamble House master bedroom bed


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This one took up a lot of my spare time and just over a year of build time. Mostly because like everything I have to scratch out good time in between all of the unsuitable stuff where things would just get messed up. @Andyjr1515 should enjoy seeing a parallel bed project!

So this is the original piece, or pieces. Black Walnut beds in the master bedroom of the David B. Gamble House in Pasadena. Some will recognise the exterior of the house as Doc Brown's mansion in Back To The Future, however the interior shots were the similar (but stylistically distinct) Robert Roe Blacker House nearby. Plans don't exist for these pieces, so a fair amount of adaptation and proportioning to the desired end use (European double, UK super king, not sure about US).

Bedroom no. 1 (view of twin bed).jpg


The design was originally done in Solidworks.

3D preview 1.jpg


Connections from the sides to the headboard and footboard were done using flanged threaded M10 inserts fitted into the back of the tenons of the lower boards of the head/footboards. Lengths of 10mm allthread stud are then fitted in through holes in the stub tenons of the sides, through to 40mm diameter access points on the inner faces. Half-moon washers and M10 nuts provide the tension to bring the joint closes and provide structural rigidity.







Not a fan of the sapwood myself, but Nina loves it and hell. You have to accept it as part of Black Walnut's character unless you waste more than you use....



African Blackwood spline details.



The panels on the head/footboard are 19mm plywood veneered with burled Walnut with African Blackwood tsuba (Japanese sword hand guard) piercings with brass studs. The burl veneer was particularly fractious and needed softening with a mixture of water, alcohol and glycerine. Veneering was done with phenolic glue in case of bleedthrough.


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Thanks guys. I'd like to have posted more about this one as it went, but that becomes quite difficult given the periods of time between doing things and then the added task of documenting it!

This said, the challenges weren't that numerous given that I used the time between work to plan and pre-empt. The spindles in the headboard and footboard for example. Getting the exact length correct for each one whilst taking into account a 1° slope on both of the shoulders of the outer spindles is a difficult - and somewhat silly - task. Instead, I made the top of each spindle fit into a 5mm housing recess cut. That way they could be slightly over-length and the priority only being on the lower shoulder angles. The joinery was mostly Festool Domino for non-structural parts. The lower two boards on the headboard and footboard were joined with pretty large 20mm (maybe 25mm, I forget) mortise and tenon work. The middle board (just below the spindles) went in maybe 25-30mm whilst the lower one was a full 75mm so that the threaded inserts fitted prior to glueing the tenon into the mortise line up with the sides. I'm 100% sure that the originals weren't designed to be knock-down as everything in those houses was built to have its own unique place in the houses as part of the whole. I enjoyed the challenge of making these "into that" whilst retaining all of the important aspects without compromises. If I had an infinite amount of time, I'd have loved to try the bolection style inlay work. Breaking up flat featureless surfaces is a nice idea.

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5 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

I'd like to have posted more about this one as it went, but that becomes quite difficult given the periods of time between doing things and then the added task of documenting it!

You'd need a pair of camera glasses! Protection and documentation in the same frame... Or, if you think that's too fragile, a GoPro strapped onto your head.

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