Headboard – Gluing-up & Finishing

Time to start putting this thing together.

I glued the two upper rails with the eleven short slats together. This was no picnic to do. Each tenon needed gluing, then aligning and then adding the top rail.

The blue tape shown has marks on it so that I could know which slat goes where. Some had to get fitted for their spot.

After I let the two top rails glue up for the night, I glued up the lower slats and four of the plywood panels.

This got set aside for the night.


Next day I went to glue on the legs. I didn’t have 6′ clamp to I made a clamp extender by drilling some holes in some scrap wood. This way, I could use smaller F-style clamps. The legs went on just fine and just needed clamps to hold them in place.


Finally this was all glued up.


Back to the bench went the headboard. Over the next few days I built up a finish of about five coats of wiped-on polyurethane.

I did a final coat of wax applied with steel wool. Despite using gloss polyurethane, the thin coats and wax has left a very smooth satin finish.


Ultimately, this headboard isn’t going to stay in my shop to look at. It has to be attached to a bed.

The bed-frame has a bracket on one end that accepts nuts and bolts. So I drilled through the legs of the headboard and bolted them tight.


On the backs of the legs, the heads of the bolts were recessed into the legs. I cut these out with a Fortsner bit.


Here it is installed.


Final product. Client is happy. Job done.



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