Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rope Bed

Sorry, I haven't posted anything in awhile, but life has kept me quite busy. My latest project is a rope bed for the Dederman Cabin in Norfolk, Nebraska. The cabin already had a rope bed, but this bed will be used to let visitors experience what it’s like to lie down in one.

I wanted to make a bed that was similar to what an early settler could have made with materials available on the frontier. I was going to copy the bed from the attached 1888 Solomon Butcher photo, but I settled on a slightly updated design using mortice and tenons instead of nails to hold it together. I also used only the bare basic tool that any pioneering family would have had. I used a crosscut saw, brace and bit, ax, foreplane, some chisels, and some basic layout tools like a square and some marking gauges. I did use a mortise chisel, I doubt most people would have had one, but I did so I used it.

The bed came out really nice and is plenty sturdy. It has to be to stand up to the use it will get from kids plopping in and out of it. My wife liked it a little too much and placed a quilt on it that she had made. Now she wants one for in the house.