Designed for use in a low EMF (Electro-Magnetic Field) bedroom, this bed is based on one depicted in Architectural Digest. It features a floating headboard panel suspended between the two posts, will support an all-natural mattress, and minimizes the use of metal fittings and parts. To allow for future wood expansion and contraction, only the top tenon is pinned to both the panel and the posts. The other two pairs of tenons float in oversized post mortises.
White ash was the wood chosen for this project because its strength and hardness allowed for narrower posts, giving a lighter feel, but is still lighter than white oak and hard maple, as overall weight was a concern. Fashioned from about 10 cubic feet of rough lumber, this bed frame still likely weighs in at a substantial 350lbs. Because the bed frame rests on a 3 1/2″ high enclosed base, two wooden frames are used instead of wood slats to support the box springs. These frames will dramatically inhibit dust from accumulating under the bed and should prevent small dropped items from finding their way under the bed where they cannot be easily retrieved.
At the client’s request, the use of metal was minimized during the construction process. To that end, no nails or screws appear anywhere. The only metal employed were four bed locks, joining the rails to the head and foot boards, and four bolts and nuts fixing the canopy rails in their mortises atop of the posts. Wood pins are used to hold the bed base together. The bed is now being finished with a soft grey low VOC acrylic latex paint while shellac has been used to seal the box spring- supporting frame. Shellac is dissolved in methyl hydrate, which immediately flashes off and leaves no persistent off-gassing, unlike modern industrial lacquers or varnishes. For this reason I regularly use shellac to seal the inside of drawers.
Getting a series of good quality photos of this king-sized canopy bed in my wood shop is really impossible, given the large size of the piece compared to the size of the shop.