Correa Wood Works
Craftsman furniture featuring full integral mortise and tenon joinery. 100% solar powered!

Walnut Bed part 4: Resin and Grooving

With the main joinery completed, I need to make a groove to accept the floating walnut panels. The groove must be centered on the legs, rails and stiles, all of which have different thicknesses. The groove in the posts and stiles is fairly straight forward and completed using a 1/2″ two flue straight cutter on my router table. The difficult groove is on the arched rails.

My router bit inventory was surprisingly not able to accomplish the large sized groove. All of my bits were just shy of the capacity needed to make the curved groove. After a bit of poking around online I ordered up a Freud 61-102 slot cutting set and it arrived in the mail Monday afternoon.

This router bit is the stacked dado cutter of router land. It was shipped with the typical rust inhibitor. I disassembled the cutter and cleaned the slot cutters and arbor with blade and bit cleaner. I carefully wiped down the bearing races with the same cleaner being careful not to get it inside the bearing. The shim washers and nut were soaked in acetone and all of the parts were wiped down.

With a clean set of components I stacked up about .710″ on the arbor spindle. it has a fairly large appearance and makes me envision 4 little carbide ninja stars flying off the router at 14,ooo rpm  if the nut should come loose. I triple checked to make sure that everything was good and snug.

I made the first pass with the largest bearing to create a 1/4″ slot. I followed that up with a pass on each side with the middle bearing to create a 3/8″ deep slot. This kind of cut it one of the most challenging for me. The slightest tip and the slot is ruined.

Speaking of ruined slots, I managed to booger up the first 10″ of my first cut. It can really be frustrating after putting so much work into a piece of curved, draw bored, mortised, tenoned solid walnut but there’s always a solution. After a bit of *?#% and @!#* I reset the depth of the bit and cleaned up the slot with a wider cut. I scribed and glued in a thin strip of walnut for a patch no one but yours truly will notice.

With a bit of a flush trim and a second pass with the slot cutter…Voila!

After a bit of sanding it will blend in brilliantly. The good thing is the patch is in the back side of the headboard facing the wall and in a slot that faces the floor. All of the subsequent slots went off beautifully

With the router bit in transit over the weekend, I managed to mill up the side rails which will connect the headboard to the footboard and support the bed. If you recall, the bed rails started out as 11 foot long 15″ wide 200 lb. boards.

After a bit of careful layout I cut two 88″ rails. They will have a finished length of 80″ but with huge boards like this, snipe can be a real treat! The extra 8″ is insurance that any unfortunate milling malpractice can be remedied.

The boards had some good sized knot holes which I filled. I think a lot of wood workers would do this more often if they knew just how easy the process is.  On a bed, the last thing you want is a place to snag linens or skin. I put together a 2 minute clip that shows how I go about it. After using a number of epoxy resins I was turned on to Bondo brand fiberglass resin. If your curious to see how simple it is here you go:


(Tip: Once the video loads, double click for full screen)

Filling knot holes with fiberglass resin


I sanded the side rails on a wide-belt up to a final pass through 150 grit with the platen only and the finish is killer. They are going to look amazing sanded to 400 and wet with varnish. I can wait to see them finished.

Check out the ridiculous figure up close.

Next up I should have the bed dry fit and ready for finishing.



3 Responses to “Walnut Bed part 4: Resin and Grooving”

  1. Looking Great! Love the figure of the walnut rails.

  2. Wow! I’ve got a similar slot cutter but I’d never thought tot try and stack them up like that.

    Do you have spacers (washers) in between or is each cutter butted up to the next and offset, as with a dado blade in a circular saw?

    I guess you had to run it on a slow speed, as well?

    Once again, you’ve got some astonishing walnut and I love the bed design.


    • Olly,

      There are a number of shim washers used to fine tune the cutting height similar to a stacked dado set. The arbor has a long spindle that accepts multiple cutters. This bit is a Freud 61-102 slot cutting set.

      Thanks for following

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