Stunning... Italian Olive wood country built bed..

A great start to the year..

When I went to see this bed, a few months ago, it was quite a lovely sight to see. The timber is Olive wood and has a beautiful patina, with lots of knots dug out and replaced with small pieces of Olive, in the most simple of ways, that just looked great..and it's heavy..much heavier than you think as you go to pick it up.

The bed has been in the same family for three generations, and there was no way that it was going to be ruined in any way..

The family came to my workshop to see what I do, and what I could do for them. I must admit, at first I got the wrong end of the stick, I was being asked if I could just extend it by 300 or so millimeters.. You just can't add 300 mm to the length of a bed, especially if a teenage boy is the user.. unless I added some more structural timber inside.. So I mentioned cutting the sides down to use as fascia covers over new longer structural rails..this didn't go well either..

A little while later they got back in touch with me to make two new side rails for the hardwood..So I then suggested that the original rails could be just hung beneath the bed, hanging from the slats..That way the bed could easily be put back to how it was..

So I'm just adding to the history of this could always go back to how it was...Brilliant.

I didn't take any before pics..

The insides were painted, side rails showing Tenons and hand made bolts..
Just look where the nuts are hidden inside, just behind those infill

This is where new meets old..notice the two notches..
The dowel is to stop the slats from moving around, and it fits the edge of the first slat..

The new rails are in a single piece of Sapele, cut from a 6m length, with some figuring and mottling and it's strong. Not a bad colour match too. All of the tenons were cut buy hand, they had to be, because all of the mortices were different..good fun fitting each one..They weren't straight, or equal, or square.. and they will not be interchangeable. and I never took any timber out of the mortice.

Here are the ends of the new rails. I had to fit the bolts to the centres on the end frames..
so the bolt hole weren't in the middle of the tenons..
Notice the nut holes are behind some end grain pegs or stoppers..just proud..

You can see the difference in lengths, 
but also just how much bow is in the original Olivewood rails

The colours look better in this pic

This is the head end..just 1/4" higher, but with a round on top

I delivered the bed this week, I went into their beautiful house and assembled it.. With a new longer mattress now, and safe in the knowledge that it will last for a few more decades.

All the best



Anonymous said…
Thank you Jamie for your terrific job! You "saved" our bed! As our boys grew taller and taller they didn't want to sleep in it so we would have had to dismantle it and put it to one side. M x
Jamie said…
Hi M,

Thank you for putting your trust in me, great piece to work on.. Real fun trying to 'let in' the nuts for the bolts, very awkward to fit, as when you are trying them in, it's a pain to get them out to adjust...good fun. But still tight enough not to fall out.

Thank you.


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