Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

Megan’s Swoopy Headboard

Swoopy headboard drawing

My excruciatingly detailed technical drawing of the headboard

Megan’s bed had no headboard. I could not abide this tale of woe, so I set about designing and building a headboard for her. I sketched out my design idea on the back of an envelope and showed it to her for approval, which she gave to me immediately, much to my surprise.

After getting official approval, I measured the bed frame and then drew my design on graph paper in order to work out the measurements. The plan was to have a three-layer headboard with enough space between layers to put an LED rope light a few inches below the edge for a cool lighting effect.

Swoopy headboard constructionI used 1/2″ sanded plywood and a lot of 1×3 lumber. I cut out the “swoop” parts using a jigsaw and got the curves mostly smooth. Each layer was separated by a number of the 1×3 boards, glued and nailed into place with small finishing nails (mostly to keep them in place until the glue dried). I made sure that the top parts wouldn’t have any gaps between layers so if something dropped down between them, it wouldn’t go to the bottom and be irretrievable. I also didn’t want to provide an awesome home for spiders, dead flies, or mischievous dust bunnies.

I framed the edges (and the base) with a few nicer-quality 1×4 boards and finished the edges of the plywood with some DAP DryDex, sanding it all until it was smooth enough to paint. Here’s the final product before and during painting. Lori did the painting. We seem to have worked out a good team system where I build the stuff and she applies the finish.

Swoopy headboard before and during painting

After it was painted (and dried for a couple days just to be safe), I took it up to Megan’s room and attached it to her bed frame, installed the LED rope light, and hooked it up to an Amazon Echo-controlled outlet, so all she has to say is “Alexa, turn on my headboard” and the lights come on. I think it turned out pretty well.

Swoopy headboard

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