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Re: Pennsic Panic - the Game

Poster: David KUIJT <kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu>

On Thu, 16 Jul 1998, Tom Rettie wrote:

> The most excellent Dafydd ap Gwystl wrote:
> > A 15th century oak slat bed with headboard, based upon a surviving
> > example
> Any chance you could find a minute from your pile of chores to share a
> brief description of said bed?

The surviving example is a rope bed, the one reproduced in Bayleaf (Weald
& Downland). Slat beds existed earlier (the Oseberg burial is the best
example) and _probably_ at the same time (there is no way to access and/or
tighten ropes on Italian platform beds of the late renaissance; 
CONJECTURALLY they may be slat beds).  Rope beds are bloody inconvenient
for camping and moving, that's probably why the Oseberg bed was a slat

It's made to fit a double mattress futon.  The footboard will be one piece
(two 16" endposts 3" square attached (pegged mortise and tenon) by a 10" 
wide rail of 6/4 oak, rough-cut on the bottom edge and backside and
finished on the top edge and front side).  The headboard likewise one
piece, two 40" endposts as before, a similar rail, and a number of boards
each individually pegged into a slot in the endposts to make the
headboard, probably tongue-and-grooved (but not glued) into each other to
allow for expansion and prevent differential warping or unsightly gaps. 
There will also be some decorative treatment of the top board, giving it
an inverted broad V-shape.  The two long rails are similar to the end
rails; 6/4 oak rough-cut on the invisible face and edge.  They will attach
to the endposts by through-mortise and tusk tenon.  All slats will be
shouldered with a through-mortise in the long rails; initially they will
stick out an inch; that'll be cut down depending upon how much flex they
are subject to in use.  Other than the shoulders they will be
free-floating (no tusk tenons).  There will be a king slat in the center;
also shouldered 6/4 oak with a pair of tusk tenons.  The other slats will
be 3/4" stock.

>  I'm sure Beth and I aren't the only ones
> toiling on such projects for war, and I've had a devil of a time finding
> late period examples of slat beds (rope beds, sure, but nothin' for us
> folks with bad backs!).

This bed is for Beth, actually -- she's buying the lumber, doing most
of the work, and getting the bed.  I'm the design team, consulting
woodbuying expert, planning resource, and it's being made in my shop.

Lumber cost is $125 so far, including milling, but we had to glue up the
oak for the posts ourselves.  Worth the $50 savings over having the
wood store do it.

Unfortunately the original bed design that this one is based on is a rope
bed, not a slat bed.  I agree completely -- slat-bed examples are very
rare.  Of course, bed examples at all are not that common.

Dafydd ap Bedmaker

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