Slatted Constructions

My son grew and grew. So he outgrew his bed. Or his feet began to push against the foot of the bed. Apparently people who are 6 feet and taller (or longer when they lie down!) just let their feet hang out over the end of the bed. So we needed to make a bed where my son could let his feet hang out over the bed. We haven’t asked if his growth spurt would reach those long proportions. Meanwhile he has dismantled his bed – with my help and was set up to occupy the floor. Which worked fine till his eating in bed habit brought ants into this bed.




Images above – my list of timber sizes/ cut sizes, the routered slot for the slats, the slats.

So a new bed was on the cards. A good project for the father-son duo to do something together. The bed took six months – as these projects do. Many trips to Bernie Cook, our local timber merchant, a lot of laughter. I had settled on Tassie Oak to build this project – a local hard wood. I was to discover later that ‘tassie oak’ was just a throw away name for any construction hard wood that arrived at the timber mill. Worked for me. Only this particular hard wood was brittle – which causes a bizarre chipping of the edges with the slightest tap.


Testing the fit of slats into routered slots.


Clamps for the shorter side, tie-down straps for the longer side. Glued joints left for 24 hours to dry.


Every project has to generate infrastructure – as every good economist knows. This is how you build a great nation. Or workshop. I only added a relatively inexpensive Orbital sander ($45) through this project.

The images below are of the final phase of the assembly of the Bed and the final resting place of this piece. My son is behind the camera. He helped with the sanding, and drove me to the hardware stores – three times. The last trip was to pick up the hessian straps which we had left behind on the previous trip.

BnW Bed 2

BnW Bed

Setting slats, to staple on straps.


Slats and straps before I turned them the right side up.

This was me doing a classic slatted structure – I am now interested in exploring slatted structures as a way to make more pieces. Possibly a sofa, a couch, a chair perhaps. I have also recently participated in the dismembering of an antique Chinese table. There were some interesting details there, both of the flow of the legs and the intricacy of the joinery. Details I wish to pursue possibly alongside the Japanese joinery book that is sitting on my table. Maybe “slatted-constructions” is a name worth exploring through making projects. And their allied infrastructure development agendas.

The bed in the room. Corner Details.




My son is doing Photography in school – so the images below explore close ups and depth of field. 






Dad Sad

Published by Soumitri Varadarajan

Soumitri lives in Melbourne, Australia - #probonodesign #codesign #sustainability #patientexperience #quantifiedself #mdg

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