Building the frame for an upholstered headboard

Edge joining a piece of 5/8″ plywood to the bottom of the face boardAdding a bottom piece of doubled 15/32″ plywood to the bottom of the back sideFiller piece for the front of the legsCutting the shape of the topThe finished back side of the frameUse 3M Super 77 spray adhesive to attach 2″ foam to the plywoodUse an electric carving knife to cut the foam to shapeBatting over foam and muslin over battingmuslin-drawn-tight-with-pins.jpg

  We have a work order to build an upholstered headboard that is 70″ high and 62″ wide.  Normally we will ask the customer to give us the height of the top of the box spring off the floor (the bottom of the headboard will be an inch higher than the top of the box spring) and the height of the top of the mattress off the floor ( so we can center the pattern between the top of the headboard and the top of the box spring).  First we go to the lumber yard and find a nice, straight sheet of 5/8″ cdx plywood for the face and cut it to a dimension of 48″x62″.  Then we make four pieces of 15/32″ cdx plywood that are  8″x70″ for the legs.  We will fasten two of these pieces together for each leg which will be stronger than using a piece of 1″x8″ pine board.  The legs are now screwed to back of the 5/8″ face board.  Between the two legs at the top of the board we will attach another two pieces of 15/32″ plywood that are fastened together like the legs.  If the top of the headboard was straight we would make this top board about 4″ high but since we will be cutting an arch that is 12″ high this top board needs to be about 16″ high.  In an attempt to keep the weight of the finished frame as low as possible we will cut off all but 4″ of the upper part of the arch.  Since the top of the box spring is 14″ off the floor the bottom of the face board needs to be 15″ off the floor which requires a face board 55″ high and 62″ wide.  The 5/8″ sheet we used for the face is only 48″ wide so we have to edge join another piece 7″ wide to the bottom of the face board.  When we made the original 62″ cut in the 5/8″ plywood it left us with a piece 48″x34″.  From this we now cut a piece 48″x7″ and two pieces 8″ wide to be used as filler (not for strength) on the face of the legs.  After the 48″x7″ piece is edge joined to the bottom of the face board we fit another doubled piece of 15/32″ about 4″ wide between the legs at the bottom back side of the face board.  Now we have a face board 62″ wide and 55″ high with legs 15″ long.  At this point we draw the shape of the top and cut through all three pieces of plywood at once (the 5/8″ face board and the doubled 15/32″ boards.  We do the cutting with a long blade in a jig saw.  After the shape is cut we use 3M Super 77 spray adhesive to attach a 2″ thick piece of foam to the face of the frame.  Then using an electric carving knife we can cut the foam to the shape of the top of the frame and trim off any excess foam on the sides.   A piece of lightweight batting is laid over the foam then the headboard is covered with muslin before we apply the finish fabric.  The muslin is an extra step but produces a better surface for the final covering.

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