Bed Post Design Question

Mark Johnson

Corporate Member
I'm designing some Colonial style cannon ball bedposts which will be turned out of cherry. Is there any guideline on how small a diameter should be left between turned elements above the bed rail level? I'm using 1 inch below the rail as a minimum, but above the rail with an urn, bell, and cannon ball 1" seems kind of "clunky. Obviously I don't want the bedpost to break if kids decide to swing on it at some point in the future, but I just wondered who might know some reasonable guides. Maximum square post dimension is currently planned for 3 1/4 inches. Thanks!

Henry W

Senior User
No clue really Mark, as I've not done much spindle work.
I know what I would do is likely look at as many pics as I could of Colonial style beds, and surmise the 'rules' and proportions from these.

Mike Davis

Corporate Member
I made this one for my daughter and kept it pretty simple.


Mark Johnson

Corporate Member
Thanks for the help. I'm first going to redraw with smaller spacing between the elements, then just see how thick a dowel has to be before I can't break it. That should tell me the minimum from a function standpoint. I'll tackle the "form" from there. I want to keep classical proportions, but like the look of more delicate pieces.


If these are tall bedposts, do keep in mind that mature citizens can also "swing" on the bedposts when they are getting in and out of the bed. That can especially matter if you are making 2-part bedposts that have a mortise/tenon joint at the top of the footboard or headboard.

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