The SLEIGH BED Project:


A collaboration between Jeremy Singley, Designer, and Jack Brown of Brown Novelty


Spring, 20054







< Version one of our new design.


<A common existing sleigh bed design







The nineteenth-century sleigh bed derives its name from its similarity to a horse-drawn sleigh.The purpose of this project is to conceive an attractive design that can be built by an amateur.By confining all curves to the head and foot posts, we eliminated the fairing on the side rails (the horizontal boards that span between the head and foot boards).We used veneered plywood in place of solid raised panels; and we eliminated the panel frame stiles (the vertical frame parts that hold the panels) by mounting the panels in grooves in the head and foot posts.The design is meant to roughly resemble an existing design favored by Jackís wife, matching dimensions supplied by Jack.


Jack overwhelmingly approved the designís first version, but had reservations about the diminutive legs.After some back-and-forth we settled on a unique leg profile that, in addition to allowing for straight side rails, resolved a second drawback that has heretofore plagued the sleigh bed concept.In our design the legís rear curve is tangent to the leg/rail joint line.This allows the railís bottom edge to float with seasonal shrinkage without eventually showing a disjuncture as in traditional designs.††


The new design gives the bed a cleaner look.I have printed full-sized patterns of the head and footboard posts and scale plans of the remaining parts which Jack has reviewed and approved.Meanwhile, Jack has drawn up a cutting diagram and procedure list.Jack plans to build the bed from mahogany stock from his warehouse.Heís toying with the idea of having the panels veneered with figured mahogany.






Here are the scaled plans:


        Assembly exploded

        Headboard post

        Footboard post

        Top panel rail

        Bottom panel rail


        Side rail





Jeremy Singley

Designer ††