In my first post, I covered the planning and design process for my daughter’s bed.

The bed would be my first big test of a hybrid track saw-CNC router workflow. I have no place for an industrial-size CNC router in my shop, but I’ve found that the Shaper Origin is really adept at working on projects both tiny and large. Cutting the full outline of each large bed piece with the Shaper would be laborious and slow, however, so I used the track saw to break down the plywood panels into their final rectangular dimensions. Then I used the Shaper to accurately plunge-route the hidden dowel-holes1, squarely drill the connecting fastener holes, route out internal features, and add external contours.

I have to say this technique worked pretty well.

Construction in progress

Now for the first multi-piece test fit, with help from the sawhorse. Here I threw in the prototype stair unit, which is made of cheap plywood and OSB. The stair unit serves an important purpose in stiffening the bed against racking, so the final version gets bolted tightly to the end piece of the frame.

Construction in progress

Test-fitting the bottom. Always be testing.

Construction in progress

I couldn’t resist using 3D printing to solve a dilemma that the Shaper Origin couldn’t deal with: squarely edge-drilling the plywood to accept dowels or Confirmat screws. So I designed my own jig to align an edge hole perfectly to a pencil mark. I made this one out of Formlabs Rigid resin, which is amazing for little fixtures. A steel drill bushing makes it last forever. Unfortunately it is so rigid (and overconstrained) that it can’t deal with the natural thickness change of wood due to humidity variation, so this jig only works on dry days. And it looks like a giant alien tooth. Always something for next time.


I also built a version of this jig to drill edge holes that perfectly meet the cross-dowel bores that I CNC-routed into the face of the board. That jig turns out to be a handy tool for making flat-pack furniture with the Shaper.

On with the test-fitting:

Construction in progress

And I built the stair unit. Note how I optimistically included a carry-handle on the back for easy moving. This thing weighs a million pounds and will never be moved. But I like handles.

Construction in progress

Those are Blum Tandem drawer glides. So nice. Throw away the drawings and use their Excel spreadsheet for calculating the drawer box dimensions.

Coming up in part 3: lighting and finishing.

  1. The requirement for glue-free field assembly meant that I had to make dozens of holes line up perfectly between pieces. Why measure what you can CNC? ↩︎