DIY: Reclaimed Walnut Headboard

longleaf lumber employee broc makes reclaimed walnut headboard

Longleaf Lumber employee Broc Harzinski built this one-of-a-kind headboard using reclaimed walnut.

Broc hand-selected his reclaimed wood from our Motley Walnut special, using it for the darker tones and the contrast delivered by slight sapwood content.  The special skip-planed walnut boards were milled by Longleaf as flooring, so the boards were surfaced and cut with tongue-and-groove profile, making the woodworking assembly a breeze.

Gifted as a Christmas present, the headboard assembly was documented using Broc’s GoPro camera.  Here’s a step-by-step on the assembly process:

Materials:

– Reclaimed Longleaf Lumber Motley Walnut special flooring.

– Angle steel – available at local big box or hardware store.

Process:

1. Determine the headboard size:  Broc measured the bedframe outside edge and created a headboard frame that would sit flush with this boundary.

2. Choose reclaimed materials:  Walnut had the darker tones Broc was looking for; in addition to outstanding figure.  The rustic character of the skip-planed boards he selected matched his vision, and the tongue-and-groove flooring profile worked perfectly for assembly.  The juxtaposition of a steel frame with wooden inlay produced the desired aesthetic.

3. Design sketch:  For this project, less was more.  A simple steel frame concealed the edge of the tongue-and-groove walnut flooring and supported a durable and sturdy headboard.

4. Build it:  The steel frame was cut from angle iron and welded together to the desired dimensions.

reclaimed repurposed antique salvaged walnut flooring used for a bedroom headboard by longleaf lumber

reclaimed repurposed antique salvaged walnut flooring used for a bedroom headboard by longleaf lumber

After welding, a quick grind with an angle grinder smooths things out and provides a more finished look.

reclaimed repurposed antique salvaged walnut flooring used for a bedroom headboard by longleaf lumber

The corners are mitered for a clean look and proper fit for the wood inlay.  Broc trimmed his reclaimed walnut to fit tightly within the frame.  Once laid into the frame, the walnut was fastened with brass screws spaced evenly along the left and right edges of the headboard.

reclaimed repurposed antique salvaged walnut flooring used for a bedroom headboard by longleaf lumber

reclaimed repurposed antique salvaged walnut flooring used for a bedroom headboard by longleaf lumber

5. Apply a finish:  To preserve the natural beauty of the reclaimed walnut, Broc used Vermont Natural Coatings’ PolyWhey finish.  The PolyWhey finish contains whey proteins, a byproduct of cheese manufacturing, to replace the toxic ingredients found in many traditional wood finishes.  A quick-drying and low VOC finish, Vermont Natural PolyWhey is excellent for do-it-yourselfers who may not have a shop to work in.

reclaimed repurposed antique salvaged walnut flooring used for a bedroom headboard by longleaf lumber

6. Install:  The bedframe used in conjunction with this headboard included threaded inserts to bolt a headboard into place.  This installation was as easy as finding the proper size bolt, drilling a few holes, and hand-bolting everything together.

reclaimed repurposed antique salvaged walnut flooring used for a bedroom headboard by longleaf lumber

Alas, we have the finished product installed and looking great: http://instagram.com/p/ieeYbjSbTv/

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