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Thursday, February 17, 2011

the making of a headboard


It is with great (design) embarrassment that I admit to you that we do not have a headboard in the master bedroom.... and to be even more honest, we do not have a bed-skirt either.   The box spring and mattress on the metal frame is in full sight when you walk into the master bedroom... oh the horror of it all!!! 
I have excuses.... would you like to hear them??
please cue the violins....
Doing a major renovation is exhausting- mentally and emotionally.  When I finally got around to designing the master bedroom I just ran out of steam. I make big and tiny design decisions about the farmhouse each and every day, but the master bedroom has thrown me for a loop!  I've been paralyzed with indecision.
And, since Dan was going to make the headboard for me I've also proven to be ineffective in my nagging!  Even using the line  " Ella would really like it if you were to make the headboard " hasn't worked... 
That is a joke around the house as years ago in Dallas I came up with the project of taking down a brick wall that enclosed our terrace and putting in an iron railing to open up the view of the yard from the house.  We even found the perfect vintage railing at a flea market, but for months I couldn't nag talk Dan into doing it.... until one day when I casually mentioned to him that, our then puppy-dog, Kelsey would really like it if that railing was there instead of the bricks so she could see into the backyard from inside of the house.  And, I'll be damned if he didn't, that very day, go outside and start taking the brick wall down!!!  
But, again- even that technique wasn't working with the headboard.  
end of excuses.

Having several carpenters around the house every day working on the barn renovation proved to be the answer.... we gave this project to one of them!  I'm happy to report that the master headboard is in the works (literally as I write!) 

During Phase I of the farmhouse renovation we took down a wall giving us a very nice size master bedroom.  The bed sits on one full wall, and I wanted the headboard to have a rather large presence in the room.  I contemplated an upholstered headboard, which I have used in the past and loved, but decided I wanted the element of wood on this wall. 




Months ago we bought these large antique wood  gate posts (each made from a single log; in other words not pieced together in any way) thinking they would make perfect headboard posts.




Being that they were turned on a lathe you can see how they are slightly different.  While I love that feature from a uniqueness aspect, it is making it a bit tricky for the carpenter.  The posts will be cut to make the tops of the finials level to one another.




 I have had this Viva Terra Gustavian headboard saved in my design files for a long time.  I love the lines of this piece, so this is the inspiration for the shape of the headboard. 
The headboard will be made from reclaimed barn boards from our barn renovation.




My original plan was to take the above inspiration photo to our library and use a projector to trace out the headboad to a king size.  Turns out our carpenter is skillful at drawing and he did it free hand, making changes as we went- a larger curve here, a different angle there, etc...
In this photo Dan is helping the carpenter trim out the initial design so it can be reversed over to the opposite side.





Using the large garbage can on the left for reference, you can see how tall the wood posts are in this photo.
 


 Testing....
Looking closely you can see the pencil outline of the shape of headboard drawn on the paper.  After seeing the design upright the top didn't have the right curvature that I wanted, so it was adjusted.




In this photo the final design is stapled to a piece of plywood.  The plywood will be the structural base that the finished barn boards will be attached to for rigidity.




The design being cut out on the plywood.




The edges being sanded down.




Isn't she a pretty little thing?!!




The posts being measured and leveled for cutting (leveling).




The salvaged barn boards that will be used for the body of the headboard.




The barn boards being clamped together before attaching.








Boards attached from the backside.

Since the headboard is a work in progress I will add more photographs to this post today and tomorrow to keep you up to date!
Oh... and please feel free to make me feel better and tell me of the design projects you just can't seem to get finished!!
thanks, I feel better already knowing I'm not alone!



Friday's update:



Dan helping!









Love!



Sanding the finish boards.  (be sure to note the mason working in the fireplace!)




Attaching the posts.




ta-da!!



Now, it's my turn on the project.... time for the finish!
The carpenter suggested I just leave it as is and put a clear-coat on it, but I'm thinking he might be one of those husbands who won't let his wife paint the stained paneling/moulding!!  The master bedroom is a grey, so I'm going for a "driftwood" finish.
I'll let you know how it turns out, but for the record... I'm not as fast as the carpenter! 









75 comments:

  1. Love the headboard, it is really going to be great! I think anyone who loves to create and make things is always clammering for more time!
    Cant wait to see the progress!
    L.

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  2. Love it, love it, LOVE IT! I cannot wait to see it finished in all its glory. I cant tell you enough how much I adore old barn wood and reclaimed architectural salvage. Those posts are yummy :) Your bed will put Viva Terra to shame!!
    XOX

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  3. That is going to be beautiful, cant wait to see it. I have so many unfinished projects it is too embarrassing to list them. You are doing way better than me! LOL

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  4. JOAN! I cannot wait to see it! I have a phot of that EXACT bed saved in my folder for Daniel and I (really just Daniel) to build one day!

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  5. Design project I just can't finish - Redecorated living room 12 years ago. One end table not working, too primitive for rest of decor. I look periodically but haven't found what I want at pricing willing to pay. Now it is time to re-do entire room.

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  6. Not only will this piece get finished soon, it is going to be amazing. You will be jumping for joy (so will Ella, Dan you should feel bad! Ha)!!! I have so many unfinished projects that it is not even funny! Oh how I would love one room completely done!
    Lacy

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  7. hi joan,

    if you think that for one moment i feel sorry for you...

    this is going to be fantastic. i've seen gals duplicate that very headboard that you are using for your inspiration on a few blogs. it really is gorgeous.

    yes, i have one big design headache that bothers me greatly...my whole house.

    xo
    janet

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  8. I have a whole line up of projects that I want to start as well as a few I just can't seem to complete. Your headboard is going look fabulous - perfectly unique, perfect for your home. I can't wait to see it when it is all finished.
    My best- Diane

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  9. Looking forward to this project.....I'm sure the headboard will be beautiful!!!! Just read your last post....I'm in Dallas I know exactly why you moved!!!! Glad you are happy in New England!

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  10. Design projects I can't seem to get finished? Please! Too numerous to detail.

    I love how you are doing that bed. I've been very tempted by that Gustavian bed, too, but love the diy approach much better. In the hands of a master carpenter, it will be done to perfection. Can't wait to see the results.

    Best,
    Kathleen

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  11. This is going to be wonderful my friend..I can just see it all done..I love the fact you are reusing what you have..Can't wait to see it all done and in your bedroom..Hey I'm the biggest nag around and still can't get Len to do anything for me..I tell him he's got 2 moving parts his mouth and bowels ha ha!! Hugs and smiles Gloria

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  12. Um, all of them! We were hoping to be moved into our house the end of this month - I realize now that would take a miracle. We take two steps forward and about one hundred back. Your designer's block resulted in an amazing piece for your master bedroom and inspiration for me to jump back in and finish our kitchen so we can move into our house. I'll be doing another post this weekend and there will be progress! Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing what really goes into a renovation. Katie

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  13. Oh gosh I have tons of design projects I can't seem to finish on my list. I can't wait until we move from a rental into a permanent residence so I can finally "build my nest!" Looks like your headboard will turn out lovely- how creative to use the recycled wood pieces in that way!

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  14. I love that you've transformed boards that used to be part of the barn into your headboard. Amazing ... I'm envious of your vision! Your home is absolutely stunning! Thanks for taking us along on this fabulous journey. *Becca*

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  15. I can't wait to see this all finished! I can only imagine how beautiful this will be. I love the fact that it is made from wood salvaged from your property - a real treasure!

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  16. Joan, She's the perfect choice. Becky ;~)

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  17. gorgeous, just like everything you do! Can't wait to see the finished project. liz

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  18. Just wanted to say your home is beautiful. Since, I am new to your blog. I spent yesterday (off and on) look through your older post. WOW! What a breathtaking view to wake up to every morning. I showed your blog to my husband and said "can we move" and he said "when". Truly your little slice of heaven is awesome.

    The headboard is going to be beautiful. Can't wait to see it.

    Cindy

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  19. I can't really call it a project, but my kitchen tap has a handle that flies off and send water everywhere. While, I tackle most things, I assigned this to hubby who let the warranty on the tap expire and it is still there. This while I had a contractor (now gone ) here for the past three months. It never occurred to me to get him to do it. You are smart to get your carpenter to do it. It is looking WONDERFUL. I love the recycled boards and posts. It is going to be just stunnning.

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  20. Wow, I am in awe, honestly! Not only is it going to look fantastic but to do it at a time when you are so busy doing your renovations, is just amazing. Looking forward to seeing it all done, take care, Maryann ps I'm having a giveaway if you'd like to pop over.

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  21. This is going to be awesome! Can't wait to see the end result!

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  22. Joan, this is so awesome! I can't wait to see the finished product!! And no, you're not alone... I get what someone called Decorating ADD and tend to skip from one project to another, sometimes without finishing them. It's awful. Eventually things get finished, but at the moment I have at least 5 that are "works in progress." Carry on!

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  23. Whoa! This is pretty awesome. So glad I stumbled over here to catch this Op Headboard post. :-) Can't wait to see it with the barn wood.

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  24. This is going to be a beautiful bed!

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  25. At the rate your post was going, I thought for sure the headboard was finished! Wow...what a neat process! The design is almost identical to your inspiration and I love the old posts that you are using! Hurry! I want to see the end result!! ;-D

    XO,
    Jane

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  26. I cannot wait to see your finished bed. I think that most of us have unfinished projects. I don't even make a list for my husband anymore. He would walk out the door and never come back!!

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  27. Just BEAUTIFUL!!! Actually the headboard reminds me of Gigi's in Galveston. Sadly the headboard and dresser are no more. They disintegrated being stored in a storage shed in the Louisiana heat Nan said.

    I remember Kelsey looking out the iron railing at her backyard for her squirrels. :) :( We still miss her! Always will. I came across her picture just yesterday and cried.

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  28. What a wonderful idea to use one of the carpenters to get this project off of your To Do List!! I'll bet you are jumping up and down excited to see this come together so beautifully.

    My nagging project? You understand how many of them pile up during a whole house renovation. My most annoying has to be the crown molding on our kitchen cabinets. I need a cabinet maker to install it, because it has to be installed on the cabinets instead of along the ceiling, and I can't find anyone who will take the job. I do molding, but this job has me completely psyched out.

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  29. That is going to be a beautiful headboard - and it needed to be substantial because the rest of the house is outstanding.
    I have a whole room that, after eight years, is still unfinished. Lovely little twin four posters rest against the walls and three bolts of fabric rest beside them. One day soon...........

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  30. i love this, joan! i have family who live in Rhode Island and they always tell me that up there people resalvage and restore everything unlike here. The projects I want to finish? The master bedroom - which includes having an upholstered headboard made, the basement, a few minor things to the bathroom, and Ella's playroom.....oh, but we have to work on Ella's big girl room first. Then maybe we can choose something else......oh, and I forgot I want to do something to the front porch and new furniture for back deck. That's pretty much every room in my house I just covered.

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  31. One of the best posts I have read all day, love seeing something come to life and take a life on of its own...and I see this happening here. Oh cant' wait to see the finished product. Good things come to those who wait! Plesae visit me at my blog, doing my first giveaway, tomorrow is the drawing! Its for a gorgeous french chair (to go with your new bed..lol)
    www.theenchantedhome.blogspot.com

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  32. Joan, I can't wait to see the finished bed. It will be fabulous. Love the fact that you are using reclaimed barn wood. I would love to replace my furniture store bed with something custom.

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  33. I can't wait... this is going to be amazing!

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  34. That is going to be so excellent! I enjoyed the tutorial and seeing how it's done. Thanks for sharing! Liz

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  35. Are you doing an endboard too?

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  36. Love the idea. And you're so lucky to have talented craftsmen around who can interpret correctly your direction! Looking forward to the next phase!!

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  37. It's going to be stunning! Love the story about the railing and your dog-ha! Should you ever need a quilt, my mom makes quite beautiful ones!

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  38. It's going to look fabulous! Can't wait to see the finished product.

    TDM xx

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  39. With 4 little boys running around my house, a better question would be "what design project have I actually finished?" :) I love how the headboard is looking so far. It's going to be fabulous... worth the wait!

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  40. This is going to be beautiful! We have a collection of barn boards, too, and no headboard. hmmm...

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  41. I can't wait to see the finished results, love those gate posts. I start our barn renovation on my blog if you're interested Joan. Have a wonderful long weekend!

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  42. Going to be such a unique headboard. And the special turned posts add so much more. Looking really good in my mind's eye. Peggy

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  43. Oh my heart is beating FAST!!! That headboard will be fabulous!!!! I can't wait tos ee the rest! I have "furniture store" bedroom furniture that is about 30 years old and would love to replace it. Money won't allow however:( I am living vicariously through you!!!!:):) XO, Pinky

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  44. That is beautiful, I will be anxious to see your final product. We made a bed with a tall board and batten headboard a few years back, all made from reclaimed wood. Sadly we had to leave it behind because our moving truck was out of room. I have a few ideas for something new we can build this summer after we close in a door and have a solid wall in the master bedroom.

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  45. Loving your blog so much. I love your fun and creative writing style and, of course, your new headboard, your home, decorating talents, etc ... Sincerely, Sweet Tea w/Cindy

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  46. What an amazing headboard. So beautiful.

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  47. Absolutely stunning Joan, as always - you're my biggest inspiration! :) xo,A

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  48. kristen_gasnow@uhc.comFebruary 18, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    Love it!! Would you be willing to share the dimensions and plans for this?

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  49. Love the headboard idea but most of all I love the fact your doing something different. My unfinished project is my family room know what I want just can't seem to get there. Any suggestions.
    Kind Regards
    Karen

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  50. I happened upon your blog last weekend and read every, single word of it until 4:00 a.m. one night. LOVE~LOVE~LOVE your home and what you've done with it! The new headboard is beautiful and I can't wait to see the finished piece.

    We have a huge fireplace in our family room. The entire wall, about 30 feet, is exposed brick. When we remodeled our family room several years ago the brick was completely covered with framed drywall. We nearly fell over when we discovered it! I wanted a barn beam mantle and couldnt' find what I liked anywhere - I would NOT settle for anything else. One day while antiquing, I found a young man who creates incredible things with found and reclaimed wood. He had a massive piece of ancient hickory and made us an awesome mantle. It's nearly the size of a barn beam and spectacular!

    Now if I could get my husband to finish wiring the home theater system, the room will be done. LOL

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  51. Holy cow...it's great! You must be so thrilled! I can't wait to see how you finish it off. Great job!

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  52. Wow... just wow.... I love that you created your headboard from your design file pic and that it turned out so beautifully. I also like that you are going to go with the driftwood look. I think it will look amazing. Are you going to paint the posts to match? Or just let them patina? Now I want a headboard like this! :)

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  53. Hi Joan, Dan, and Ella: Stunning! Your headboard is beautiful! I admire that everything you do to your home is well thought out and how you marry pieces together to create something new. Our bedroom is still not done and we have been in this home for years!

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  54. Oh my gosh, that is beyond fabulous!!

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  55. Just found you, and I love everything. The headboard is beautiful and amazing. My bedroom is a sad state of affairs...hopefully this is gonna really motivate me!!
    I am following you now too.
    Have a great weekend,
    Ashlyn

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  56. wow - this is going to look stunning! I love the shape and the posts are perfect! can't wait to see your reveal! :)

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  57. Ok, miss joan...I am left breathless and speechless everytime I visit you! I LOVE the headboard...that's the room I'm sleeping in when I visit. :) Can you put it in the barn next to the fireplace....
    I love how you and dan know and go for exactly what you want. I cannot wait to see both rooms finished.

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  58. What a unique piece you are creating! I love old barn wood. I can't wait to see what linens you will choose to accentuate the headboard.

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  59. Wow, I love the new headboard and can't wait to see it finished. I don't have a headboard either. Waiting to find the perfect one, so far haven't found it!

    Jeannette

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  60. Amazing design and execution! And the posts are just perfect in their slight imperfection. Bravo!

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  61. Hmmm- list of unfinished projects....too many to name. Most just live in my head.

    Cannot wait to see your finished masterpiece- it's fabulous now....

    hugs!
    Carolyn

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  62. Totally elegant ... can't wait to see it painted! Our worst project was simply recovering chairs in our breakfast nook. Good tools make all the difference so once we got rid of the crappy staple gun and bought a good one, we finished in no time. =D

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  63. Rebecca- Yes, I am going to paint the posts the same as the headboard. I decided the continuity of it all being painted/treated the same color will 'soften' it a bit!

    Thank you for all your comments and for letting me know I'm not the only one with a long 'to-do' list!!

    joan

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  64. JOAN!! What a great post - love, love, love seeing your vision and process! You are such an INSPIRATION! And loved the shots of cutie pie Dan - there's nothing cuter than a room full of men being handy (especially when you're married to one of them xo)!
    You have a real talent (you, Dan and Ella) of taking discarded pieces and giving them new life. It really is a gift and I think you guys could write a book on all of your recycled beauty projects. SO INSPIRING!
    X Trina

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  65. Lovely work! Just as an FYI, Ana White has free DIY plans for an "inspired by" Gustavian bed on her website under. I love the bed and have had it on my to do list for a while now.

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  66. Hi Joan...I with the rest of the pack.....I Love It!

    xo kelley

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  67. Yep I'm with Trina here Joan! Fab project, with a great pay-off. Off to look up the word for a collective Group of Cute Handymen.
    Millie x

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  68. Hi Joan,
    I'm just now finding your blog and I must say...I'm in love! You are definitely now at the top of my favorites list. I just loving everything your doing. Can't hardly wait to see what's next! Take care, Val

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  69. Oh, gosh, Joan. I had saved the same headboard photo.
    http://www.debrapaesslerdesigns.com/

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  70. Joan,
    I am speechless. that headboard is MAGNIFICENT! Its just soo soo gorgeous!
    WOW

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  71. Thanks for the idea. Now where do I need one?
    Hmm. Just one question... How were the posts attached?

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  72. Jamie- if you look really closely at the very first photo you will see a long cut-out channel that is about 1.5 inches wide and deep. These were original to each post. The plywood backing and the finished barn boards were inserted into the channel and screwed into the posts.

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  73. Back in 2011 you made a headboard. I was wondering if you edge banded the top of the head board where the plywood and barn board came together

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