Making Pencil Posts
Making the posts themselves is probably the most rewarding work in all of furniture making. First of all you have to find stock heavy and long enough to cut a large diameter post from. I managed to find one board that gave me enough stock for these four posts and four more posts for a Low Post bed. That is very rare. The board was so heavy that I had to rough cut it just to bring it in my shop.
The first cuts are always scary as finding replacement wood (that would match) for just one post would be very difficult.
After the stock is milled to the correct square dimension, it then is cut to a four sided taper on the table saw. I still use a jig that I made in 1986.
Then comes the fun part. Using a spar makers scribe, the tapers are marked for cutting the remaining four sides to make the post eight sided.
Once marked, the last four sides are started by carving the "lamb's tongue". This brings you down to the level of the new sides.
After the "lamb's tongue" is cut, I begin the removing stock with the power plane and then bring the surface down to the scribe lines with various hand planes.
Below, the final curve of the lamb's tongue is carved with a straight chisel.
A finished facet and lamb's tongue is shown below.
Below you can see two eight sided posts and a four sided post before cutting the last four sides.