he Shakers lived their livesapart from the “world,” whatthey called life outside their religiouscommunities. They did a lot of thingsdifferently from the “world,” includingsleep. Because the Shakers were celi-bate, they had little need for doublebeds and used them only to savespace. Two men, women, or childrenwould sleep together in these.
any Shaker-designed single bedsdid not break down. The side railswere tenoned into the legs just likethe headboards and footboards.Almost all of the beds had casters onthe legs. This made it easy to movethe bed out of the way when sweepingthe floors. The beds were also relative-ly high off the ground to keep out of the cold drafts near the floor.
This bed is not a copy of a particularShaker bed. Instead, I have borrowedelements from a number of Shaker bedsI have seen
Some of my constructiondetails remain faithful to traditionalShakerconstruction.ButIhavemadeconcessions to modern living and tocontemporarywoodworkingtechniques.Ichose to make this a full-size bed,whichismoreusefulthanthe28-in.-to34-in.-wideand70-in.-to72-in.-longoriginals. I also omitted thecasters. I hesitate to say that thesechanges make the bed better, but theycertainly make it more familiar andcomfortable for us today.