Quilt rail

 What is a quilt rail?

I was asked to make a quilt rail!  What is a quilt rail?

A discussion with the client and a trawl of the internet gave me the basic idea of what was involved.

A quilt rail is a shelf supported either end by shaped brackets. Between these brackets a rail is suspended to carry the quilt so it is displayed under the shelf. Quilts can be quite heavy so the rail needs to be of sufficient section to carry the weight without bending, there also needs to be some sort of fixing or control for the rail so it stays in place.

Some of the designs I looked at were quite ornate. The client asked that her rail should be as plain as possible so as not to detract from her finished quilt. Other factors which needed consideration were the internal distance between the rod supports (requested to be 1200mm) and the space around the rod to allow for the quilt. 









Taking in to consideration all the critical dimensions, I made the rod as the first stage of the design. Based on 20mm stock timber I made an over length rod 50mm deep, shaped to soften the edges with a small indent about 50mm along the length to act as an anchor on one of the uprights.

The next stage was the back board and shelf, both again overlength to allow for the critical 1200mm spacing requested between the internal faces of the rod supports and some overage to allow for jointing and appearance. I decided to add a routered detail to both the back board and shelf using a stepped quarter round cutter, remembering to stop the chamfer where the rod support joined the shelf.

The rod supports were then cut based on the back board and shelf dimensions and the holes for the rod cut out.

All components were sanded then assembled using dowel rods and where necessary concealed counter bored and plugged screws. The piece was then oiled and waxed to finish.