There is one thing we did not move with that we have been missing quite a bit, a bed. Of course, we have a mattress, but until this weekend, the mattress was resting on the floor. But this weekend, we finally decided it was time to undertake our bed building project.
I know our last building project was not the easiest to follow. But it was an experimental build and a post to learn from. Now, I think we are better prepared to share the work we have done. Check it out.
We began with the design, we bounced ideas off one another over the course of the week. On Friday, we found some free software (where else but on Google) that assisted us with the planning. In all, this project cost us $87 and about 5 hours of our time. The cost could be significantly reduced if you chose different planks. We went for the first boards we saw; I’m sure cheaper options exist that have just as much strength. It is level, strong, and possibly slightly overbuilt. But better to have something too strong, right? If you think a project like this is in your means but don’t want to do the cutting, remember that most lumber providers will cut wood down for you!
2 wood planks @ 3’3” x 6’8”
5- 4×4 @ 15”
4- 2×4 @ 6’
2- 2×4 @ 2’ 10 ¼”
2- 2×4 @ 2’ 8 ¾”
~70 3 inch screws
60 & 80 grit sandpaper
General notes before getting started– Construction will begin with the base and be built upside down. Only once the base is completed will it be turned right side up. Because of this, be sure you are building on a level surface. We did all of our prep work outside, then moved into our bedroom for the assembly. All connections were made by first laying out the pieces, then applying wood glue to the piece we were starting with, lay the piece back in place, predrill two holes, and finally secure with two screws. I will not continue to explain this, but this is the process we used throughout the construction of the entire base. Let’s get started!
- Cut all of the wood to size. Check and double check for accuracy.
- Sand each piece down. Our platform will be covered with a bed skirt so we chose not to finish the bed. We sanded with 60, then 80 grit sandpaper. If you are planning to finish the bed, follow 80 grit with 120. Clean boards before beginning construction. Also, be aware of the corners of your wood planks. One side will be sticking out and one will be secured in the center. You may find it helpful to use the sander to slightly round the outer corners just in case that corner ever meets a leg.
- Begin construction. Find a level working space and begin with the first corner. Layout two 2×4 @6’ and 1- 4×4 @ 15”. Layout your corner, connecting 2×4’s to the outside of the 15” leg. Once you have this laid out, decide which 2×4 you will connect first. Apply wood glue to the inside, lay back into place, predrill two holes, and secure with two screws. Repeat this process with the other 2×4 to have a connected corner.
- Move to the end of one of the connected 2×4’s. Construct the second corner. You will need another 15” leg and 2×4 @ 6’. Lay out the pieces and connect as you did with the first corner. You should now have a u shaped base.
- Move to the end of the newly added 2×4. Build the third leg. You will need another 15” leg and 2×4 @ 6’. Lay out the pieces and connect as you did with the first and second corner. You should now have a square shape with three legs.
- To attach the fourth leg, lay it in place. Apply glue, predrill holes for both 2×4’s and insert screws to secure in place.
- Next step is to build the interior support beams. Before doing this, lay everything out to be sure it is fitting properly. The fifth 15” leg should be in the center with 2- 2×4 @ 2’8 ¾” connecting it horizontally and 2- 2×4 @ 2’10 ¼” connecting it vertically. This will have a snug fit. We needed to use a hammer to move our last support beam into place. We then drew on the outer frame in pencil where each centered support beam belonged.
- To secure the first support beam, remove the other three, leaving the beam to be connected and the center leg in place. Lay in place, glue, predrill, and secure to the outer frame first. Next, secure the beam to the center leg (be sure this is still in place). Lay it in place, apply glue, predrill one hole on each side and on top of the 2×4 into the leg, and secure with screws.
- Secure the second beam, move to the neighboring support beam. Lay in place to check the fit, apply glue to the outer edge, predrill holes from the outer base into the beam, secure with two screws. Secure the interior end of this beam to the leg the same way you secured the first beam.
- Secure the third beam, move to the next neighboring beam on the frame. Lay it out, glue, predrill two holes, and screw into the outer frame first. Secure this beam to the interior leg the same way you secured the first two beams.
- Secure the fourth beam. Slide the beam into place. Again, this will be snug and may require a little pushing into place. Once you know it is fitting properly, glue, predrill, and screw into the outer base. Then secure to the inner leg.
- Turn the base right side up so it is standing on its legs. Secure each of the interior beams from the top into the fifth leg with one screw.
- Add the planks. Lay the two planks in place to be sure they are sized correctly. There will be 3 inches overhanging at the foot of the bed and two inches overhanging at the head of the bed. Once you are sure of the fit, remove one plank to allow you to secure the other. To secure the plank, glue around the frame first, covering one side, half the foot of the bed, half the head of the bed, and the interior side of the middle support beam. Lay the plank back into place and secure with screws. We used three screws at both shorter ends and 6 screws on each long side.
- To secure the second side, repeat this process on the other side. Checking the fit first, then gluing and securing with screws.
- Finish or cover as planned. We covered our frame with a bed skirt, but it would look nice uncovered and finished as well.
We were able to use our bed that night. We’ve slept on it for 4 nights now and have no complaints. By preplanning and laying everything out, it was easy to construct, and now it is the perfect resting place for our comfy mattress!
*As a side note, we did most of our own cutting with a circular saw. To ensure clean, level edges, we built the brace below. Further explanation is for another day, but seeing it might help you build your own.
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