Instructables
Picture of A Soft Industrial Pipe Bed Frame
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Pipe bed frames are economical, modular designer DIY bed frames. Here I describe a mechanically robust yet elegant design which uses 3/4" black pipe nipple, plus wood slats. The design here fits a queen size 6'6" mattress and a 6'1/2" gent who can easily mount the bed without descending or climbing during the approach, but the dimensions of the components can easily be tweaked to your specifications.

Step 1: Components

Picture of Components
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Pipes (all 3/4" black pipe nipple):

2 of 6'8" custom cut and threaded 3/4" pipes for the length of the bed
4 floor flanges for legs
4 of 12" pipes for legs
2 of 4" pipes for footer
2 elbows for footer
1 of 60" pipe for footer
2 of 7" pipes for header
2 reverse thread joiner   unions
2 three-way joints for the header
2 of 8" pipes for header
2 straight unions (to provide a small ledge for the header board)
2 of 18" pipes for header
1 of 60" pipe for header

Wood:
1 5' 6" header board of your choice
11 of 11" wide (nominally 12" ) 5' 6" wooden slats
half-circle pipe fittings (pictured) for fixing the pipe to the header board/bed slats, with #8 x1/2" phillips flathead screw 

Step 2: Headboard

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Pipe bed frames can easily be assembled from the component list and pictures shown, but take caution to screw each pipe in as tightly as possible using a pipe wrench. Insufficiently tight pipes will break under load since the pipe tappers at the threads.

A key component in the assembly are the pipe joiner components you can use to bring two pipes together using reverse threads (pictured), which avoids unscrewing one pipe while attempting to screw in the other side. Even so, screwing the header on does not constrain the geometry too much. Therefore, I pushed the header side up against a wall before fixing the slats in place, which makes the geometry rigid.
 
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T sexy4 months ago

I want to try this with a king. I'm adding the extra bar for the middle. This is the first one I came across that doesn't have those expensive Kee Klamps. I have one question. What is a reverse thread joiner union ? I have looked everywhere and I can't find it. Other than that this is fantasic !!

sconner16 months ago

One could use teak oil or wax finishes to prevent mold.

In Center they need one more set legs because it's possible to bend the piepe.

But very niece idea cong.

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The whole thing just seems like it would be rickety. Especially having only a single cross member along the top of the headboard. All the concern has been about the Z-axis. Does this thing flex in the X & Y from lateral motions?

Dr_Stupid6 months ago

Looks like a good start, however I would have a couple of cross pieces (by thirds), and then a down-T with an additional floor contact for added stability.

Jsm606 months ago

Cool idea. I want to make a similar but smaller version but make it as a 'hammock' instead for my dogs to use outdoors. Thanks for sharing!

taysan6 months ago

Just as an FYI to anyone planning on working with this sort of pipe - it has a black coating on it which comes off on your hands and anything else it touches. I built a media bench and small coffee table with this piping and bowling lane and washed each piece of pipe and fitting with soap and water before working with it. Just so you know what you're getting into. You can get this pipe (its usually used for natural gas) in galvanized steel finish as well which I believe is 'dry', but it's silver in color. Anyhow - go to your hardware store with a paper towel and wipe a piece of the pipe to see what I mean before diving in head-first.

Anyone know which shops sell this stuff in the UK?

chuckyd6 months ago

I'm not too sure about this. You need more than the friction from the pipe hangers to hold the slats in place. Also, you need something to prevent the box springs from sliding sideways off the frame. Finally, I doubt the pipe will last long before it fails. I think you could steam punk it up some and make it more stable at the same time. Aren't shakes common in SF?

vcsekhar7 months ago

What's the over all cost of this project and where can the pipes and fittings used in this project be purchased ?

Thanks in advance

slvrrbt vcsekhar7 months ago

Curious also what the over all cost was when you finished for your bed.

Me too... Any idea on cost?
Thanks!

mjrsting vcsekhar6 months ago

vcsekhar:

The black pipe can be purchased at Home Depot, Lowe's, Menards, or any home improvement store. Costs for a 3/4" x 3' piece at Home Depot is $10.78 (online), 5' is $14.99, 6' is $15.97, 10' is $13.27 (different mfg.). The store will cut them to length and pipe thread them for free.

Quester556 months ago

What a wonderful Idea, Thank-you for sharing.

I've wanted to do this myself, just couldn't see where to start, your plans will help greatly.

Thanks again.

alanemartin6 months ago

Neat idea. Darker choices on the stain help against mold.

Btw, the wood finish is polyurethane. Ploypropylene is a plastic used for chairs, etc.

Pat_Maroney6 months ago

This is awesome! However, I'm curious how well it stands up to the "earthquake test".

Kreegs7 months ago

For Queen and King beds, I would put a T coupling about half way down
each of the long sides with another leg, even if it is the 3/4" cast
iron pipes. I'd also recommend a pipe down the middle-ish (near the
extra feet) that runs crosswise with a foot in the middle of that. That
will give you all the support you need to for the big matteress,
especially if your a bigger person or are really active in bed...

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willparks (author)  Kreegs7 months ago

Thanks, Kreegs, for the good idea. You're absolutely right - the current design put a lot of stress on the pipe fittings since the center can experience relatively large displacements, on the order of half an inch, and then act like a 3 foot long lever-arm torquing the threads at each end, which is where it will likely break.

An alternative that's slightly more aesthetically pleasing would be to put a frame of two-by-fours underneath the slats to distribute the weight and any displacements in the z-axis horizontally throughout the slats and minimize the displacements in the center. The frame should be made with the two-by-fours oriented such that the nominally 2 inch side is making contact with the slats.