Instructables

Aluminum Pipe Bed

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This project serves as a guide for those who wish to build their own bed frame from pipe and modular fittings. The beginning sections are informational, regarding different approaches, preparation, and the resources required. The following sections are a reference for the do-it-yourselfer (DIY), and provides step-by-step directions.

My main motivation for doing this project was to build a modern queen-size canopy bed frame that was made from aluminum pipe and galvanized metal fittings and would accomodate a standard matress and box springs. Many years ago, I had seen a similar bed frame in magazine ads by a well-known fashion designer. Unfortunately, their version cost nearly $6,000!

We have been using this bed for about 7 years now. The pipe is comfortable to hold onto and very sturdy. :) We also think it's pretty stylish.
 
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Step 1: Foreward and Preparation

While this project is pretty easy to assemble, the components are industrial in nature. Make sure your bedroom has enough ceiling clearance for the assembled canopy frame. You will also need a truck or large van to transport the longer lengths of pipe.

The only tool you really need is a standard 5/16" (7.94mm) A.F. hex key. This assumes that you let your pipe supplier cut the pipe to length for you and that you outsource the small amount of welding. Most people don't have welding kits that work with aluminum.

Note: This project isn't what most people would call cheap. Parts alone will cost around $800. Still a far cry from the nearly $6,000 designer version.

Step 2: Parts: Pipe Fittings

I chose to use Kee Klamp galvanized metal fittings. They were readily available from Grainger. If I were to do it over again, I'd use the aluminum fittings which you can get through Simplified Building Concepts. They weren't available when I originally built this. The galvanized ones work ok, but aluminum would be a better match aesthetically, as well as save some weight.

||Grainger #||Kee #||Description||Qty||
||5A488||61-7||Flange, Base||4||
||5A476||20-7||Elbow, Side Outlet||4||
||5A470||10-7||Tee, Single Socket||14||
||5A478||21-7||Tee, Side Outlet||4||

Clamp total: 26
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brian9417 days ago

Hi DenVogel,

Thanks - very cool project and good instructions. I'm thinking about building a simpler frame, without the canopy, like this one:

http://www.simplifiedbuilding.com/blog/how-to-buil...

(image attached)

Given your experience with key klamps, do you expect I will have any issues with sway? I know the frame would be very strong, but I'm worried about it flexing if you push on it from the side, for example.

Thanks!

bed.jpg
This bed is currently available pre-cut, Queen sized in the SF bay area. Look in the community forums,
http://www.instructables.com/community/Aluminum-Pipe-Bed-size-Queen/
.
I really like the industrial look to this!! Thanks for posting!!
oogiemama3 years ago
This looks great, we recently had to get rid of all of our beds (matress and box springs due to black mold) We have been hunting for just the right diy to build a new frame when we get replacement matresses and I believe this one will be it. We are going to try and build though with out welding needs. And suggestions would be greatly appriciated!
JStrider6 years ago
very cool bed! I'd love to make it, and I like the idea of putting extra bars across the top for more places to grab on to. The only downer is the price... thats definitely more then I'd want to spend... Time to head to craigslist and see if I can find some used scaffolding pipe for cheaper.
Haha, that's exactly what I tried to do. Can't seem to find anything in the searches I've done.
ElvenChild3 years ago
calvin this is santa no presents unless you cream susie with a snowman
DenVogel (author)  ElvenChild3 years ago
Hobbes is on it...
Isn't hobbes going to give you some lecture ask for a sandwich and walk away
XL twin bunk & loft beds are expensive. This would be great & sturdy. Plus you can make it with as much head room as you need on the bottom bunk.
task41line4 years ago
Lol I tried putting up something exactelly like this 2 months ago and it didn't went well but I think this time it will be much easier.
yea this guide looks great I agree
Awesome idea for a bed.
Aluminum-Pipe-Bed.jpg
First off, this is awesome! Defineatly thinking outside the box! I love this and plan on making one this fall, as I am in need of a new and larger bed!
DenVogel (author)  mutantpoptart4 years ago
Cool. Send an update and let us know how it comes out.
stpierre24 years ago
I love this project, and will be attempting something similar. Anybody have any idea where I can get Kee Klamps in Canada????
startree4 years ago
Love it. Thanks for sharing! was just thinking how well this would work as a loft bed when i saw the other links...
Fretka4 years ago
 I am not real handy when it comes to things like this, but wouldn't it make sense to make 2 cross bars, or even 3 from long side to long side to support the box spring? then you wouldn't have to weld at the foot and head bars at all. instead of using such long lengths of pipes, use 2 more T's and add the supports?
I love this bed, and would love to try it myself, but I guess I would appreciate some feedback if my idea would be feasible or not. GREAT IBLE !
mjk11384 years ago
 Huh?
(removed by author or community request)
 I, too, would like to see this, and am curious how you did it without welding! Thanks!
DenVogel (author)  TattooedPirate19695 years ago
Cool. Post some photos when you're done.
RaptorOwl14 years ago
I think that I will modify this for a loft bed. Welding corner braces for a box spring will not be necessary if there are enough cross pipes. Additionally, a piece of plywood laid across the crosspipes with a memory foam mattress will do nicely. Consider using pipe insulation on the pipe where it is most likely to make contact with tender parts. There is a heavy rubberized type I found at Home Depot.
It never fails to amaze me how many talented people there are in this community, and you certainly belong to that gang. Well done!!
keverill995 years ago
Hoping to make this bed within the next 3 weeks :) Not doing the canopy, it interferes with the ceiling fan, which I can't do without in Phoenix. Thinking of doing 2 supports on the bottom, then a piece of plywood to support the mattress? I'm only doing a mattress, no box spring, so I will space the side supports closer together.
DenVogel (author)  keverill995 years ago
Might consider slats instead of a solid piece of plywood. The mattress cannot breathe if solid underneath. If I understand what you're trying to do, you will not be able to bring the side supports in. Even without a canopy, you will still have four vertical posts that are the headboard/footboard. They sit at the outside corners. If you bring it in, the mattress won't fit between the posts. If you read through the instructable thread, I've already posted some additional directions for building a non-canopy version. Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.
That makes sense...Thanks!
jobradfield5 years ago
oooh! this is so cool! It could easily be steam-punked-up. I'm also looking for cheaper alternatives. Other than steel, is there anything cheaper?
DenVogel (author) 7 years ago
There have been some requests for a non-canopy design. Here are the modifications necessary for that model. Still queen size. Not only will this allow it to fit in bedrooms with lower ceilings, but fewer fittings and shorter lengths of pipe may help cut down on costs. 1. The four Elbow, Side Outlet (Kee 20-7) fittings that are currently the top four corners of the canopy are removed. 2. The four pieces of pipe that make up the canopy (two 62" and two 79") are removed. 3. The four longest sections (87") of pipe, formerly reaching to the canopy, get shortened to two 26" sections for the foot, and two 50" sections for the headboard. 4. The four Tee, Single Socket (Kee 10-7) that would now be the top fittings at the bed posts, get replaced with four 90-degree elbow (Kee 15-7) to connect the headboard and footboard. If this is too confusing, or there is enough interest, I can do a separate instructable for the non-canopy version of the bed.
Hello Thank you so much for your trouble I have sourced the fittings and pipe, I am intending to build a Queen, no canopy version without welding, but with a headboard. Is there any tips you think I would need to know Thanks again for the help And congrats on such a great design
DenVogel (author)  notahandyman5 years ago
I believe you will need at least two, maybe three, supports across the bottom underneath the mattress. With the welded supports removed from the ends using only two may cause the box spring to bend. This is addressed in the final design that is offered through simplified building.
trebuchet038 years ago
looks good :D Did you happen to forget that T in the bottom pipes? Just wondering because you mentioned it a few times :P
DenVogel (author)  trebuchet038 years ago
:) Good question! I actually didn't forget it when I built this, but I've done similar things on other projects. Doh! I know how frustrating things like that can be, so I thought I'd point it out and save folks some trouble.
Found a cheaper brand to make the bed outta Interclamp about 30% cheaper than Keeklamps that Simplified sell. www.interclamp.com
Unfortunately they are in England and there are no US retailers, at least, that carry that line. Not online anyway. 30% is not that great a discount in any case. Kee Klamp is expensive but it's the shipping that really kills you. If you can find it locally and go get it you will save a bundle. Grainger seems like the most available local source but you need to be affiliated with a business, even if it is your spouse's employer. If the company is a large corporation, they usually offer you a significant discount. Easyfit (http://tinyurl.com/6gxwtk) is about 40% cheaper but there was no info on shipping. I suspect it is similarly high. Harbor Freight (http://tinyurl.com/6hs3xh) has a very limited selection of fittings that would be adequate for this project but the sizes are really strange. The price is dirt cheap but they look rough. Does anyone know a cheap source of these connectors from a company that is either local or has good shipping prices?
just wondering how much it cost to build this bed for you aside from the box spring and mattress, just the frame. Wondering what im to expect trying this myself, as i am in love with this design.
DenVogel (author)  amatuerconstructicon5 years ago
I provide a part listing in step 3. There is also a link to Simplified Building in the resources section, where you can purchase a kit. It is about $1400, including the pipe and fittings.
mfbuchanan5 years ago
Wonderful! I'm thinking of adding a couple more bars across the headboard to make it a bit more "designish"; then covering pieces of foam or wood that are cut to fit the spaces betweeen the pipes with vinyl or leather and fitting them into the spaces. Would create a solid headboard. I also was thinking of adding a seating area or place to throw your clothes at the base of the bed extending past the foodboard. Using T's instead of L's at the base would allow this. Then just add two more legs. It can be left open for draping stuf on or you can add a top made of wood, glass, etc....
it goes really well with the wooden rafters in your room. i like it a lot.
drewdoog6 years ago
excellent idea! I love the industrial look to it. This would be a great bedroom group. matching lamps, night table, tv stand, speaker stands, computer desk... its endless. ill be making something similar in upcoming days.
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