Bed Frame
9 Steps
After looking and looking around the shops for a decent, well made wooden bed under \$500. we found that everything sucked!

they were either hugely expensive \$1000+ or made so cheaply that extra legs had to be put in the middle to support the mattress.

So we decided to diy our own!

I appogise for the lack of photos, once i get into a project, I forget to stop every now and then and pick up the camera. I will try and describe the steps as well as i can.
Remove these ads by Signing Up

## Step 1: Study existing designs (take sneaky photos at stores)

This is the first step of the project, it involves ninja skills including

* Sneaky ninja cameraphone photography
* Dodging pushy salespeople
* Staring at the ridiculous prices and not collapsing when your realise you can build it for 1/4 of the price!

but seriously, most salespeople are happy when you tell them you are lookin to see if a bed will fit your decor, and ask if they mind if you take a photo.

ive attached some of the designs that we liked, and a couple of the ones that i thought were pretty abysmal.
brothertom says: Dec 4, 2011. 7:02 PM
How about using American measurments for those who don't use metric! Unable to see how you linked legs from limited pix! Nice Job though!
TT-MON! says: Mar 2, 2012. 2:35 PM
uh...there are conversion calculators available freely on the net :)
Pkranger88 says: Dec 6, 2011. 12:32 PM
American? We're the only major country to stick to SAE units. If you ever do any engineering calculations, metric is by far the way to go. All you have to do is move the decimal.
calikoala says: Dec 5, 2011. 7:13 AM

put in search bar,

19mm to inches it will convert for you...
190mm to inches
2.4m to inches or feet

nat.andrews (author) says: Dec 4, 2011. 7:17 PM
Ill try and get some better diagrams of the legs up tonight for you.
and convert the measurements to metric too
kazinjapan says: Feb 13, 2012. 12:14 AM
I just joined here and just saw what u made!! I like it a lot . great job man!!
nat.andrews (author) says: Feb 13, 2012. 5:01 PM
Thanks!
dhed317 says: Dec 8, 2011. 8:22 AM
I wouldn't even ask if I could take a picture. I'm pretty sure I have the right.
divertissement says: Dec 25, 2011. 6:00 PM
If someone asks you can also say my wife/mom/kids etc. don't have time to go out for choosing, so i take pics for them (and if u add like "oh and this one she/he will really love!") GL
boblq says: Dec 5, 2011. 7:30 PM
I agree in principle with DIY and often do ... but I live in the Philippines where I just bought a great bamboo bed for 1800 Pesos about \$43,
Hom3rSimpson says: Dec 4, 2011. 11:16 PM
Oh just admit, they're yours. We all have a fluffy toy somewhere!
nat.andrews (author) says: Dec 5, 2011. 4:42 PM
possibly
PerfectionLost says: Dec 5, 2011. 7:41 AM
What was the final cost? If you can, can you itemize the cost?
nat.andrews (author) says: Dec 5, 2011. 4:36 PM
All up we worked out about \$300

Wood ~\$250
screws \$18
lights \$60

bunnings prices for wood are pretty horrible though
geppetto425 says: Dec 4, 2011. 1:20 PM
Shellac is all those things but it simply is not durable.Don't put shellac on ANYTHING that is going to get much wear like a table top. It's great stuff but it is also an OLD finish. Use modern finishes for better results. Wipe on polyurethane is very user friendly and you don't have to worry about dust contaminating the finish. So is spray on lacquer. Also remember any alcohol spill on a shellac finish will DISOLVE IT!

Jeff's Woodshop
http://web.me.com/geppetto425/Site/Welcome.html
Javin007 says: Dec 5, 2011. 10:02 AM
Yeah, while I tend to lean towards the "natural is better" mantra, a lot of why I don't use shellac is due to its cons, none of which were mentioned. It does indeed age, losing its water resistance, breaks down at temperatures over 120 degrees F (which televisions, game consoles, hot tea, etc. can all achieve) and over time will craze (get tiny cracks in it as it dries out and shrinks as it becomes brittle). Then there's the fact that alcohol will immediately destroy the finish on anything shellac'd. (Such as my custom solid mahogany BAR that some idiot finished with shellac. A BAR? REALLY? Needless to say, the finish on it was ruined within weeks.)
nanotechy says: Dec 5, 2011. 6:32 AM
Thank you very much for sharing this excellent design.

For a noobie in joints construction, I have a rough time imagining the kind of joints you used to make this project a more disassemble friendly one; please share sketch up diagrams or whatever is possible to demonstrate the main joints of this project.

Thank you in advance and looking forward to building one myself.
rolltidehank says: Dec 4, 2011. 9:23 PM
Love your bed and use of KISS strategy. Can't wait to build one of these myself. I really enjoyed your original plan with slide out shelves/drawers. Great work!
claudg1950 says: Dec 4, 2011. 10:52 AM
Great job! Excellent photos and sketches, thank you.
Just to clarify a point: Even though the "extra legs" example photo included here shows very cheap construction, in Argentina good quality twin, queen and king size beds include extra legs (sometimes up to six). It is considered a sign of quality, not the opposite. Cheap beds here do not have extra legs, so in time the structure gives and the mattress sags in the middle.
After all, unless you plan on adding a box underneath, adding the legs make more sense (a lot lighter structure) than reinforcing the beams.
You created a beautiful bed, indeed. Clever detail that of those lights.
nat.andrews (author) says: Dec 4, 2011. 3:39 PM
Ok, good to know, maybe over here we have really cheaply made beds then.

Is having that many legs are they a feature? Can you post a photo of one?

I'll keep my straight rule handy over the next few years to see if we experience any sag
Haymaker007 says: Dec 4, 2011. 9:09 AM
Very nice and the design is simplicity and finish well done. I will draw up and will add under bed drawers which I caught with my own Ninajesque techniques along with some other built in storage for beddings etc.

Great idea with the lights and power source and excellent communication to obtain second but primary opinions.

Just for clarification since I live in the great white North of America (and I do mean North) I assume the dimensions are in mm (I see the Metre symbol) and your nominal lumber dimensions from AU might be different? (I would size the uprights as 4x4 which is nominally 89x89 here).

Up right bolts are enclosed/finished by a dowel or plug oe wood filler?

I think the hand tools are accurate try operator (just kidding) however CNC really does add a level of precision good luck.
nat.andrews (author) says: Dec 4, 2011. 3:34 PM
Sorry, yes all dimensions are in mm. Strangely my uprights are 70x70, so 3x3.
Cost prohibited moving up to 4x4 100mmx100mm . And this would have made the parts extremely heavy.

Upright bolts are covered with putty, but looking back a plug would have.made for a nicer finish. Not that you really notice it with the stain.

And yes, more user training is probably required on my part to get my accuracy with hand tools up.

Just means ill have to keep building stuff
mayej says: Dec 4, 2011. 11:40 AM
My father having been a carpenter until his death at 78 in 2009, was a fan of shellac. Of course over the years, he would always try other protective coatings, but found none had the long lasting trait as shellac.
I'm just putting this out there as an FYI as I myself have come to use only shellac for my final coat, and a lot of times as my coloring too.
I use Binzer Shellac, available at Home Depot, Lowe's, etc.
But I support small business, so I choose to buy mine at local lumber yards, not national ones. I don't eat kale, I wear deodorant, etc. But I do support local people in my community.
It doesn't yellow, it doesn't delaminate (peel) and?....it comes in COLORS now.
I usually choose 'original' when I'm coating a nice wood that I don't want to stain, like Maple, Shedua, Oak, etc. Or I'll use the Amber color for softer/colorless woods like Pine, Bass, etc. The colored shellacs are not like straight up paint either. They tint. Meaning, the more you apply, the darker the result.
Shellac also works just fine with pure stains like Minwax and the like.
I myself will still use a stain when I want one, but I ALWAYS finish it with a few coats of shellac, regardless.
If for those reading this, have never worked with shellac or even wood for that matter, this is how I do it:
Just like painting a car or chroming a bumper (I've done both), your finished result is a direct reflection of how much sanding you do in your prep work.
Sanding. If unfamiliar, when buying sandpaper, you will go with the ISO/FEPA Grit designation on the package. You can look up grit sizes on wikipedia.
You don't have to be such a neat-freak as I, but, depending on the type/condition of the bare wood, I usually start with 280 to 320 grit and work my way up to 600 to 800 and sometimes 1200, or maybe even higher.
I really take advantage of the wood when I'm working with a hard wood because I'll definitely go to 1200 and sometimes even as high as a 1500 grit. See, with hardwood, you can do this and end up with a GLASS like surface. With a softer wood, the problem lies within the grain. One grain is sturdy, which is where a tough sandpaper will come in, but the other grain in it is very soft. If you are not careful (especially when you either sandblast or torch-affect wood), you will end up with valleys between the harder grains.
Hard wood does this much less as the harder grains are tighter together.
Just whatever you do, ALWAYS SAND WITH THE GRAIN.
I myself, will make all my measurements, cut out my pieces, dry fit them to the point that all I have to do is bolt/glue them together, then I take it ALL APART and THEN do my sanding. I mean, think of this, just how effectively do you think you can sand the inside corner of a 90 degree angle and STILL sand with the grain OR reach every area to be sanded?
Once it's sanded, then I fit it all together again, making sure any areas affected by the sanding can be remedied, if any.
So, once you have sanded and assembled your project, you may now use the stain you want to use if you chose to do so.
Stain is also something I try to do BEFORE assembly as well.
Then you put on your first coat of shellac. You can put your 2nd coat on after only 30-45 minutes (maybe even sooner)!
Yes, the can will say otherwise, but trust me....use it and you can watch it dry before your eyes. The first coat is always a "soak up" coat. Meaning, the wood will just soak that sucker right down inside. I usually let my first coat sit for a couple hours to make sure a barrier has been created between my wood and the next coat.
After a couple of coats (usually 4 or more for me), let it dry for 24-48 hours. This is a hardening phase for the next step.
The next step:
Ok, you see your project that you diligently sanded and didn't stop until you had changed the color of your entire skin with sawdust (You DID do that, right?)
You see the gorgeous grains jumping out at you from the shellac you've put on it. You think it's done, because WOW, it sure is pretty.
And guess what?...you CAN stop at this point and enjoy that super shiny, super deep finish (like lacquer paint, it deepens with more coats). But, I?....never do.
See, I'm not a fan of a shine on wood, but that's a personal choice.
I take steel wool, use 4 ought. Sorry, old man language there. Use #0000 Fine steel wool. You can find it from wood supply stores to auto paint stores.
(#0000 steel wool is also great for scrubbing bug guts off of glass and chrome....works good on rusted bumpers too)
Then, take that steel wool and start to "polish" the shellac.
You will notice it starts to get a bit dullish. This will give you a satin finish.
It's not a choice for everyone, or every project, but I like it, so I do it a lot.
But again, not for every project, it's a personal choice, but man it looks good.
Remember, DO NOT POLISH TOO HARD! "Allow" the steel wool to work for you.
I mean, don't be so light that you don't make a difference, put in some effort, just don't "dig in" with your hand.
If you've never worked with shellac, it's colors, sanding, or steel wool, I STRONGLY suggest....no, I DICTATE you have bought a "practice piece" of wood before you build your project.
Not some scrap piece either. Make it a GOOD size piece, like a 3 foot long 2x4 or other sizable amount.
Reason is (especially with stains), you may pick out a stain (or shellac color) that you like, and on a small piece it really does look nice. But once you apply it to your finished project, it's just way too much, overpowering, ugly, whatever.
So do yourself (and your project) a favor, PRACTICE on a piece before your project and USE a good size piece.
Remember that wood working is like getting to Carnegie Hall....
Practice, Practice, Practice.
On shellac itself:
What my Dad and I came to reason behind shellac's quality is that, since it's "a resin secreted by the female lac bug", it means it's ORGANIC, just like WOOD.
Like Coffee and Chocolate. Why are they so good together?...well they're both a type of bean/seed. It's just logical that shellac and wood work so well together.
Now, when you ask for shellac (if you can't find it yourself), you will ultimately run into someone (salesperson or shopper) who will praise poly's and the like. I don't dislike polyurethanes, I just find them inferior to shellac.
You will hear, "This one is cheaper!" or "This one is just as good!"
Think of it. Would you want to hear those two sentences if you were in the market for a spouse? Kinda funny, huh? Apply those to "wife hunting" and THEN see how it sounds.
Yeah..."Shellac for me buddy, but thanks for your input."
You can't replace the best.
Almost forgot. As a prop to the author, Cabot's Water Based Stain was a good choice. It's one of my favorites.....(and works well with shellac).
Hahaha, one MORE thing. In the past I've used instant coffee as a stain.
Just like any dark stain, use it thinned and sparingly at first, apply more if you want it darker. Just an FYI for the crafty and ones that want to really bow your audience over with some added coolness.
As I type this, I am looking at a pipe holder-tobacco humidor my father made in high school in 1949 that he finished with shellac. It still looks brand new.
So, list of pros for Shellac:
Won't delaminate
Won't yellow
Dries FAST
Can use with anything
Available in cans or sprays (how cool is that?)
Lasts forever
Natural and Organic

Oh, years ago I messed up a chest of drawers. I placed a heavy TV on it too soon. I still have the dresser, but now there are TV footprints in it.
PLEASE allow the shellac to dry hard, I mean a solid week or two, before placing anything on top of it. It may sound like overkill, but if you're gonna have something for the next 40 years, what's two weeks? Do you really wanna stare at TV footprints for 40 years?...lol
(I do this with ANY coating, paint or otherwise, it's a good habit to follow, it was just during a move and I allowed it to rush me).

I hope this comment is helpful. This is NOT a criticism in anyway. Wood, like anything handmade, is personal, from design to completion.
I just wanted to put this info out there for those who may find it useful.
~Jef
menahunie says: Dec 4, 2011. 3:25 PM
Great stuff.
I also use it in creating a "French" polish on pieces make in a lathe; it takes allot of the elbow grease out of the work.
Here is a link that shows and explains French Polishing with Shellac.
blkhawk says: Dec 4, 2011. 1:03 PM
It sounds like you could make a good instructable about working with shellac.
mayej says: Dec 4, 2011. 2:03 PM
Thank you.
I've never put an instructable onsite. Wonder how I'd go about doing it without photos?
I mean, I know ME, I like pictures...lol
I wouldn't want to bore the audience, ya know?
MiltReynolds says: Dec 4, 2011. 3:26 PM
Mayej,

I whole-heartedly agree with your making this into an instructable! I'm wondering if you might consider just using stock photos to illustrate your instructable. Taking your own photos would be best, but second-best would be a few free images that you could use royalty-free.

Some good places to find free, royalty-free images:

http://search.creativecommons.org/

http://www.sxc.hu/home

http://www.rgbstock.com/

I've written an instructable for how to find free images:

Anyway, I hope you do convert this great comment into an instructable!
mayej says: Dec 4, 2011. 5:33 PM
I'll be darned, a site for royalty-free pics.
Now what are the odds you'd read this thread and have that kind of info?

Outstanding.
MiltReynolds says: Dec 4, 2011. 9:43 PM
I hope you find it useful. You might be able to enter a few keywords and find a picture that helps explain each step of your instructable, or at least perhaps adds some interest or "pop".

I'll be waiting anxiously for your instructable!
chuckyd says: Dec 4, 2011. 10:35 AM
Check out your hardware store and online stores. There is hardware made especially for beds. Some is fully concealed and some is decorative for exposure. The cool thing about the specialize hardware is that it makes assembling and disassembling the bed so much easier.

The wood needs to be carefully chosen, especially with pine. The completed bed tends to have a better appearance is all the surface grain patterns complement each other. Pine tends to vary greatly in grain pattern.
Gryzio says: Dec 4, 2011. 8:33 AM
When I was a child, we as a family did not have a lot of money. So, my Dad built each of us 4 children a twin size bed, just the cost of materials.
I have a saying; "We do not need money, we need what money buys".
Your bed is a perfect example of how we can have the things we need for a lot cheaper than running to the store buying and having to work a week or more just to pay for it.
Great job.
mr.frob says: Dec 2, 2011. 6:51 PM
Great 'ible, and excellent design! I've been wanting to build a new bed, in fact my niece is in need of one, but as you know the mattress is the expensive part.
nat.andrews (author) says: Dec 2, 2011. 7:56 PM
Luckily we got given an IKEA voucher as a housewarming present so that took.care of most of the cost of the mattress.

Made for a pretty cheap bed
mr.frob says: Dec 3, 2011. 8:14 AM
Sweet deal!
ppatches24 says: Dec 2, 2011. 11:44 PM
Way Cool!
rflight79 says: Dec 2, 2011. 10:21 AM
Looks awesome! Curious how much you spent on wood and fasteners?

And how much work would it take to get it apart if you were moving?
nat.andrews (author) says: Dec 2, 2011. 3:49 PM
All up we worked out about \$300

Wood ~\$250
screws \$18
lights \$60

and thats buying wood from my local bunnings, which has horrible prices for wood.

to break it down, all I have to remove is the 8 bolts holding the sides on, and you end up with a head, a foot, 2 sides and a center beam, and a bunch of slats.

the head is pretty heavy though, two person lift!

if you can suggest any more photos I can add to illustrate this, please let me know.

nat.andrews
Penolopy Bulnick says: Dec 2, 2011. 9:18 AM
Amazing! The color and design are perfect!
jessyratfink says: Dec 2, 2011. 5:55 AM
That is a gorgeous bed! :D I love the built in lights.