I think hidden doors and secret compartments are in our dna. We all want to have that bookcase where you pull the right book that reveals the hidden room. Or lift the candle stick to make the fireplace spin to go down to your secret lab. I know you remember that scene from Young Frankenstein. Remember the Nes game Shadowgate? Or the pc game Myst? Those were full of secret spaces that you had to discover to find the next clue.
The boat bed I built has three..possibly four secret compartments. One is pretty obvious. The hatch in the prow of the boat opens to store blankets and other big items. The name plate on the...um..just a sec...wikipedia...Starboard side is a small drawer to hide goodies in. My guy put a Mickey Mouse toy in there first thing. Also on the...port side there is a flag pole that you push down on to reveal a hidden panel (click on pic 3). That's the cool one. You can also lift off the mattress and store stuff under the bed itself...
Step 1: Design and Materials
I up-cycled a lot of materials from other projects (crib) and stuff I had on hand. I did buy one sheet of 5/8" ply for the mattress to sit on and 2 sheets of 1/8" to cover the boat. The structure is made mostly from 3/4"material. Plus paint and Polyurethane. Nails, screws glue...all the basics.
Palm sander (random orbit)
Japanese style pull saw
Various drill bits
Step 2: Build the Frame
Then I drew the pattern on to some 1/2 inch ply I had (crib) and figured the width of the bed/boat based on the mattress width. I temporarily screwed that to the back to Hold the sides up(pic 3). I cut one for the front also but based on the uprights on the front.
I then put a 1x2 on top of the notch I had planned out on my pattern. Glue and screw everything.
You can kind of see in the pics how I progressively figured out the shape of the boat.
Step 3: Put on Top Rails
Nice curve. right?
Step 4: Start the Prow
Then I held the 2x4 up at an angle to see where it should go and then marked and cut it. Then I got a better idea of where it would end up. I then sketched the curve on to the ply that is sitting on the ground for the bottom of the prow and cut it out with a jigsaw.
After I made sure the curve was nice I screwed the 2/4 in through the bottom.
Step 5: Finish Top of Prow
I then used two 1x8's from the front of the rails to the prow. I clamped them in place and then freehand drew the curve on to the top side. Then I cut out one with the jigsaw and tested it on both sides. Once it fit well I flipped it over and traced out onto the other board, cut it out, and then fit them into place.
I flipped the prow over on to a work bench and fit the 2x2 uprights into place. Once it all lined up good I used a quarter round bit and routed all the edges.
Step 6: Cover the Sides
For the side panels I wanted 4 "boards" to run up the length of the boat. I divided the front and back uprights into four equal parts which would be the bottom of each board. Then I ripped the ply with the jigsaw because I wanted kind of a rough old boat look.
Starting at the bottom I glued and nailed the ply onto the frame, gluing along the entire length of the overlap also. The overlap didn't want to stay tight together so I used a couple of 1" screws to hold it together until the glue dried. Later I removed them and filled the holes.
The top "board" of ply has that slight curve in it that runs along the top rail of the entire boat. I clamped that piece of ply where the bottom should go and scribed the back side with the curve. Then I cut it out carefully with the jigsaw.
Step 7: Cover the Prow
Because of the more aggressive curve around the prow I ran the ply across the grain because it bends more readily that way. They also make "bendy ply" that would have been great for this but I couldn't get ahold of any.
Again I marked all the uprights where the bottom of the board should be. Then I made an 18" cut of ply and just held up in place more or less and marked the angle along the 2x4. Once the angle was cut then I could clamp it in place and draw the curve onto the back side using my bottom of board marks and adding and inch. I only needed to figure out one side and cut the reverse for the other. Each "board" has a different radius because the prow widens towards the top. I just let the boards run long and trimmed them with a hand saw flush with the back of the prow.
Step 8: Secret Panel
Then I built a basic drawer that served as the panel. It took some trial and error to figure out the mechanics but it's just basically two eyelets screwed in to the bottom of the 1x2 that has a rope that runs through it. When you push down on the flag pull it pulls on the rope that raises the panel. Simple as that!
Perfect place for a iPad...and some how-to books....
Step 9: Secret Drawer
Stained the front. Printed out a font I liked and transferred it on to the wood. Painted it with watered down acrylics. Polyurethaned the whole thing at the end. Added some brass rivets to the front corners to make it look like it's bolted on the bolt and can't be moved.
Step 10: Banket Storage
Step 11: Finish
Then I painted with the dark green to paint on moss to give it more detail.
Then I sprayed the whole thing with satin finish polyurethane. I didn't want gloss because...I don't like gloss :) and I wanted it to look old.
Step 12: Add Some Trees
That's it...Go to bed.
Step 13: Jolly Roger
I used a piece of black canvas, white colored pencil and some white acrylic paint. When it was dry I added a piece of grey board to stiffen it a little more on the backside and then tacked it to the flag pole with some upholstery tacks.
Step 14: Secret Compartments Overview
1. Hidden panel that raises when flag pole is pushed down
2. Drawer behind name plate
3. Hatch in prow of boat for comforter
4. Panel under mattress lifts up
Thanks for reading!