My son moved into a big boy bed a lot sooner than planned. We currently have him sleeping on a twin day bed, but he, being the tough little guy he is, has managed to break the metal spokes on the wall side.
So, we found ourselves on the market for a new bed for him.
Unfortunately, most of the bed frames I've found have been extremely poorly made and fairly costly. If he managed to break a metal bed, what would he do with a poorly built pressed wood frame?
I decided to build him one instead.
Step 1: Design
I measured the mattress to determine the basic size.
39" W x 75" L
I decided on a cabin style headboard and footboard. The basic design is an outer edge sandwiching the back slats into a slot with glue.
The entire structure is made from dimensional pine lumber.
The inside width is 39". The total width of the headboard is 39.5".
The side rails are 14" off the floor.
The total height of the headboard is 39.5". The total height of the footboard is 24".
Step 2: Cut List
-I didn't take any pictures while I was cutting.... sorry-
3 - 42"
1 - 39"
11 - 31 5/8"
I got three 32" cuts out of each eight foot board. 5 boards total
11 - 15"
1 - 42"
1 - 39"
2 - 22
I got six 16" cuts out of each eight foot board.
Total = 12 - 2 x 4"
I used a thickness planer on all of the boards to remove any slight warping and cupping that was in them. This will also make for a tighter fit when I glue the boards together.Additionally, this saves a large amount of time sanding.
Step 3: Glue, Sand, Assemble the Insets
Because I rushed the cuts, I ended up with several uneven lengths. I simply glued and clamped the boards. When it was dry, I cut off the uneven edges. I did this for the headboard and foot board inserts.
At this point, I did a final sanding. I also kicked myself a little for not wiping the excess glue off before it dried, as it was kind of a bear to get the dried glue off.
I removed the sanding dust with a quick blast of air and stained the wood with a coat of wipe-on stain/poly.
Step 4: Uppers, Bottoms, Legs
I used my table saw to cut a channel matching the thickness of the insert boards into the upper and lower boards of the headboard and the foot board.
I used some glue in the channel and installed the lower inserts.
I cut a 45 degree angle into the upper board to allow for a angled joint. I did this because it created a more finished edge.
I glued these in place and added a few nails for good measure.
After the glue dried, I added the legs. These have a matching 45 degree angle, but no channel. I installed dowel pins into the corners to secure the pieces.
Lastly I used angle brackets on the bottom of both head and foot board for a little extra structural integrity.
Step 5: Fill, Sand, Stain
After assembly, I filled all the gaps and nail holes with stain-able wood putty. I also drilled the holes for the rail bolts. A final sand after the putty cured and it was ready for stain.
I used a wipe on stain/polyurethane coating(Minwax brand) . The color is Bombay mahogany.
Step 6: Rails/Springs
The rails/springs from the old bed were still serviceable, so I reused them.
-I used the rail ends as a template for drilling holes-
I decided to use T-nuts to secure the rails to the headboard and footboard. T-nuts are very useful in these types of applications as they allow for internal secure fastening.
I measured from the floor up on all legs in order to allow for a level installation and then drilled all the way through the legs and installed the T-nuts. I was able to remove the rail attachments from the springs and install them by themselves.
Step 7: Final Assembly / Thoughts
After allowing the bed set to dry in the garage for a day or two, I moved it into my son's bedroom and assembled it.
Overall, I am very happy with it. I think this will last him for many years to come. Additionally, the height allowed for some below bed storage that was not available with his old bed.
The total cost breakdown for this project is as follows:
Twelve 2" x 4"s $2.37 ea. = $28.44
Four packs T-nuts $1.18 ea. = $4.72
Four packs bolts $2.38 ea. = $9.52
Stain/Sandpaper/Nails (app.) = $10.00
Bed Springs $Free =$0.00
If you have any questions or need more exact dimensions, please feel free to ask and as always, thanks for reading!