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Collapsible Bed Frame

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I moved off campus this year, and had to furnish my new apartment. Mostly, I just needed a proper bed frame.

Seeing as I will be moving quite regularly for the next few years (getting started in my career and upgrading in my living spaces), I wanted to make a bed frame that would quickly and easily collapse down into a small bundle, while still being very sturdy. Additionally, It needed to not require a box spring, as those take up valuable space when moving (not to mention tough to get around tight corners).

A buddy of mine (Luke) had made a bed frame of very similar design (I kind of stole it to be honest), but his was on the floor. That doesn't appeal to me, so I added legs to make it a normal bed height.

I looked on the internet to see if there were any other plans out there for a bed frame of this type, but I could not find any that were easy to break down, and easily transportable, so this is the product of my brain.

I am sorry, but I will not be supplying all measurements, as this project was done about 8 months ago, and I lost my notes on it. Really, though, you just have to use your brain to figure out the dimensions to fit your mattress.

I have basic knowledge of woodwork, as well as very basic tools, so this instructible can be done by just about anyone.



Use your safety equipment (goggles, earplugs, gloves, and closed toed shoes).
Get your dad's permission to use his tools, and make sure to put them away when done (yes, that is a safety concern).



 
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tmichaud11 month ago
Wood scraps or spacers between end slats works as well as stapling canvas strapping along the slats once they are spaced. It also helps to keep it neat when rolling it up for transport.
Sweet project, is the bed itself sturdy when put together, been planning a new bedframe for a bit and swaying about what to do... 
andrewklove (author)  killerjackalope4 years ago
  It is very sturdy for ONE person and for a twin mattress.
  If you move the mattress around a lot (like when you put the sheets on) sometimes slats fall out, but they are easy to put back. If I had more patience, I would add some kind of mechanism to keep all of the slats in place- little spacers built along the rail. Too much tedious work on that one though.
  Like I said in the instructions, take time to make sure that all of the joints are very tight, although with the bolts and screws, that may not be an issue.

So... very sturdy.
Are you still using this bed and, if so, how's it holding up after a few years? Also, another solution to the sliding slats issue would be to "peg" the end slats in place like you did with the middle one, then use cord to tie a loop around the end of each slat, so they're all tied to each other at the proper spacing. You'd have to do this on both sides of the bed. When you move, you just take out your nails and roll up the bundle. Alternatively, you could use nylon webbing and glue it. Same concept and probably less fussy to do initially, but a bigger pain if you need to replace a slat.
IvliaVespasia9 months ago
Am going to try as I need a higher bed base. Was thinking of using ready made cabriole legs to make the bed highe r off the ground and more attractive to look at. I will buy some strapping though and staple it to the slats to make them more stable and stop them moving around. They'll still fold up neatly and you're less likely to lose one in the move. I rent so this looks like a lovely simple and easy bed to try and make. Am going to try adding a headboard though as well.
you could use round headed bolts and wing nuts on the slats or the whole thing! just as a suggestion.
fonetik4 years ago
 Have you considered just ordering some Ikea slats for the base?  Keep the outside frame concept, and just throw some of those slats in, hard to tell from the picture on Ikea.com but they are connected by polyester strips so when not in use, you roll them up.  


www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/25844409
hhorak4 years ago
Use Velcro on the bottom of the slat and on the support that it rests on.  Slats won't move.  Helps somewhat on the bowing of the frame.
andrewklove (author)  hhorak4 years ago
Good idea- cheap, easy, and functional. I like it. Thanks!
Fretka4 years ago
 just a suggestion about the slat problem...
what if you took a simple screw and spaced them where you wanted them to be, drove a screw thru the slat into the frame to not only hold the slat in the place you want it to be, but to prevent the sides from bowing out, as the slats would hold them in....if you have a power drill anyhow, it might take an extra 10 minutes, but it would solve 2 issues and make it more stable.

I love this 'Ible btw... I do a lot of Ren Faires and sleeping in giant canvas tents, and due to my back problems I take a twin sized mattress with me and had a portable frame, this one is much more user friendly than mine,... I used 2x4's as the outer frame, welded iron corners, and 2x4's as slats...but it breaks down much like this one. This may be a great option for me. Thanks for sharing !!
andrewklove (author)  Fretka4 years ago
Thanks for the suggestion about the screws.
It got me to thinking; I could just attach angle brackets in the center, and bolt the one center slat through each side. This would stiffen the center, but not cause any issues with breakdown. I am too lazy to drill each of the slats, but it's a good thought for someone who will be in one place for a while (I intend to move regularly the next few years).
That description was terrible, but he wheels are turning in my brain.

Thanks for the suggestions again.
one way to solve the bowing issue. You can consider using old style hook and eye latches (like on older homes screen doors) on a couple of the slats. Probably wouldn't need more than 2 - 4 slats with the latches.  Use one latch set per slat, eye on the slat, hook on the frame, tight enough to hold the frame sides to the slat end.  Too tight and it is harder to disassemble, but would bow less. 
andrewklove (author)  andrewklove4 years ago
Or I could even go as far as to add angle brackets at each slat. you could then just drop in a small bolt (or nail) to a hole on each slat. I love thinking about this stuff.


Una andrewklove4 years ago
HI. This is very neat. Might I give my two cents on your bowing issue? I noticed that there is an end that is cut and has nothing holding it in like the other three corners. That could be part of your bowing issue. It does not seem to have anything to stop it from bowing out. The other thing is you could use 2x2's for the slats to sit upon, and 2x4's for the slats. Since you do not have a box spring you will need that extra support. The function of the box spring is to allow the mattress to give without bending. This is why those futon mattresses are so flipping hard, and platform beds have solid bottoms.
Also I am thinking a simple materials change would not hinder your goal of breakdown, and portability.
Thanks for this neat instructable. Now you so have my gears spinning.
Cheers.

 ohh that is a great idea !!...the bolts would not really have to have nuts on the bottoms, as they will hold themselves in with their weight, and not slide around, and it is only a matter of a bit more construction time and a bit more drilling,but in the long run, no more readjusting the slats, or droopy mattresses.... I like that too...as long as you have a zip bag to put everything into  ( I personally use the zippered bags that sheets come in, it has a lil hanger on the top of them so I can just hang it off the brackets, and it contains my tools to put it together and breaking down of  my bed when I am at faires) then when you are ready to move, it all goes into the zippered pouch, and is packed with the pieces, and is all together for ease of putting it together again and let the boxes sit for unpacking at a later date...lol
I used to use a really big box spring for my bed frame, worked well and was confortable.
Browncoat4 years ago
Great idea!
lemonie4 years ago
I spent a lot of time with a mattress on the floor (it was great) but this is a super build.

L