Hello fellow DIYers. I'm the DiscountCollegeStudent, but you can call me Disco Stu for short. As my name implies, I'm a college student, and I'm cheap. But don't assume that just because I said you can call me Disco Stu, that I like Disco.
// A quick intro - why I'm on this site, and what I'm looking to accomplish. Feel free to skip if you're bored by long-winded speeches //
I began college at the University of California, Berkeley, in 2008, and halfway through my first semester, the economy collapsed. I struggled to make ends meet in the second semester, and after the school year finished, I withdrew due to financial constraints and moved back home to OC. I spent 2 years taking courses at the local community college in an effort to save money on my GE. College has always been expensive, and a relatively difficult time in a student's life, but it has gotten worse in recent years. If you graduated before 2007, consider yourself very lucky - no matter how much debt you may currently have or whatever worthless degree you may have gotten. If you're currently in college, or getting ready to go soon, cheer up - the worst has yet to come!
Because of the nature of today's economy, anyone right now, but especially college students, can truly appreciate a good bargain. I'm returning to Berkeley to finish up my degree in Computer Science, and have set out to further change my spending habits in an effort to stretch every dollar. I'll document my efforts on this site in hopes of helping my fellow college students, or anyone else, who may be looking to save a few bucks here and there.
I will try to post up about 2-3 major projects per year to try to give college DIYers a nifty way to save money, acquire something functional and useful, while also getting that DIY monkey off their backs. I'll also post mini-projects if I have any. This is the first project of the many I currently have planned.
// Ok, done rambling //
Back in 2008, I went to my local Wally Mart and got myself a nice futon. It was rolled tubular steel, had good welds, and came with a decent mattress, all for $100. Because of its size, I had to give it away to a friend when I moved. Now that I'm going back to college, I want to get another one. Unfortunately, current futon prices, much like Pet Rock prices, are plain ridiculous . However, unlike Pet Rocks, making a futon at home isn't as easy as some Elmer's glue and googly-eyes.
I searched all over the internet for a good set of Futon instructions. And by, "All over the internet," I mean the first page of Google. A lot of information is scattered here and there, and many of the whole project pages are old. Really old. Like, 1989 "I typed these instructions while playing a radical text-based MUD game..." old. Amazingly, I couldn't find a fully fleshed-out set of plans on Instructables for a proper futon. So I set out to change that.
I collected what I could, and aggregated it all here on this project page for your viewing pleasure. If you've wanted to build a futon all your life (pretty low life expectations, if I may say so), and you wanted proper instructions from someone who knew what they were doing, you're in the wrong place. My woodworking and metalworking skills are next to none. I only own 2 power tools: a B&D cordless drill and my trusty Dremel 300. What I do have, is a good set of basic hand tools, and a lot of patience. If you want to try this project out, I'd recommend you have the same. Being a beginner myself, my instructions, and my assumptions, will be written with the beginner DIYer in mind.
To qualify as a proper futon in my book, it must have:
- Comfortable cushions
- A complex-motion folding mechanism (ie. something more complex than a bi-fold hinge design).
- A sturdy frame.
- Modularity (the ability to be broken down for moving, repairing, replacing, or cleaning purposes)
Remember to use full safety gear, including, but not limited to, work gloves, eye protection, and face mask/respirator. I am not responsible for anything stupid you might do to yourself. If you do something brilliant in the process of building this futon, I claim all the intellectual property rights to it. Patent pending. All rights reserved. No take-backs.
If you're up for it, let's begin. If not, there's probably a rerun of the Simpsons on right now. If you're lucky, it'll be one that doesn't suck (but don't hold your breath).