Introduction: Elevated Platform Bed
After countless hours of searching for the right type of elevated platform bed for our new mattress, I decided to build what I wanted. My requirements were pretty simple and straightforward. I needed under the bed storage, which leads to the need for some elevation. I also wanted something "simplistic" that looked good and was able to "fit" in anywhere since we are going to be moving soon. I also wanted the platform to go all the way to the floor to eliminate dust bunnies collecting and having little dust bunny orgies under my bed. So with a new mattress ordered, I set forth in my adventure to just build what I wanted. As of this writing, a headboard will not be attached just yet due to unknown placement and design after we move. This particular one is designed for a queen mattress but can easily be adjusted to fit any size bed. A typical queen mattress is 60"x80" and a king size is 76"x80". So you can see that expanding the width by 16" will give you your desired size. I will post a picture below that I pulled off the interwebs in case you just don't feel like Googling something else.
So off to Lowes I go! I'm pretty sure I should have VIP parking. Anyway, I knew I didn't want to build it just out of pine or cottonwood (poplar) because well, they look like sh*t when you try to stain them. So red oak it was. Now granted buying red oak at Lowes probably isn't your cheapest solution. You can find it cheaper elsewhere but unless you have a planer and a jointer laying around it probably is your best best. A detailed price list is below so you can get an idea of what it cost. Unless wood prices go up which they tend to do.
As far as pictures go, I wholeheartedly had intentions of taking detailed pictures through every step of the process but low and behold my ADHD meds were working and I became so focused and into it I completely forgot to take any for the majority of the process. Luckily for you, I've uploaded AutoCAD designs of it so you know whats going on!
Step 1: Shopping List
Here is the wonderful shopping list from Lowes.
15- 2x4x8 studs @ $3.65/ea = $54.75
1- 4x4x8 (not pressure treated!) @ $7.97
2- 1x8x8 Red Oak Boards @ $40.96/ea = $81.92
1- 1x8x6 Red Oak Boards @ $30.72
2- 1x6x6 Red Oak Boards @ $21.66/ea = $43.32
4- 1x6x8 Red Oak Boards @ $28.88/ea = $115.52
2- 3/4"x4x8 Plywood @ $49.98
16- 5/16" Carriage Bolts @ $0.75/ea = $12.00
16- 5/16" Flat Washers @ $0.12/ea = $1.92
16- 5/16" Lock Washers @ $0.18/ea = $2.88
16- 5/16" Nuts @ $0.11/ea = $1.76
1- 1.5"x48" Piano Hinge (nickel) @ $10.48
1- Minwax ProSeries Wiping Stain 1- quart (Gel) @ $16.28
1- Minwax Semi-Gloss Fast-Drying Polyurethane @ $11.98
1- Minwax PreStain Wood Conditioner @ $12.28
1- 16ga 1.75" Finishing Nails for my superpowered nail shooter 3000 @ $12.99
2- Kreg Pocket screws 2.5" (packs of 50, course threaded) @ 5.19/ea = $10.38
1- #10-2.5" hex head screws ( 240count box, just in case! Plus you'll have extra) @ $29.98
1- 4lb pack of wiping cloths (for stain) @ $13.48
1- TiteBond III Wood Glue (could use others, I'm just a fan of TiteBond 3) @ $7.98
1- Elmer's Probond Stainable Wood Putty @ $8.98
1- Pack of 180 and 220 grit Sandpaper. Unsure of price since I already had it.
That is the best wood putty that I've found so far that halfway accepts stain.
And last but not least
1- 32oz. Gatorade (Lemon-Lime) @ $2.28
For a Grand Total of $539.83
Step 2: Tool LIst
Finish Nailer and Compressor
Drill & Impact Driver
Pencils and lots of them in case they grow legs and run away like mine do.
Saw Horses (Enough to support the entire bed frame. I ended up using 4)
1/2" wrench (If you used 5/16" carriage bolts)
3/4" spade bit or Forstner bit
3/8" Drill bit
Screwdriver bit for whatever screws you use
Step 3: Starting the Cuts
First off, decide how tall you want this magic maker to be. My mattress is 12" tall and I wanted the top of my mattress to be around 28". So a little quick second-grade math tells us it needs to be 16" tall where the mattress will sit. Remember that it will be lying on a piece of 3/4" plywood. So add that and that gives us 16-3/4" height that our 4x4's need to be cut down to. I ended up cutting mine to 16-1/4". The why is explained in the next paragraph.
Keep in mind the measurements of our pieces of Red Oak we purchased. The 1x6's are 5-1/2" and the 1x8's are only 7-1/4" and not 7-1/2"! The Red Oak will be stacked around the three sides. A six-inch piece on the bottom, an eight-inch piece in the middle, and a six-inch piece on the top. So, more math, which brings our sides made from the Red Oak to 18-1/4" tall assuming you don't have to rip any down. And as expensive as this stuff is, I wanted to use as much of it as I could. Therefore, I have a recess around the frame to hold the mattress from "sudden movements" that is 1-1/4". You can adjust accordingly to however much of a "lip" you want to have. It's one of the joys of doing it yourself!
With the 4x4's cut down it was time to start the frame. I wanted a little wiggle room on the mattress but not much. With the queen mattress being 60"x80", I opted to add an inch both ways, so if you're following along, that is 61"x81".
Starting with the "footboard" part. I cut two pieces of 2x4's 61" long for the horizontal pieces (rails for you furniture people out there.) Lay them on top of two pieces of 4x4's. Make sure everything is square! Especially your cuts! Now, this is where some "figure it out yourself" comes into play. The carriage bolts will go through the 2x4's and through the 4x4's so this thing can be taken apart. But you will have two bolts and each corner. Top and bottom. So eyeball where you think the bolts will pass through and not interfere with the other bolts added later. Starting with the spade bit first. Drill a hole about 3/8" deep. Just enough to make sure the bolt head isn't protruding from the 2x4. Then with everything still squared up. Use your 3/8" bit to drill through the remainder of the 2x4 and into the 4x4. Do that on all four corners. If your bit isn't long enough, move the 2x4's and drill it! Go ahead and bolt them up just to keep everything square.
Now, measure the space in between the rails for our vertical pieces (stiles.) We are going to cut pieces to go in there. If your 4x4's are the same length as mine, those pieces should be 9-1/4". That should be the same for all four sides as long as your measurements are precise. I cut 20 pieces total. Three for the front and back and five for the sides.
Next, drill four pocket holes, two on each end, on the same side. Now glue and screw one on each end and in the middle between the rails. Then, split the difference on each side and add another for a total of five. Step back, wipe the sweat from your brow and realize, you're not nearly done yet! Make another one just like it for the headboard section!
Step 4: Side Frame
Now, here's where I apologize. My lack of pictures begins here. With the sides, you want to do the same thing as you did for the front and back. The only difference is, your rails will be 81" long! Take care when drilling your holes for the bolts. Make sure it won't hit the other bolt but make sure there's enough wood to actually provide support. It is best to use a second set of hands if possible. If not this is where a whole lot of clamps comes into play. Make sure everything is square. Start with the bottom rails. Once one end is bolted up, run an extra 2x4 from side to side in the middle to hold the two bottom rails at 61". It will help with securing the other end. Once all four rails are bolted up nice and tight, put your stiles in just like you did on the footboard and headboard. I ended up using five total in the middle with none on the ends. Why? Who knows, maybe I was just tired or overlooked it but it doesn't matter here. Once all four sides are bolted together, make sure to mark the 4x4's so you don't have a problem putting it back together once it's in its final place!
Step 5: Red Oak
Now that the frame is complete, we can move on to our overly expensive pieces of Red Oak. Like I said previously, I didn't want to rip any down the entire frame was designed around to what the board widths are going to be. For this, if you want to just nail them up to the sides, then go for it! NOT ME! I chose to tongue and groove the boards, because why not! Now I wouldn't go drop $200 for a router and another $50 for a bit, but if you have it lying around then why not.
First and foremost, leave the boards the full length. Trust me, it will make your life a whole lot easier. If you are tongue and grooving your boards I am going to assume you already know how to set everything up. If not here's a handy dandy link, granted it is for a router table, but the same principle applies to handheld ones. Setting up a router for tongue and groove. You'll end up with two tongues and two grooves. Look at the grain pattern and on the ends of the boards. Alternate direction of the pattern. Or if you have some bad spots on your boards just choose which sides you want facing out.
Once the boards are routed, you may want to sand at least the tongue down a little to help things come together easily! If you are going to put a profile around the top with your router, do so now! It does make things look fancy and only takes a couple more minutes!
Now, here is where you need to cut your boards down to size. MEASURE THREE OR FOUR TIMES AND CUT ONCE! Starting with the front, measure outside to outside. Then add 3/4" to each side. Double check your side boards and make sure they are actually 3/4" thick! Mine weren't!! So adjust as necessary. With the front boards cut, time to glue up!
This is where some big pipe clamps come in handy. Apply glue to the groove and spread it around with a brush to both grooves. Place the boards flat and using scrap 2x4's, slowly start to clamp the boards together. Make sure the tongue is going nicely into the grooves. If you have a clean route on the boards, there should not be any visible gap between the boards. Once clamped wipe off any squeeze out with a damp cloth. Leave the boards clamped for a bit to let the glue set up.
Now, preferably with some help, set the boards up against the frame (if there's support under it obviously.) I left a very small gap between the bottom of the frame and the bottom of the boards. That way none of my Red Oak is actually set on the ground when in place. With a brush, apply glue to the frame where the boards are going to be nailed to. Yea, it's a lot of it but no need to skimp. Clamp the boards in the place where you want them to be. Using your finishing nails, (18ga should be fine, smaller holes!) nail the boards up along the top. Then coming an inch above and an inch below the seams, place a nail. Then nail across the bottom.
Repeat the same process for the two sides! Almost done! Sort of... Using high quality and STAINABLE wood putty, fill in all your holes. Let it dry and sand smooth! Make sure all holes are filled. Sand entire surface to get a nice smooth texture. Now following manufacturers instructions, apply your stain! After it has dried, apply your polyurethane accordingly. This is a lot of sitting and waiting!
Once the finish is complete, on to the next step!
Step 6: Plywood and Supports
Using two sheets of plywood, cut both down to 60", lengthwise obviously. One piece will stay the 48" width. The other piece will have to be cut down. I cut mine to 32-1/2". Once you 48" piece is on there, measure it out and allow room for your hinge. I put two 2x4's under where my hinge will be. That way you can screw down through the hinge, through the plywood, and into the 2x4 to keep it from moving when you lift the foot up. Two more 2x4's were also placed like in the CAD design but were probably unnecessary. Better safe than sorry!
Step 7: Finishing Up
As for support when it is lifted, I have ordered a couple of gas shocks that will be here soon and will update this when I get them installed. You could just attach a prop rod of some sorts if you wanted to!
I hope all this made sense! Hopefully, you can get some ideas and alter it to your design or build one just like it. Any questions feel free to ask!!! THANKS!
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