Picture of Hybrid Pipe Bed
Hi All,

First off, thank you for the creators of the Pipe Dream and Aluminum Pipe beds for my inspiration.  I decided I wanted to do something like them but make it a hybrid.  It has taken a lot of elbow grease, many wandering visits to Home Depot, numerous phone calls and tons of frustration.

Background: My original idea was to use aluminum pipes to create a frame large enough for a queen but use crossover slip-on pipe fittings so that I can easily adjust and take it apart whenever I want since I move a lot.  I wanted the head legs to be longer than the tail legs and the base to be a couple of inches longer and wider than my bed.  I really wanted to avoid Home Depot at all costs but I couldn't find a place that sold aluminum pipes.  The total cost ended up being around $400 for the Kee Lite fittings, $100 for the EMT pipes, $20 for the leg caps, $30? for the wood slats.  I have practically no proper tools and live in a teeny studio so I was as restricted in doing a lot of things I really wanted to do.  I also planned this project horribly because of my impatience among other things.

Step 1: Prep Work

Galvanized pipe was out of the question for me as it was too heavy for a wooden floor so I ended up using EMT pipe at Home Depot after hunting around everywhere for aluminum.  Unfortunately, I didn't know that EMT pipe does not have the same outer dimension (OD) as galvanized pipe before I bought the speedrailers.  I wasn't too worried about it supporting me as I am slim for my size and I am using a 12" memory foam bed from Walmart.

I used a multi-tool and allen wrench. 

I would recommend a leveler, tape measure and a helper.

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Nedjamin10 months ago
I think your perspective on minor failures, re-doing the work and your overall plight is very funny...but I'm not trying to make fun of you. I think the project looks cool and you did a great job with limited materials/experience/patience/space, take your pick. Nice job! I need a queen frame too and I'm going to try this. But with a tape measure. Haha! Thanks for posting this.
Echinda211 year ago

do you need a box spring for this bed desing

jtwanderlust (author)  Echinda211 year ago

No, you just need the wooden slats. A box spring would make things more secure and easier though.

bandidusky3 years ago
Hi, has anyone built with these pipes any pipe furniture in Australia? I mean I have gone to many hardware stores in Melbourne and couldn't find them. Next I guess is trying builders scaffolding specialist' but they seem to use steel instead !@#$%^& America seems to supply they stores so much better.
pyromonkey3 years ago
I have been wanting one of these beds ever since I saw one on display at the store Antropologie!! Now with your instructable I can make one XD Thanks
grannyideas5 years ago
 I have done a similar frame using pvc pipe--you know, the off-white plastic pipe that's light weight and easy to cut.  The only difference is that pvc pipe is more flexible, so you have to add more support on long lengths of it, or else it will bend at places that you don't want it to.  Using the plastic stuff makes it much easier to carry when I move....
fip grannyideas4 years ago
Thank you so much for this comment, grannyideas!
I have been looking at these pipe beds all over the net, and they are all aluminum. I was wondering if anyone had used PVC. Not only is it lighter, its much cheaper.
tomtom43885 years ago
I like the idea, you might be able to use small rope
Even with very smooth material (tubes) and fine, smooth rope, a good knot can achieve a not-slipping connection.
Ooo, I really like that idea. *adds trick to mental toolbox*
just1rick4 years ago
Very Cool
Good Design .
bunglesmate4 years ago
Good effort. You should keep some gaps in the slats underneath the mattress to allow some air flow or else it could get a bit mouldy. Just think how much moisture your body lets go of in the night and it will sink to the bottom. As previously mentioned in other comments, slats can be stabilised using strips of fabric stapled on the bottom.
regisd5 years ago
Very nice! If you want a smaller pipe that's still strong, you could go for something with a slightly smaller outside diameter but thicker walls like IMC (a heavier-walled steel electrical conduit available at electrical supply houses).
I love it, it reminds me of a loft bed a friend of mine had years ago in his first flat. I always wanted one just like it, unfortunatly I don't think my other half will let me replace her beloved iron frame with scrolls & vines with one like yours but I guess I could always ask ;-)
freaknerd5 years ago
This whole instructable is great! I was wondering however... Do the wooden slats move? Are they just laying on the pipes or are they fixed... I tend to move alot and have kids that would jump on the bed... I am curious if realigning and picking up the slats often would be a prolem?
jtwanderlust (author)  freaknerd5 years ago
Thanks!  The slats do move, they're just laying on the pipes.  Because I have the middle pipe, it helps keep the slats in place but I haven't tried jumping up and down on it either.  They are easy to adjust as long as you have someone holding up the bed or you can just take the bed off and readjust which is why I wanted them this way.  If you're worried about that, you may want to try thicker slabs or larger ones.  Or tie them together with rope or something.
Just use pvc clamps to secure 2x4s to the poles (or screw them in if you have time). then screw the slats into the 2x4s and tada, sex catastrophe averted.
The slats of my sons' bunkbeds are tied together by stapling 2 lengths of twill tape stapled about 3 inches from each end  the full length of the bed.  It kinda looks like a rope ladder, but it really keeps them in place.
 A couple strips of fabric scraps and a staple gun will work wonderfully for securing the slats to each other. I used a pair of old denim jeans cut into strips and stapled to the bottom for a wooden bed I built for my son. I would imagine you could also wrap around the frame and secure with the strips too,
How about just run screws through the wood into the pipe? Or even roofing nails through the wood into holes in the pipe.
They don't have to hold down just hold in place.
Very good ible.
Probably makes a lot of noise. Not good when you don't want anyone to hear:D
Smaridge015 years ago
Kudos for persisting and getting this bed made! It IS really cool, and yes, it IS inspiring! Thanks for going through the trouble to post it for us.
That is awesome! I have another option for securing the pipe in the slip on fittings. This would of course also include the proper tools and more work, but could definitely make things a little easier in the long run. My suggestion for anyone else doing this would be to instead of getting the plastic pipe, use some set screws and drill a hole and tap it out wherever you wanted to put it on the fitting. You could use the kind that have a point on the end and prevent it from turning, or you could simply drill through both pieces of pipe and fitting and use the screw to go all the way into the pipe and fitting and lock it into place.

sharkh2o5 years ago
Beautiful job!  That thing will last forever :)
klixtopher5 years ago
Nice work.  If you're still wondering; the four "tops" you picked up at the Depot are Rain Tight EMT connectors.  If you'd installed them 'right way round' you could use the threaded end to mount some sort of finial.  If you wanna get real crazy, you could even mount lights on the four corners, just use the EMT for it's intended purpose.  Again, nicely done.
jtwanderlust (author)  klixtopher5 years ago
Cool idea.  They are actually threaded if I take the caps off.  Hmm, now what to put on it?  Thanks.
Not sure if we're saying the same thing. The 'caps' are intended to clamp down the compression ring onto the pipe.  It's hard to tell from the pic but I think you probably bought connectors for smaller sized EMT.  The idea is that the EMT slides into the open end leaving the threaded male end to enter a standard electrical box (fastened by a lock ring).  Here's a link to a pic of a coupling (as opposed to a connector) to give you a better idea. http://cableorganizer.com/conduit/emt-compression-coupling.html
jongscx5 years ago
So the bed frame alone cost around ~$550?  wow...
Yeah, on the above comment.  :-(  While I understand that sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do, sometimes even to "best" the materials or the project, you could have had a whole, iron bed for less.  (Brass Bed Factory Direct, or something like that) The expense alone is making me sad, on your behalf. But I'm glad that you won and have a bed!
(Not that I'm one to talk, having attempted to glue silk to newspaper: I, too, "coulda had a dress for less".)
jtwanderlust (author)  MacgyverGrrl5 years ago
I guess I'm paying the extra money just to brag that I built it with my own hands.
spyderman225 years ago
 Hey, I was looking around and found a cheaper place to buy the slip on pipe fitting but they are iron instead of aluminum. About 225 bucks before shipping and taxes. www.easyfit.com. i hope this helps.
jtwanderlust (author)  spyderman225 years ago
Thanks for the link.  I decided to pay more for the non-galvanized look but it definitely is another affordable option.  You can also go with regular Kee clamps.  Not sure how much they would cost.
Echo885 years ago
Hi,I'm a chinese, that's really a good job,but i think if you still want it be adjusted,cheap and portable,why not try the air-bed or water-bed?That will be more easy and comfortable.
jtwanderlust (author)  Echo885 years ago
I've tried the airbed before.  It's good for a few months but I wanted this look,  something more permanent, and not something I have to pump every few weeks.
elo_sud5 years ago
Muchas gracias por la idea.He querido hacer una de madera pero ésta es mucho mejor.En resistencia y elegancia.
Desde México.
jdege5 years ago
I find I learn a lot more by reading accounts of what went wrong, than by reading instructables that pretend that everything went together perfectly.
sysadmn jdege5 years ago
Exactly!  Your Instructable doesn't suck because you made mistakes, it's great because you documented your mistakes (and what went right!)

Good Job!
Though when something does go perfectly it's great...
Very cool indeed!
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