Picture of Nail-less, glue-less almost screw-less fire finished bed

DO YOU MOVE A LOT FROM ONE HOUSE TO ANOTHER? you need nomad furniture and this bed is really good to move it around, just take it apart and put it together like a puzzle, No Nails, no screws. It is also really simple to make and looks very good.

Step 1: How to begin.... What you need

You need basic tools for carpentry and wood working, manual or powertools. This bed can be made using only a saw, a screw driver and a steady hand for straight cutting, you also need 3/4" or 1" x 6" x 10' boards and a pole 6" diameter. (How many boards you need or how long the pole, depends on how tall you want your bed to be. (standard height of a bed is about 2 feet) and the size of your mattress so you will have to do those calculations yourself..).
1" board will make a stronger more sturdy bed so I recomend those. You will also need about 20 screws, and 3 or 4 hours of your time.
To make the fire finish you will also need a plumber's torch or any other gas torch but of course this is optional.


PraetorianXX5 months ago

I used a hand saw for some of the cuts, then I got tired and borrowed a reciprocating saw from a friend like this one: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Black-Decker-KS890ECN-Scor...

I used a large chisel to remove the wood between the cuts and then sanded.

I moved home about 2 years ago which was made a little easier because the bed can be dismantled very easily. Last year I decided to change the legs to a different design that takes up a little less space in my new house. A neighbour was having a loft extension and had some leftover wood that was strong enough to use as bed legs. The legs are bolted to the bed sides using 150mm and 180mm coach bolts and I added some extra pieces of wood as cladding, just to make it look a little tidier

My version of Tazo's design with the round legs lasted for more than five years. The bed now has different legs but is still very strong, doesn't creak, and has never needed any maintenance. We now have two young children who bounce and climb all over this bed and it stands up to everything we throw at it.

Hi Tazo,

I used your guide, but with a few minor alterations, to make a king sized version of your bed. I used larger boards for the sides and also used three 4cm x 4cm beams to support the planks - gotta be strong enough to hold two people. The mattress I have is a Tempur one that measures 1.5 metres, by 2 metres. I've got a little more work to do on it like trim the ends of the main boards so they are flush agains the legs, then apply some sort of finish (my gf probably won't like the pyro idea though).

Thanks for the guide, I had a lot of fun building my own bed =)

Hey, not sure if people still come back to this thread 5 years later, but anyway what did you use to cut the cross joints on the legs? Im an using 8x8 square oak ones with at least 6" depth of cut, so a jigsaw is not going to work. And i dont know how straight it would be to cut one by hand. Any suggestions?

I find this post 2 months ago. I cuut all of my board but i still didn't cut the cross on the legs cause i don't know how to do it...

If you found a find a good way to do it, please tell me :)

Tazo (author)  krapo405 months ago

Use a handsaw or a band saw.

Tazo (author)  nordlich145 months ago

I meant to say bandsaw, I ended up using a Handsaw. I have edited the instructable to avoid confusing people. Thanks for the comment.

Tazo (author)  PraetorianXX6 years ago
That's a great photo. This is the purpose of instructables I´m glad you had fun
OmarN25 months ago

You'd have to be pretty accurate to use a jigsaw to cut the posts, and have the world's straightest cutting jigsaw. I think you can pull it off with a bandsaw.

Tazo (author)  OmarN25 months ago

A bandsaw is the correct way to do it, I have edited the instructable to avoid confusion. Thanks for the comment.

Tazo (author)  OmarN25 months ago

A bandsaw is the correct way to do it, I have edited the instructable to avoid confusion. Thanks for the comment.

any ideas for a headboard and footboard to match....i need a king size i'm thinking maybe another set of post for the middle? obviously with only one cross cut...and does using the torch help seal in all the toxins that are associated with those kinds of post? yeah i know there are "sealers" but adding one toxin to cover another seems...well kinna silly,
Tazo (author)  plzspoilme25 6 years ago
I do not know about the toxins on treated wood so i really do not know how to answer your question but someone out there may have better info??

Formaldehyde is the usual chemical used in treated lumber, and it will gas out into a room if used indoors. That is why it is only ever used outdoors, those posts you used are for supporting decks mostly.

You do NOT want to use treated lumber for this. It shouldn't be used inside in any case. It's strictly for outside use.
ismilelots2 years ago
This is awesome!!! I was going to buy a bed base but now I want to make one! Thank you so much.
How did you notch out the corners? Also, how did you remove the wood from the cuts?
doctoral3 years ago
I love working with wood so easy to correct your mistakes
skimmo4 years ago
its just like a big mortise and tenon, but your using a who plank in stead cutting a shoulder, that is a very good idea, is it rock solid?
Tazo (author)  skimmo3 years ago
I've been using it for more than a year now and it is still rock solid.I actually had some problems when moving since it was harder to disassemble than I thought probably moisture swelled the wood and made it even tighter.
skimmo Tazo3 years ago
yeah i had that problem before with a puzzle i once made it swelled and locked together, i think if you sealed it really well it would move that much on you
Hi Tazo, great design!

I'm in the middle of making it, and do have one major thing to note for anyone else making one.
Do not use un-reinforced cedar for the main planks, and do not use a corner post that is too small.
I'll explain.

When you cut the planks off right after the main joints to make them sit flush, you're left with an approx. 1" piece of wood sticking up, with nothing to prevent it from easily breaking off. This leaves a weak piece, and potentially a very weak joint. Allowing the board to protrude from the post, or using a thicker post, allows more wood to remain to reinforce that piece. The reason I advised against cedar is because it splits too easily... I've already had three of these pieces break off!!

If the fix described above doesn't work too well (i.e. you either have space limitations, or you've already cut them, both of which describe me) I've got another one. Buy some small metal sheets, less than the thickness and width of the board, and screw/glue them on the ends. If they're made of brass or another nice-looking material, they will still look nice and hold up. For further reinforcement, you can drill holes in the posts and reinforce with bolts that can be removed to take the bed apart.

Unfortunately, this might ruin the aesthetic of the bed; just shop around to get something that can fit your tastes. It's either find something that works, or start again from scratch!!
mr.frob5 years ago
I actually had an idea very similar to this a while back because I hate disassembling/reassembling beds. Great instructable!
backpocket5 years ago
does the fire finish leave any marks on the sheets or mattress or should i use a clean lacker over it after doing the fireing. i also wonder where you got your wood mainly the posts? and do you think it would be a good idea to make somehow a metal bracket on the posts im afraid over time it would split. take a log for example put a wedge in it and it splits with no effort. but over time with boards in it slightly larger than the hole they are always emitting a large force down on the posts also out. i love your design i plan on building myself a twin one but want to make sure it would last long term with me and my girl.
Tazo (author)  backpocket5 years ago
The finish is only on the outside so it doesn't come into contact with the mattres but even if it did i have had no problems with stains. For the posts i bought them at the Home Depot and a hve been using this bed for over a year now and it is as strong as the very first day. Good luck and pleasr do post some pictures of your finished bed to see them.
babbs1st5 years ago
great bed hey if you did want it totally screwless you could use thicker sides and rout out the part the slats sit on maybe
Lokisgodhi5 years ago
Great instructable. You could burn the wood a lot more than you did.

Here's a traditional Japanese finish called Shou-sugi-ban. It entails charring a type of cedar, washing and then applying an oil finish.




rekcuftihs5 years ago
Very cool. How solid is it? I'm looking for plans for a cheap platform bed that doesn't make any noise at all when I roll around.
Tazo (author)  rekcuftihs5 years ago
Well, it's been 9 months since i built it and quite a bit of... rolling around has happend and you must know that not a single squeaky noise has been heard so far.... just keep the joints tight and that should do the trick. have fun making your own bed.
krh26 years ago
Thanks for this tutorial!! I almost made it a screwed design, but managed none the less. I couldn't find the posts so I used 4x6 for the legs. I didn't have a band saw for the cross cuts, but used a circular saw for most of the cutting and then finished with a chisel. If i ever build another of these, I'll buy a band saw... Didn't do the fire finish, but used redwood and stained it with a clear stain! Looks really nice!! My kids love it, they started referring to it as "Their bed". Do you have any ideas for a couch, because i may need somewhere to sleep. Again, thanks for the great design and tutorial!!
Tazo (author)  krh26 years ago
It would be great to see a picture of it. I am actually working on a dinner table and chairs right now so if after that comes the couch you will know. thank you I appreciate your comments
cavedueller6 years ago
This is a great tutorial. I've been planning on building a bed frame for a while, and had come up with a much more complicated plan. I think I like yours better! The fire finishing is a very cool and unique touch. I once lived in an apartment that had accidentally "fire-finished" floors -- another tenant had started a fire and the pine floor had burn marks all over it. I actually loved the look; I should've fire-finished the furniture I built to match!
bontoft6 years ago
well thanks man, I need a new bed and this is brilliant. It actually reminds me a lot of a bed that a guy I know made, I wanted to buy it off him but he wouldn't accept. But now I can make my own. Thankyou. PS i will try my best not to make it screwless :P
This looks great! About how much did the materials cost? Did you buy everything or was some of it re-use? As you said, you played kind of fast and loose with documenting your measurements and materials list, but what size mattress did you use? One might have to purchase longer board lengths with a king size. And some money (and/or cuts) could be saved buying shorter boards for smaller bed sizes.
Tazo (author)  creep_firebombing6 years ago
Hi there, Mattres size is 1.37 wide, (between a queen and a individual mattress). I bought some materials at home depot and some others in a local wood shop. the total cost of the bed was around 100 USD (mattress not included) Probably not the cheapest bed you can make but I really liked the result.
Tazo (author)  Tazo6 years ago
Sorry 1.37 meters. The price includes cuts and few hand tools I bought, the cost of the materials only I don't really remember
Awesome. Thank you. I'll be redecorating the bedroom soon and this will probably be the bed design I use. Great idea!
mitzrecords6 years ago
hi! great project. what kind of wood did you use? im looking for something cheap so maybe pine?
jrdriller6 years ago
Been in love with this bed since i first saw it. Any update on the wobbling issue? I plan to get alot of "use" out of whatever i build and was really hoping this would be it.
Tazo (author)  jrdriller6 years ago
Well, it has been 3 months now, it has been used...... and so far no wobbling at all, but a headboard could be a nice idea since the matress is about 4 to 5 inches from the wall after ... movement. partly because of the desing and partly because of the mattress itself. but any way the bed has proven to be as strudy as it gets.
erosser6 years ago
An absolutely beautiful design! I love nomadic furniture. The minute I need a bed frame-o-my-own, I will think of this. Well-done!
tomasina6 years ago
thank you!! absolutely love it i have been working through a bed frame design for a while now. now i know how i want my bed love the nomadic aspect especially
MaDoGK6 years ago
Nice! In my fav's! Will be building this soon when i get that far on the reforms for my house :D
camp6ell6 years ago
very very nice. did you finish the wood after torching the surface at all?
Tazo (author)  camp6ell6 years ago
No, I just torched the surface and that was it, nothing else.
the7gerbers6 years ago
Do you think this could be made taller to accomodate a loft-type bed? Add some supports across a couple ends??
Tazo (author)  the7gerbers6 years ago
Well, I am NOT a professional carpenter but My guess is that if you use wider poles (let's say 8" diameter) and a cross beam to suport them, The bed should hold just fine, I don't know about the stairs though.
Probably a carpenter reading this could give a better advice?
They used to build barns without nails - and last I checked you still can - so sure, it would probably be possible. :)

Disclaimer: I'm not a professional carpenter, either, but I have done quite a bit of carpentry and woodworking, from barn lofts to finish work.

Bunk beds shouldn't be much of a problem if you keep everything nice and tight, but a loft with no lower level would be harder to stabilize. You'd definitely have to use slats on the end for bracing, like a standard headboard & footboard on a bunk bed. A loft would need at least one slat or some sort of bracing long-ways so it doesn't want to fold up.

(Also - six inch posts would probably still be adequate. Cutting two perpendicular 1.5" slots still leaves you with the approximate equivalent of a 4x4 post.)

For the lower bunk frame, the frame would slot in pretty much the same as the instructable. The only difference would be that you'd have to put the slots right through the post instead of just in the top. One of the slots would be 1.5x as tall as the slat board to allow it to slide in and drop over the other. (Doing this on the top as well would provide more structural integrity.)

End slats would probably need some sort of peg to secure the slats into the slot in the post. Also make sure kids know "if you pull this out, it falls on your head". Could save more than one kind of headache.

Darn, now I want one. Need to go sketch this whole thing up...
strangebike6 years ago
sweet piece of carpentry fella !
barold6 years ago
hmmm i think my bed has been screwless for the past few months...
static barold6 years ago
Good. My mind wasn't the only one that went into the gutter, when I read the title.
luke barold6 years ago
at first i didnt get that... lol :P
Kryptonite luke6 years ago
Fail. I don't get it. Oh wait I just worked it out as I was writing this. lol.
edunbarr barold6 years ago
Oh jeez, it took me a second too... lol
Kryptonite6 years ago
Right up until the age of 11 I had a screw free, glue free bed, made by my dad. He's a cool guy.
Calorie6 years ago
It's all fun and games until someone sets the bed on fire. Nice job.
bd56 years ago
That is KEWL! Great design!
radokapi6 years ago
boboprime6 years ago
Can you provide more details on how you cut the crosses in the top of each post, please? What equipment did you use? How did you separate the excess parts of each cut from the bottom of the cut? Thanks for this great instructable!
Tazo (author)  boboprime6 years ago
Hello Boboprime, There are 3 thing I tried, the first one was to use the jigsaw and a 3/4" chisel but I could not control the jigsaw very well against a round surface (side of the post) so, i tried a hand saw and it work very nice, it took me a long time because i had to go slow to make it straight, later I did some finishing touches with the chisel. When i finishd the first post, i had to go to the place where I buy all the wood I use and i commented what I was doing with the guy who works there and he told me that i could borrow his band saw this happend to be a lot faster and as precise as the hand saw so the other 3 posts I did borrowing a band saw making several cuts about 1/8" apart and then chiseling the wood away. I know not everyone has a band saw sitting in the garage so I only recommended a hand saw, but if you have a friend who happens to have a band saw you will save a lot of time... hope this expanation was enough if you have more questions I'm gald to help
PyR0m4n14c6 years ago
Perfect! Leased a house for next semester with some friends and one of the rooms came unfurnished (4 person lease but with 5 people) so I'll definitely be trying this for a cheaper and more portable bed.
chamunks6 years ago
Damn I need a bedframe this is pretty slick..
R4Man186 years ago
that is awesome.
Nicely done, I kinda want to do this now. Recently I've been thinking about making a loft, platform, or bunk bed... Now with this! :o I HAVE THE POWER!!!!!!!! +5/5 stars.
pfingers6 years ago
I'm trying this one out... Thanks!
PKM6 years ago
Suggestions: - leave more than a few inches above the tops of the planks (I think "slats" is the usual term) for a firm hold on the mattress, especially if it is old - labelling your images with image notes would make them worth more than a thousand words :) I wish I'd seen this before I ordered my double bed frame, now when I move out of my current house it'll be a pain taking that with me. If you can do a similar design for a take-apart-able computer desk I'll be very happy :)
I'm working on a nomad corner desk instructable as we speak!!
Tazo (author)  PKM6 years ago
Thank you for your suggestions I will soon edit this instructable and add picture tags and change "Planks" for "Slats". Hopefully making it more understandable. About the desk, I will do my best and if I make it you will be the first to know. : )
JCoffey6 years ago
Great project! I plan on using this idea to build my bed!
Goodluck6 years ago
Excellent design! A few things which others may want to consider. First, it would probably be best to do the fire-finish outdoors. I know not much smoke will be produced as you're not burning it much, but if you're moving a lot, I'm guessing you're renting and I'd also guess landlords in general wouldn't take too kindly to a tennant doing a fire-finish in their building. Second, I can't tell from the photos, but it looks almost like your posts are made of treated wood. The most common treated wood contains arsenic! Breathing the sawdust of such wood in hazardous to one's health. Fire-finishing such wood is probably also hazardous to one's health.
Transquesta6 years ago
Awesome! I LOVE fit-together furniture like this! (I remember doing fire-finishing in high school shop--also cool.)
duck-lemon6 years ago
awesome idea and construction, definetly a great instructable.
Bullmastif6 years ago
This is a great idea, thanks for sharing it.
danlab6 years ago
This almost makes me want to break my bed so I can make one of these to replace it.
wicked cool!
very nice! I agree with christel, this would look very nice with logs
christel_746 years ago
yesss, this is just what I needed. was thinking about building it from some logs polished by water, I will surely use your template!
microman1716 years ago
I love the fire finish :-D. Never seen it before, and it looks great! I'll bet you could make this 100% screw less, you could 'dove tail' the slats in (having a couple of dove tails on the slats, and the two groves on the support rails). This would be very hard without a router... Great 'ible! Microman171
SWV17876 years ago
Nice looking design I am a bit concerned about how wobbly it might become after using it for awhile especially if the occupant or occupants, "ehem" toss and turn in the night.
Tazo (author)  SWV17876 years ago
Let me use it for a few months and I'll report back to you.