Instructables
Picture of Platform Bed with Drawers
2013-03-03 12.57.58.jpg
   The flush paneled sides and lack of drawer pull hardware give this bed a sleek modern look. A tremendous amount of useful storage space is obtained by adding the drawers underneath the bed. I built this bed for my teenage daughter. I bought her a new memory foam mattress that requires a solid foundation. I incorporated 6 drawers into the bed for 2 reasons. First, to make use of the space under the bed for storage. Secondly, to prohibit her from stuffing tons of stuff under the bed when she is "cleaning" her room. I did not have any plans , or sketches to work off of. This was a "design as you go"  project, which is typical for me. Sometimes its easier to visualize how a project will be put together once I get started. That being said, Im sure there are better ways to build this project, using less wood. I tend to "over engineer" things, but hey, I've never had something that I've built have a failure due to weak structure....Brawn is sometimes better than brain, or at least equal.
 
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Step 1: Getting Started , Building Base Frame

Picture of Getting Started , Building Base Frame
2013-02-10 15.40.56.jpg
    Let me first say that the purpose of this Instructable is to show the steps I took in building this bed .It will show the construction methods and tools I used. Im not including exact dimensions of all of the individual components. All of the measurements can be adjusted to meet ones individual needs, ie. bed height, width and number of drawers etc. 

     Bed construction begins with building of the base. I designed this bed to be more of a modern style, with flush surfaces and straight lines. I wanted the main body of the bed to be sitting on a smaller base to allow the side and end edges to overhang.  I built this bed for a Queen size mattress which has dimensions of 60" wide by 80" in length. I choose to have a 5" overhang on the sides and end of bed. To achieve this, I built the frame 75" long by 50" wide. I used 2" x 4" 's laid on edge which resulted in a base that is  3-1/2" tall . Once I had the frame built, I placed it up on my work table. I also had to use my table saw to support one end of the base frame. I leveled and squared the frame on the table using wood shims where needed.  Then I screwed it down to my work surface to keep it in place during construction. No, I didn't screw it down to my tablesaw, I used glue........ok ..clamps.
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Great design, plan and explanation. Just one question - in step 5 you say you ripped the plywood to 14 1/2" for the finish panels. If the panels are going to project 1.5" above the main frame, and 5/8" below, shouldn't the finish panels be 16 7/8"? Thanks!

CairoEvans3 months ago

Did you put anything on top of the 2x4 beams beneath the mattress? Plywood top or something? Or did you just put the mattress directly over? Looks great! Planning on making a version of this in the upcoming months.

CIDHH64 months ago

I'm actually working on this as well. We're still in the design phase, but we'll be moving all of the drawers to the sides and adding a short headboard and removable nightstands. Possibly an electrical outlet to compensate for one this will probably be blocking. Haven't decided if we have the time to DIY or pay a carpenter. We'll definitely update with a ton of photos and details when we get it finished.

WPospick made it!4 months ago

Built it over the summer for me to use for my senior year of college/post grad. Added a headboard which my father and I messed up on (but it ended up being better that way. Ended up putting all the drawers on the side, with the headboard I was able to fit 4 very large drawers (you can stack 4 stacks of folded clothes in each drawer without messing up the folding). Having the drawers all on the side was nice because the front was one solid piece of wood, really made it look good. Whole thing ended up costing somewhere between $450-$550. The pottery barn equivalent (which doesn't have as much storage) costs almost $2000

Suggestions for future builders

- Measure at least 3 times before cutting, EVERYTHING needs to be cut to precision. Once you're using the nicer wood for the paneling, you'll thank me, not just for the sharp look, but if you mess up a cut, there's a good chance you'll have to go get more wood, and that gets expensive.

- Cut all the drawers at the same time. Even a 16th of an inch difference between each drawer can mess it up

- Keep track of the outside paneling and keep it in order, Nearly made the drawers not match in grain

- If you have the know-how/programs, design it in autocad first. It may seem like a waste of time to some, but it was helpful to have somewhere to go for precise measurements and somewhere to alter the design (see 4 drawers on each side and a headboard)

- Order the slides online, they're cheaper than in the store

- Precision is even more important when putting in the slides, possibly use a small piece of wood to rest the slider on when marking the holes for drilling, and then measure again. We didn't use the amount of precision we should have (or its just the cheap sliders and dust), but the drawers occasionally get stuck. Just push em back in then pull em out.

- Make sure the room you're putting the bed in has enough space to pull out the drawer and remove it. I wasn't able to measure the room before building, but the bed BARELY fits with the drawers

- If you're building it with someone else, which I highly recommend as accidents happen, you will get on each others nerves, take breaks to avoid carelessness

- Dont put the headboard up to a recessed window, you will manage to have something fall back there and even if you're 6'4" with long arms, you won't be able to get it until you move the bed.

- And MOST IMPORTANTLY, sand the corners round if you don't wanna hurt your shins/knees when you're stumbling in the dark.

Now onto the headboard

We built the headboard to have a 15 degree slope, allowing one to sit upright on it without feeling uncomfortable. There are 2 shelves on each side, 18 inches deep I think. There is a flat part at the top about 5 inches wide or so, a perfect place to put a drink.

However, on the main part of the backboard, you have to cut at an angle on the tablesaw, and ours didn't measure far enough, so we had to cut it in half to cut the angles. Unfortunately (and I blame my father for this since I recall telling him to measure again because what he was doing just didn't make sense), We didn't cut the headboard short enough, so there is a cusp at the top. However, I would recommend adding this cusp if you use this design as it A) prevents a drink from falling over easily and B) if there are any water stains on the wood, it hides those pretty well.

bed.jpg
lucek WPospick4 months ago

Good addendum to the Ible. One thing I will note. If you don't have Autocad (unless you are a professional I don't know why you'd dump the thousands of dollars on it or even the ~$140 for the student version) There are plenty of survicable and down right good alternatives for simple 2D cad. Librecad is to Autocad as Libreoffice or oropenoffice is to M$ office. I'd like to tell you that it's really easy to learn or the like but given I've got a degree in using CAD I'm not that much of an every man.

dgriggs37 months ago
i know this was 9 months ago but i just found this site and this is the first thing i gravitated to. i had a couple of questions though, first when you say sheet ie; "2- sheets 3/4" cdx plywood" is that the 4 foot sheet or the 8 foot sheet? and how long approximately did it take for you to build this? im really excited to get started, this thing is amazing. thanks for sharing.
VertDude (author)  dgriggs36 months ago

Sorry for the late reply dgriggs3, when I repfer to sheets of plywood, I am refering to 4' x8' lond sheets. This project took me about 2 1/2 weeks to complete, working in the evenings ..Good luck with your build

LaurenFranz6 months ago

Do you deliver :)

Great Use of Materials and who doesn't need more storage space!

hint- I built my first platform bed (in the garage) with drawers 15 yrs ago. After it was 75% built I realized that there was no way of moving it into the home-it was too big to move down a narrow hallway and into a room.
VertDude (author)  GreenMeUpScotty1 year ago
Thanks Scotty.... Luckily I thought about moving the bed a head of time, so I built it in 2 pieces. well, 3 pieces counting the base. it was tricky building it in my narrow workshop though...
You were smarter than I was! Good Stuff +VertDude!
VertDude (author)  GreenMeUpScotty9 months ago
Thanks
WPospick10 months ago
Made this over the summer (with some modifications). All 8 drawers are on the side and are the same size, I built a headboard with 2 side shelves on each side, 1 foot deep as a liquor cabinet. The headboard has a 15 degree angle which was supposed to make it easy to sit up in, but all it makes me want to do is sleep. There is also a 4 inch shelf up top for me to put water and beverages on. The headboard goes slightly above this shelf so things don't fall off. Whether that was an accident or not, I'll never tell. I also made the front piece of wood a 4th separate piece, only to be added on when assembling so it looks as if its all 1 piece. One thing i'd recommend when building this is rounding the corners of the bed. I've cut my leg when running into it before.
I finished my storage bed a month ago but I replaced 2 side bar with steel bar for lumber is expensive at my place. I cut 4 plywood to use as drawers' front but they bent and I have to find something else to replace them. I have just finished a stool for my wife's dressing table. Just to share with you.
www.instructables.com/id/Upholstered-Pine-stool-for-dressing-table/
errynarb1 year ago
This is exactly the design I have been after! I love it - simple and elegant :-) hopefully I can get started making it tomorrow - cant wait! I have only one question, wondering the overall height not including mattress thickness?
Thank you :-)
VertDude (author)  errynarb1 year ago
Thanks errynarb. the overall height of the bed, without the mattress, is 17 1/2 inches, the mattress sits at 16 1/2 inches. The bed sides extend up 1 inch to overlap the mattress. Good luck with your build. I will post pics soon of the connected headboard/ shelving unit I built for this bed..
RN1011 year ago
This is beautiful! And I think much sturdier than Ikea or anything; it will be my summer project-I have to have major back surgery, and my bed is like -well it's a hodge-podge that I threw together during cancer (books hold up part of it)-And thanks for showing how to do the cut-down with-out a dado-cutter, as I, and a bunch of us out here, don't have them. Thanks.
What a nice project you had! I will make one for my wife to save some space in our tiny all-in-one bedroom. Your photos are so clear that I can figure out how to do the job. Thank you very much.
VertDude (author)  Life Traveller1 year ago
Thanks for your kind comments Life Traveller, I just got finished building the head board for this bed, i will get some pictures up soon..
VertDude (author) 1 year ago
I'm getting ready to build the head board for this bed. Watch for the Insructable to follow shortly...
dsantil711 year ago
The bed is not sitting flush on the floor. If you notice in the pic with all the drawers pulled out there is plenty of space between them and the floor. So I'm thinking they are opened by being pulled from the bottom edge. Did I explain that right?
VertDude (author)  dsantil711 year ago
You are correct, the bed is sitting on a 3 1/2" base/riser, which is narrower than the bed ,to give the illusion of a floating bed and allow toe space while making the bed. The plywood drawer fronts hang down below the bottom of the bed by about 1/2" creating a lip to open the drawer with.
I love the way you did your Instructable. You included very well written and well photographed instructions. Also, you came across as very "real world" and made this project seem very able to do by even a beginner DIY'er. Thank you very much, and I hope to see more of your work on the Instructables site.
VertDude (author)  verajennifer1 year ago
Wow! Thanks for all your nice remarks verajennifer, I put a lot of time into my Instructables, taking care to be as thorough as possible. I have learned a lot from Instructables over the last couple of years and hope to inspire others to create somethings themselves.
tdolch1 year ago
I really liked this design so my dad and I were going to try to make one just like it. We were wondering if you have a material list so we know about how much wood we need to buy. Your help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
VertDude (author)  tdolch1 year ago
Thanks tdolch...Heres a quick list of materials I used, although I had a lot of the wood pieces left over from various projects. Actually a lot of the internal plywood came from the dumpster at Gander Mountain. they were throwing out an old fishing rod display cabinet. I scored quite a bit of Oak plywood.

10- 2 x 4 x 8 ft long
1-sheet 3/4 inch finish grade plywood (I used Maple) for the exterior of bed and drawers
2- sheets 3/4" CDX plywood (exterior sheeting grade is fine)
2- sheets 3/8" CDX Plywood ( top layer, under mattress)
1- sheet 1/2" finish grade plywood, at least 5-plys ( for drawer boxes)
1- sheet 1/4" Luan plywood, also called underlayment (drawer bottoms)
6- pairs of 22" long , medium duty drawer slides
1 lb of 3-1/2 " deck screws
1 lb 1-5/8" drywall screws
hand full of 2" drywall/deck screws. (to fasten on exterior panels)
Finishing products ie. stain, varnish, paint or what ever...
VertDude (author)  VertDude1 year ago
To avoid confusion, the above list contains the amounts of lumber needed to complete the project. I did not have to purchase all of this because of leftovers I already had :)
tavoarcila1 year ago
Great instructable, quick question what did you put in between the mattress and base frame to get the solid base?
VertDude (author)  tavoarcila1 year ago
I put down 3/8" thick plywood on the top surface of the bed frame, that the mattress sits on. I did not include a picture of this step though..thanks for the question.
Thank you for the info, I hope I can build one like this by midyear
Eh Lie Us!1 year ago
Awesome. Your section of "Things that Went Wrong" is much appreciated. Makes us feel human when we mess up. Thanks and I hope to see more of your work soon.
VertDude (author)  Eh Lie Us!1 year ago
lol....I thought that it was only honest to show the problems or mistakes I made along the way...so that others can avoid them in the future...plus its only a true mistake if you cant repair it, or back your way out of it...I just think of them as "engineering changes" lol
bac5121 year ago
VERY overbuilt :) Not like most bedframes that are just put together with 1x's and staples. I'm sure she'll never have a problem with this one falling apart! And I love the no handles! Great job!
VertDude (author)  bac5121 year ago
Lol, thanks for the comment, its usually easier to "over build" than to engineer for maximum strength,minimal materials.....I wanted the bed to have a sleek,modern look, so I used flush panels and no drawer handles. Plus I imagine the drawer handles would snag on the bed covers and/or your leg when walking by.
kmckown1 year ago
Very nice. This sure doesn't look homemade (or at least not my kind of homemade.) Wish I was your daughter. :)
VertDude (author)  kmckown1 year ago
Ha, Ha, thanks for the comment kmckown...
rtanner1 year ago
Curious, is the bed all one piece or can it be disassembled in the event of a move?
VertDude (author)  rtanner1 year ago
The bed is actually in 3 main pieces, not including the 6 drawers. The main part of the bed is in 2 halves, that rest on a base frame of 2 x 4's..Check out the pictures in step 2 for more clarity ;)
VertDude (author) 1 year ago
Thanks for all the comments from everyone...
dlogan11 year ago
My two brothers and I had something similar to this when we were kids. We had 6 draws, 3 on 2 rows. We also had big casters on the bottom so we could roll them around the room. There was just enough space behind the draws to hide back there.
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