Step 3: Building Drawers

    I built very basic drawers for this project using butt joints instead of dovetail joints. The width of the drawer box should be 1" less than the width of the opening to allow for drawer slide clearance. I had a 20" drawer opening so I built my drawer boxes 19" wide by 23 7/8" deep. I started by ripping 1/2" plywood into strips 8" wide. Then I cut the pieces to length with the miter saw. I used a block of wood , screwed to my bench top, as a cutting stop to assure all of the pieces were exactly the same length. It only takes a second to set up and it takes all of the measuring and guess work out of it. I made the front and rear drawer pieces fit inside the side pieces. I cut a 3/16" deep slot along the bottom inside edge of the drawer pieces. It is 5/8" in from the edge. Then I moved the table saw fence just a little, about half of a saw blade thickness, and ran the pieces again. The end result was a groove just over  3/16" wide, just the right size to accept the luan bottom panels. The last step is to raise the blade of the saw and run ONLY the drawer back pieces, to rip off the previously grooved section. This is done to allow the drawer bottom panel to overlap the back piece and be fastened. I used the table saw to cut drawer bottom panels out of 1/4" luan plywood , taking care to cut them as perfectly square as I could. The dimension of the bottom panel should be 3/8" larger on the sides and 5/8" larger in length. 
     Before assembling the drawers I finish sanded all off the sides of the pieces that would be inside the drawer once assembled.  Its much easier to do it before hand than to try and do it after the drawer is assembled. I start drawer assembly by fastening one of the drawer sides to the drawer front. I used glue and an pneumatic nailer with 1 1/4" finish nails. I sparingly applied glue to the slots in the drawer pieces and slid the bottom panel in place. I installed the other side piece the same way. The back drawer piece goes in next. I used a carpenters square to align the drawer frame, then fastened the luan in place, nailing it into the bottom edge of theback drawer panel.
<p>Well, i don't quite think my bed is as pretty as yours. but, for someone who started this with just a battery powered skillsaw.. i think i did daRn good. i had to buy a table saw for the finish work. I didn't frame it out just as Vera did. i wanted to cut down on weight, i did build it in two halves. I used 1/2 inch birch plywood for the finish. instead of doing the 3 1/2 in base, i laid them down to get a 1 1/2 inch floating frame. the drawers are 2 foot, by 2 foot, and 14 inches deep. ( i can put almost all my cloths in one drawer!) i actually added a smaller drawer at the headboard end of the bed for little things, books, etc. its 22 inches off the floor, the mattress makes it closer to 30 inches, which is a great height. for some reason, i couldn't add more than 4 photos.. i'll add more in a different post. Thanks for the idea Vera! I love it. </p>
<p>Vertdude, not Vera, :x</p>
<p>This bed looks every bit as good as the bed I bought from World Market. But based on your material list (for those of you looking for that, it's in the comments section), you accomplished this for far less money than I spent.</p><p>Excellent job! Well done, sir!</p>
<p>Thank you, VertDude.</p><p>This is my version. Made it about 2 years ago and never uploaded any pictures.</p><p>I'm busy with V2.0 for a mate's wedding present. Will add the SketchUp model when it's done.</p><p>I will also electrify V2.0 - add plug points and lights.</p>
<p>V2.0 - I still have to add the power outlets on the sides - I'll first find the outlet I want (specifically want something that will pop-out/hide) and then change the design.</p><p>Note: Timber sizes are relatively standard (in SA), but check/tweak the dimensions to your own standards.</p>
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.
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. <br> <br>10- 2 x 4 x 8 ft long <br>1-sheet 3/4 inch finish grade plywood (I used Maple) for the exterior of bed and drawers <br>2- sheets 3/4&quot; CDX plywood (exterior sheeting grade is fine) <br>2- sheets 3/8&quot; CDX Plywood ( top layer, under mattress) <br>1- sheet 1/2&quot; finish grade plywood, at least 5-plys ( for drawer boxes) <br>1- sheet 1/4&quot; Luan plywood, also called underlayment (drawer bottoms) <br>6- pairs of 22&quot; long , medium duty drawer slides <br>1 lb of 3-1/2 &quot; deck screws <br>1 lb 1-5/8&quot; drywall screws <br>hand full of 2&quot; drywall/deck screws. (to fasten on exterior panels) <br>Finishing products ie. stain, varnish, paint or what ever...
<p>I don't know if you're still watching posts on here, But i'm fixing to start making this, probably won't be able to use the expensive wood, but i'm saving up for it. the only thing i don't understand what you did was with the base, did you screw this to the bottom? i was thinking about just doing a tongue and groove and let it sit on it. without screwing into it. what do you think? </p>
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 :) <br>
<p>That dark stain on the platform s just gorgeous! What shade is it! Now that is a storage bed that I wouldn't mind having in my house.</p>
<p>The picture show's it as Kona. coffee like color.</p>
<p>Thanks for this very inspiring instructable! Just what we needed, considering our slightly cramped living space. I modified the structure a little, installing 4 drawers instead of 6 and running the support planks all across the width of the frame for improved stability (I hope ;). Overally, it really is a chunky build, weights a ton!<br><br>Took me whole month to construct, so my original optimistic estimates of 1,5 weeks were far detached from reality, hehe. There is still the headpiece left, which I will install some day in the future. The lumberyard where I purchsed the timber for the structure had a nice mahogany veneered (at least they said it was mahogany) plywood for sale, so I went for it. The result's not bad, I guess.<br><br>Cheers!</p>
<p>I love would to assemble one of these! thank you</p>
<p>This is great! I need this in my guest room! </p>
<p>So... thank you so much for the inspiration for this bed! This all started with my girlfriend and I passing by a furniture store telling me how much she loved storage beds. I said: I always wanted to make one! So, this set us off on our adventure... it was at LEAST three-four solid weekends of work, about 7 trips to the lumber yard and hardware store, and a lot of learning.</p><p>Building the inside of the frame was pretty easy. Lots of wood (smile) and lots of measuring, but it came together in about 3-4 weekend days. Little did I know we were less than halfway done.</p><p>Staining, putting on the clear was a LOT of work. The oak strip iron on veneer took a lot of time, and we added a headboard to the mix. The first headboard was solid 3/4 oak, but it had an uneven finish (some finishing process at the manufacturer went wrong), so we started over and had the idea to do six pieces, also spaced 1/8th inch to carry the them of the spacing of the drawers.</p><p>Yes, the drawers were a pain. Yes, some of them don't operate as smooth as the others. I still have some adjustments to make, and minor blemishes to deal with, but we decided we are going to let the bed settle for a month and then start a finish pass.</p><p>Enjoy the pictures. And thank you SO much for the incredible inspiration!</p><p>Andrew &amp; Cristina</p>
<p>Nice work. Its a good looking bed.</p>
<p>Hi VertDude.</p><p>I am in South Africa and would like to attempt this build but the use of inches is throwing me out a bit. Do you have a drawing of this so that I can work out the size in Metric values?</p>
<p>Great design, plan and explanation. Just one question - in step 5 you say you ripped the plywood to 14 1/2&quot; for the finish panels. If the panels are going to project 1.5&quot; above the main frame, and 5/8&quot; below, shouldn't the finish panels be 16 7/8&quot;? Thanks!</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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.</p>
<p>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</p><p>Suggestions for future builders</p><p>- 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.</p><p>- Cut all the drawers at the same time. Even a 16th of an inch difference between each drawer can mess it up</p><p>- Keep track of the outside paneling and keep it in order, Nearly made the drawers not match in grain</p><p>- 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)</p><p>- Order the slides online, they're cheaper than in the store</p><p>- 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.</p><p>- 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</p><p>- 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</p><p>- 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&quot; with long arms, you won't be able to get it until you move the bed.</p><p>- And MOST IMPORTANTLY, sand the corners round if you don't wanna hurt your shins/knees when you're stumbling in the dark.</p><p>Now onto the headboard</p><p>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.</p><p>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. </p>
<p>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. </p>
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; &quot;2- sheets 3/4&quot; cdx plywood&quot; 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.
<p>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</p>
<p>Do you deliver :)</p>
Great Use of Materials and who doesn't need more storage space! <br> <br>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.
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... <br>
You were smarter than I was! Good Stuff +VertDude!
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. <br>www.instructables.com/id/Upholstered-Pine-stool-for-dressing-table/
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? <br/>Thank you :-)
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..
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.
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..
I'm getting ready to build the head board for this bed. Watch for the Insructable to follow shortly...
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?
You are correct, the bed is sitting on a 3 1/2&quot; 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&quot; 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 &quot;real world&quot; 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.
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.
Great instructable, quick question what did you put in between the mattress and base frame to get the solid base?
I put down 3/8&quot; 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
Awesome. Your section of &quot;Things that Went Wrong&quot; is much appreciated. Makes us feel human when we mess up. Thanks and I hope to see more of your work soon.
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 &quot;engineering changes&quot; lol
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!
Lol, thanks for the comment, its usually easier to &quot;over build&quot; 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.
Very nice. This sure doesn't look homemade (or at least not my kind of homemade.) Wish I was your daughter. :)
Ha, Ha, thanks for the comment kmckown...

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Bio: Im just a guy who likes to ride skateboards and enjoys building things that I can use....
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