Picture of (Re)Building a bed foundation
The box-spring on my bed broke, causing sagging and creaking. Here's how I built a new one!
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Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials
In retrospect, this was over-built. I'll tell you what I did, and later I'll clue you in as to what I could have done better.

- Circular Saw (All cuts are cross-cuts, so other saw types will work
- Hammer (Disassembly and frustration venting)
- Electric Drill
- Drill bit (approx 3/32")
- Countersink Drill Bit (to match screws)
- Staple Gun

- 2x6x12 (2 qty)
- 1x4x8 (12 qty)
- 2x4x8 (1 qty)
- 2" Wood screws (1 box)
- 3/8" staples

Step 2: Getting the materials home

Picture of Getting the materials home
Note that the 2x6x12 pieces are a little long. Longer than my van, anyway. Luckily, most hardware stores will cut pieces for you for no charge. 

My bed is queen size, which is nominally 60" x 80" . Thus, with one 2x6x12 I can get a ~64" piece and an 80" piece. We will make more precise cuts at home, but at least this way I can actually GET it home. I certainly could have had them make this cut to the proper size, but I hadn't gotten the precise measurements yet. Whoops.

I suppose you could have them make almost all the cuts, but I feel bad taking advantage. Maybe there's a limit too, but I was happy to get out of there without finding more "projects" to do.

Step 3: Breaking down the old foundation

Picture of Breaking down the old foundation
After removing a ton of staples, stripping off the fabric, foam, and cardboard, I was left with the frame. What junk.

Before I got too carried away I managed to grab a tape measure and get the dimensions. 79" x 59-1/2". 

A few swings of the hammer and it was a pile of refuse.
dguilbeau2 months ago
I just finished mine. Thanks for the instructions. I was tired of cheap asian foundations. I added 3 support beams instead of 1. Very solid peace and very heavy. Took me about 2.5-3hours to complete. Thanks for your post i know my wife is really thankful also.
RentFreeLife5 months ago

Thanks for sharing this! I'm very impressed by the detail of your description. I'm in the process of building an actual bed frame of my own (from re-purposed cabinets) and this post has given me a lot of insight.

Any news on how the framing is holding up? I'm curious to find out if 2x6s are the best bet for the outer framing.

Be blessed!

Luis @

lucek1 year ago

Good ible. Thinking of stealing some of this and the design from a manufacturer to make this more easy to move. IE have the ends bolted on, use a zip up cover instead of stapling it, and have the slats roll-able. That way it's build off site assemle in place and simple to pack into a sadan if needs be.

"Of course, only time will tell if my design holds up."

So, a couple years on, how's it holding up? I've got a tempurpedic mattress and the old foundation started squeaking so much I just took it out and used some extra subfloor material as a work-around, but I need to do something like this. My thought was to use 1x8 rather than 2 or 1x6 and notch, glue, and screw the outer frame, add some slats to even out the load, and then throw that subfloor on top. Basically the same design, but with a little extra on top.
Awesome. My box spring is sagging, and I've been thinking of doing something along these lines. Being a big dude (hence the sagging box spring), I think something overbuilt like this may be the way for me to go. Thanks!
Dairylander2 years ago
Very well done for a DIYer. Very clear and effective instructable.
Two important notes:

Step 7: You made a 45 degree cut on your frame corners to round them off a bit. You took off too much material, which greatly decreases the amount of "meat" the screws have to hold on to, and weakens the joint.

Step 9: Before attaching any slats, measure the outer frame diagonally from corner to corner (like in a big "X" pattern). Tweak the frame until these two measurements are equal. This will ensure that the box is truly square.

Step 10: The slats on the bottom aren't really much help. If you're worried about sag, add two equally spaced center supports in step 8.

Lastly, for people that move often, consider building two smaller boxes like the manufacturers do for king size bed platforms.
I just purchased a new bed and now need a foundation for it. I will be building my own and wanted to see who had gone before & what they learned. In your Step 9: Image 1 - it shows the slats as the same visual length as the 2X6 widths. However, in your cut list, you say they are 3" longer. :-)

I just wanted to point it out in case someone else wants to build this as well.

APHawkes (author)  naturaldesignchick2 years ago
Good catch. Yes, the 1x4 slats are the same length as the 2x6's. Thanks!
kill-a-watt3 years ago
this is akin to a box-spring, like an icebox is akin to a refrigerator.

That being said, I had the same issue as you and pretty much came to the exact same solution. It served me well until moving day.

My new platform is made of plywood and 2x4s. Absolutely no loss of comfort and plenty of storage space underneath.
APHawkes (author)  kill-a-watt3 years ago
I am NOT looking forward to moving with this thing. I joked with the wife that it was now "part of the house" and would not be put on the truck. We'll see.

Forgive me for a terminology mistake, but what is this then if not a box spring?That's what the salesman called my old piece-of-crap, so I assumed that was an accurate name for my piece-of-crap as well! :-)

I'd like to hear how your platform (is this more accurate?) was constructed. I'm guessing it's something similar with 2x4 rails and plywood top instead of slats. Anything you could share would be great in case there's a "next time" I have a similar project.
"mattress pad" because there are not any springs in it. I sure as heck paid a lot for mine. It's just a cloth covered flimsy box made from wood.

My salesman did not correct my terminology during the sale for obvious reasons.

I also call the 'fridge an icebox on occasion...
how much did it all cost for the materials?
APHawkes (author)  weirdalyanksyou13 years ago
I don't have an exact number to give, unfortunately.The lumber was bought specifically for this task, while other things (staples, screws) were leftovers from other projects. The 1x4's were a couple bucks a piece, the 2x6x12's were about 8 bucks each, the 2x4 was about 3 bucks. So, that's about $43 dollars for the wood. You can definitely price this out with your local hardware supplier. The materials are very common and should be easy to source.

I'll be sure to keep the receipts for the next instructable. Thanks for the question!
Ah, Dude'
You just showed EVERYONE your wrinkles.... :D

This reminds me of the 'Kid Proof' bunkbed frame I made years ago for my daughters.
They could not even make it wiggle, until we moved and I had to cut it in half to make twin beds. Then I had to use 1/2" rod for pins when we needed bunks again.

Good Job, I like solid frames.
tinker2343 years ago
wow my sister bed broke i might make her one of these hey overbuliding is good