Instructables

Strong and Tough Platform Bed DIY

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Picture of Strong and Tough Platform Bed DIY
DIY platform bed with approximately $60-$90 that definitely will last. Made with plywood, 2x6's, 4x4's, and castors (wheels). More pictures available at www.myplatformbed.com. You will need:

Materials Needed:
3 - 2x6 Boards 10' feet long
1 - 4x4 Post 32" inches to 40" inches long
1- 2x4 Stud
12 - Hex Bolts 3/8 by 6" inches long
12 - Hex 3/8 Nuts
24 - Cut Washers for 3/8 Bolts
1 - 2x4 Stud framing support bracket (pictured)
8 - Screws; 1 1/2" inches

Tools Needed:
Carpenter Square
Tape Measure
Miter Saw (Recommended)
Electric Drill with Phillips Drill Bit
Long 3/8 Drill bit (6" inches or over)
1- 9/16 Socket Wrench
1- 9/16 Wrench
Wood Glue
 
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Step 1: Making Legs

Picture of Making Legs
We start by cutting the legs of the platform bed. This 4x4 wood I found outside, discarded. Find a scrap one or buy, cut yourself or cut to size at the lumber store.

Cut 8" in length if you want castors on it, 10" if you do not. You may opt for shorter legs (no shorter than 6.5") or longer ones.

Step 2: Cut your Head/Foot and Side Boards

Picture of Cut your Head/Foot and Side Boards
With my cut I am cutting one inch bigger to play it safe. I am fine with a platform bed approximately 1 inch bigger than the mattress, if you prefer the platform structure even out with your mattress, cut exactly as your mattress is. With your 2x6 board cut:

Mattress Size: Long Side Board Cut: Short Head/Foot Board Cut:
Twin two 75" boards (or 76") two 39" boards (or 40")
Full two 75" boards (or 76") two 54" boards (or 55")
Queen two 60" boards (or 61") two 80" boards (or 81")
King two 76"/78" boards (Kings varies) two 80" boards or (81")
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My particular platform bed is Full Size. There's a popular quote in carpentry that goes as "Measure twice, Cut once". Be careful with your measurements. From this point on, there will be more measurements needed and I recommend a Carpenter's Square for straight and even lines to cut from ($2.99 yellow plastic tool pictured above)
tatagatha6 years ago
I've made two almost identical beds. The first when I was in HS with very long legs. my bed ended up 4 feet in the air as some sort of half loft.

Looking back it was a little over built. So, most recently I made a more delicate version using white pine 1x6s for the sides. Once glued with the running support rails(1x2) they turn quite strong. I made L shapped legs with 1x2 to give it very light feet. I'm happy with how it turned out. Then I sprung for the lyred slats from Ikea. Check it out.Check it out.

I can see the main advantage
jreit tatagatha7 months ago
thanks! just the modification I was looking for. nice work!
Is that the correct name for those slats?
The slats I used were the Sultan Lillaker from Ikea. I thought I had used the Sultan Liared slats.. and then I that turned into lyred in my head, which I then made up as an adjective. If I were to give it a definition, it would mean a gentle bend in laminated wood (think lyre like the harp).
thanks for clearing that up, nice project.
Izzy16651 year ago
I like this instructable a lot. Nice and heavy duty. My old box frame is nothing more than a pile of wood scraps under my mattress these days (guess we tumble too much). We have had a couple of king-sized waterbeds over the years and each time the waterbed went out the door, I made sure the wood frame stayed in a corner of the garage so I will be using those 2x8 in my construction. Why pay for more wood??? Thanks for posting this nice DIY.
rjlewis741 year ago
This is a sturdy looking design. I'll be making a couple twin beds using this instructable for my two boys. this would be perfect for them. Nice job on this.
jimbarbera6 years ago
I recommend perforating the plywood base by drilling several large (~1") holes. Space them 6" apart in a diagonal grid. This will allow the mattress to breathe and prevent moisture buildup.
Good thinkin' Batman.
Narlo112 years ago
I did mine using a stainless steel carriage bolt. I find the hex heads to be unsightly. Then I polished the bolt head. And used red cedar 4X4 as posts and used a red stain and then polyurethane. Also if you can cedar all round.
padberg872 years ago
Awesome instructable! I used this as a basis for my design. I lowered the inside frame so that the mattress sits 1 inch below the top of the 2x6. An old metal bed frame donated its casters to make it easily movable. Seems pretty sturdy.
rktompsett3 years ago
Why treated 4x4's? The bed is in the house, not outside, or damp locations. I'd just use standard non-treated lumber. As for slats, go with sheet plywood.
teeps6 years ago
Here are the results of my successful attempt! Couple of suggestions: To the author: add plywood to your supply list. To builders: 1 try and find some clamps for securing the legs to the rails when you drill 2 LABEL LABEL LABEL your combos of leg/rail. You will not get perfect drilling on every side so you want to put it together just as you drilled. There is an example of this in my second photo (the sharpie "C"). Woot! New bed!
bed01.jpgbed02.jpg
Did you use plywood or slates? The feet on yours looks longer. Are they? May be a bit late to ask since I had them cut to 10" but I bought 10' so I have plenty left over.
Plywood and yes my legs were around 24 inches.
purpulhaze3 years ago
So the mattress doesn't sit inside the frame right? It sits on top?
purpulhaze3 years ago
I like this simple approach. Hats off to you sir! Has anyone came up with a way to add a headboard...?
camp6ell6 years ago
i don't understand the comment in step 6: "You can't afford gaps with a wood strip support system."
Three years later... Wood slats can shift and possibly move to where they fall through the gaps. Say you use 1"x4" wood slats and to save money you cut a 2"x2"x8' into 6" strips. After a few tumbles with with the person of your chosing or a pillow fight or two, the 1"x4" could "walk" it's way off the 2"x2" making the other slates take up the additional preasure. Depending on how far apart you had the original supports, they could fail. And if you have my luck, it will happen while you are tumbling.
prospector4 years ago
Next time you might want to try using a cedar 4 X 4 instead of the pressure treated one - cedar smells nice and has less icky chemicals in it.
And the Cedar will help keep the bugs away to some extent.
we all need new beds
rickjgarza4 years ago
Just finished this today and wow.... took me very little time since I had them cut everything for me at Home Depot. The wife is very happy and even the dog tested it out. Thanks for this great instructable!
kimwim4 years ago
M son made this bed 2 weeks ago, wonderful instructions! Thanks so much for posting it. We got the http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/60160217 to go under the mattress.

kimwim kimwim4 years ago
ps. We used the only non-treated 4x4 for the legs available, cedar. It's quite nice.
Spokehedz6 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
  What fun is that???
Ummm... not all of us have a Big Lots where we live.
yes ur wood is dangerous filled with chemicals and such....but i dont think i seen anyone complain on the loft beds????? like the idea still to hard for ME to build...and i'm betting a bit heavy to try to move?
dredawg5 years ago
Thanks for the great instructable. So great I had to make one for myself, and I must say it turned out pretty awesome. I did a few things slightly different than you did it. First was to put 2- 2x4's crossways instead of 1 length ways. Oh I also used liquid nail adhesive instead of wood glue. Also I made mine 60"x80" (queen size). All said and done it cost me about $90-$100 CAD and roughly 10 hours to complete, including picking up the materials. ( a few to many blunt breaks too i guess :D). Thanks for the inspiration.
trz (author) 6 years ago
You make me proud, Teeps! If we could get 12 more people to do this, by university standards we could start up a fraternity. Thanks for your feedback on additional materials. Looks like you had much better a workspace. Let me know how much you paid for your bed.
gnomedriver6 years ago
Great project. However, the treated timber is a bit of a worry. This may be a repeat comment and Robbtoberfest and others have posted comments on this but ya gotta think of ya health first and foremost. There are some chemicals in that stuff. Designed for outdoor and ground contact where untreated woods would soon rot and come under attack from insect and fungi. At the moment there is a bit in the local news about carpenters and timber workers coming down ill with repertory illnesses. Take care with it and wear a mask when cutting!!
If it's old enough (<2003), the treated wood was treated with extremely toxic chromated copper arsenate, and sawdust would be quite dangerous to be around and breath. Not sure I would want it under my bed, either, but ymmv. I like the idea, though. I'd probably try to put some protection on the sides for the floor for when I move it through a doorway on its side.
Another way to make the support rails in the sides is to use a table saw to notch out the top of the 2x6.. or setup a jig and use a router to remove the material to form a notch, you can also use a router to "bull nose" the squared end cuts. I had a custom futon made when I was 16, we made our own frame for the futon out of 2x6's and 1x4's...
This is nice, thanks for the idea. I have only one issue, the treated lumber 4x4s; aren't they a health risk?
Get a can of cheap sanding sealer and seal them, job done, no worries...!
they used to be impregnated with arsenic chloride, but haven't been for several years now... so it's probably ok if your wood is new... then again, maybe they'll decide in a few years the less nasty stuff in it now is just as bad as arsenic... if you're still concerned, and assuming you can't find any untreated lumber, i would seal the treated 4x4s with several coats of paint or varnish or something before building the bed. they're pretty much hidden, so it wouldn't take away from the aesthetics really.
thats pretty gangster!!.. LOL no, i really like it :-D! I love making big things (like bed, shelf, etc.)..
trz (author)  !Andrew_Modder!6 years ago
Thanks for all of your interest! This Platform Bed DIY (Ikea LILLEHAMMER hack?) has been Featured on the Instructables.com front page! Please rate this DIY!
ahead6 years ago
This a nice project. I could use a new bed.
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