Introduction: Bamboo Flooring Platform Bed

We had been sleeping on the floor for far too long, so we decided to build a bed and headboard. This instructable is just for the bed, the headboard will becoming soon.
  I found a remainder lot of strand woven bamboo flooring on Craigslist, so we decided to use that as the cladding. It's pretty striking, and it's one of the hardest woods available.  I broke a couple drill bits and more than few screws from not predrilling wide enough.
  I was inspired by this instructable.
 It has nightstands that were incorporated into the platform bed. We thought they were cool and we could make them retractable.  They probably don't support as much weight, but they'll hold a computer, book, glass of water, 20 or 30 pounds I think. The bed is made from 2x4's, 2x6's, and 3/4's plywood, and then covered in oak and bamboo.
  I'll make an items list, but it's most of the things that are in an average workshop.

Saws (Table saw, Miter/chop saw, Circular saw, Saber or Rotozip type saw, maybe jigsaw)
Nail Gun
Measuring Tape
Some Type of Square
Chalk Line
Straight edge
Safety glasses
Respirator if sanding indoors
Hammers, screwdrivers, screws, brads,


2x6's (a few)
2x4's (a few)
3/4" plywood
Wood flooring( I used bamboo, but you could use anything you liked)
2 pair Drawer slides (16")
Wood flooring glue
Gorilla Glue
Wood glue

Step 1: Building the Frame and Legs

The first part is to build the basic frame.  Theoretically, you'd be done and have a sturdy platform bed after this step if you liked. I cut the plywood to be just smaller than the mattress so you would only see the bamboo siding and not the top, even though we're going to put a nice veneer sheet on.   We have a queen size, which are approximately 80x60, so the plywood is 79x59.  You'll still see a little at the corners, because the corners of the mattress are rounded off.

  The support frame is set in smaller quite a bit, 8 inches in from the edge of the plywood, to add to the floating effect.  I thought the bed might tip up if you sat on the end of it, but it turned out so heavy I probably could moved the legs, and therefore the frame, in a lot further.

  The legs are two 2x6's glued and screwed together.  I made mine 15" high, so that the total bed height is 28" (Legs+plywood+1/8" veneer sheet+mattress)  You can decide how high you want your own bed to be, then subtract the mattress and plywood thickness, and that's your leg height.

  I used long bolts and nuts because you can really crank them tight to keep the bed from squeaking years from now.  I drilled the 3/4 spade hole first about an inch deep, then a 3/8 hole all the way through.  This is so you can countersink the bolt head. Use sockets to tighten.

Step 2: Disappearing Side Tables

I have never built anything with drawer slides before, so if anyone has any insights or ideas on how to improve, let me know.  First I cut the top of the table out of thinner (3/8") plywood.  The dimensions I picked are 11x14, but this was limited by the space I have next to my bed.  Bottom mounting drawer slides are available and can hold more weight, but the ones I used are much cheaper.  Don't forget, you're going to add an inch of horizontal thickness when you cover these things in flooring.  (The bamboo is 1/2", and we're going to cover both vertical sides to hide the drawer slides.)

  I mounted the inner pair of slides (those that will be attached to the table) to scrap pieces of bamboo cut to fit.  These particular slides are 1- 3/8" high, so that is the height of the bamboo.  They are mounted to the bottom of the table with screws and set out as wide as possible for support, but still allowing for the outer slide to be hidden under the table.

Next is the cutout of the frame to allow the side table to disappear into it.  The outer cut is just wider (approx 1/4") than the table, including the bamboo that is not yet mounted.  The inner cut is for mounting the slides.  As you can see in the picture, I added a support block parallel to the way the slides will be mounted at the inner cut.

  With those support blocks in place, you can now mount the outer slides.  As stated in the picture, use a square and a level.  Obviously you don't want the table sliding in or out by itself or getting loose or tight as it opens because the slides aren't parallel.

Before moving on to the next step, this is a good time to give everything a quick sand, grind off the bolt ends if they are too long, retighten the nuts, and generally check the square and level of everything before it is covered by the top.

Step 3: Attaching the Plywood Top

This is pretty simple. You've already cut the pieces, you just need to place them and mark where the frame is so you can place the mounting screws.  I just put a few screws in for now because it's easier to get the sliding tables in and out with the top off, which you'll be doing because you still need to cover them (the tables) in bamboo.

Step 4: Bamboo the Bed

Now it's time to add the bamboo siding to the bed.  The plywood is too thin, I believe, to hold the bamboo solidly, so I decided to add a frame around the edge to provide a mounting surface for the nails and glue.  This new frame is 2x2's(ripped 2x4's) and some 2x6 blocks at the corners.  This is attached with wood glue and screws from the plywood top.

  For attaching it the bamboo, I used gorilla glue and brads from the nail gun.  I used the gorilla glue because I thought people might actually hold by the bamboo when they are moving the bed, and it will need to very strong.  For the rest of the bamboo on this project, I used wood flooring glue which is very flexible to allow to wood to expand.  The brads had a hard time penetrating the bamboo some of the time, even at 125 psi, but again the bamboo is very hard.  I generally used clamps to hold the glued bamboo in place while I nailed it. It ended up quite straight and very strong.

  At this point, I added blocks on the underside to help align the top on the frame, so if you needed to move the bed, you could at least take top off and move it in two pieces, and it would easy to put it back together.

  It's time to cover the sliding tables in bamboo.  Use a notched trowel and get a nice grooved pattern to provide good adhesion.  You need to work somewhat quickly, because it starts cure in maybe ten minutes or so.  Once you get the top done, put a lot of weight on it and let it dry over night.  I used gorilla glue again for the sides because there is so little surface area.

Finally, you cover the legs.  This is a little tricky because in order to make the mitered joints look good, I think you need to do all the sides at the same time so you can make all the little adjustments to sharpen up the corners.  Do a dry run using clamps first to figure out which pieces would go best where.  Theoretically, they would all be identical, but obviously we know this is not the case, so I think you can find an arrangement that works best before applying glue.  I used the wood flooring glue again and lots of clamps.  Be patient. Let it dry overnight before moving on the to next one. This glue is made to lie flat on the floor, so if it's not totally dry and hanging vertically, the piece will sag.

Step 5: Attach the Top

I used two pieces of 1/8 oak as a finish layer.  It's like Lauan, but a little nicer.  I attached it with countersunk wood screws, about twenty of them.  Now you're done with the bed, and on to the headboard, which I'll do in another Instructable.