Introduction: Deconstruct an Old Bed Base for Reuse!

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Going through the hassle of buying or replacing a bed mattress and box spring (or foundation, or bed base) is rarely a joy. And what the heck do you do with the old one? Sometimes you give it to a relative in need, sometimes you give it Goodwill or Salvation Army, and unfortunately, many times these end up in a landfill. I’m about toshow you how a wooden bed base can be salvaged to save much of its framework for reuse.

This old mattress base has given its all and was no longer suitable for its intended use. It had run its course, and really wasn’t donation worthy. So, scrap it to the land fill? Heck no. There’s some good scrap lumber in there that can be used in other Instructable projects! Here’s the process we used and I’m really satisfied with the outcome.

Step 1: What You’ll Need

  • Flat screwdriver
  • Gas or Channel Lock pliers
  • Hammer
  • Nail pulling bar

Basically, your favorite deconstruction tools.

Step 2: Remove the Fabric

This fabric, like most, was stapled on place with a ridiculous number of staples – maybe 200 or more. Take your time. Slipping the tip of flat screw driver under each staple and giving it a half-twist pulled it up high enough to give the channel lock pliers a good, quick grip. So, to get efficient here, move along twisting up all the staples you can first, then go back with the plyers and, in a repetitive move like a well-choreographed dance, simply grab and pry each staple. Drop ‘em into a can or cup as you go and that will save a floor clean-up exercise later.

Once the staples are all out, off comes the fabric. Reuse or discard as you see fit.

Step 3: Disassemble the Frame

Here’s where you reap the benefit of disassembly. Much of the wood in the frame is perfectly good for reuse in other projects you may find yourself working on. I won’t waste your time telling you how to use scrap pieces of wood, only you and your creative soul can be the judge of that. But you’ll find a use. :-)

Step 4: Weighing the COST of Your Time Vs the BENEFIT of the Scrap Lumber

This frame must have been assembled by someone who absolutely got their greatest joy in life out of pulling the trigger on a nail gun. There must have been 6 or more nails at every location that connected two pieces of wood. Aaaarg. Like so many things in life, you have to make a decision about how much time it’s going to take you to do something versus the benefit that may be gained. In this case, the benefit is, well to be polite, let us say marginal.
So tackling all those nails with the hammer and nail puller would take a good part of an hour, or more. No thanks, I can still get most of the scrap lumber if I use a power saw, and it’ll take me 10 minutes or less.

Step 5: Let the Deconstruction Proceed

Using the saw, all the most stubborn connection points for the lumber can simply be cut. The scraps can be collected and salvaged for later reuse. And as for what was left over – the nail-ridden refuse from hell? You could get creative, perhaps relinquishing them to a bonfire of some such festivity. As for me, that little bit left over from that big mattress foundation was indeed relegated to the trash. And I felt great about not having tossed the entire mattress foundation in a landfill.

Have you ever disassembled a box spring or bed foundation? Please share your creative whimsies.