Introduction: Lift Storage Bed Easy to Move

Lift Storage Bed Easy to Move

Objective and Description: A Queen size lift storage bed that is easy to move and to set up/ take down with no tools. This is a low bed (frame about 1 foot from floor, mattress top about 2 foot). You could easily modify the build to make it higher/ add more storage. Also easy to modify to another mattress size.

I hope you find this enjoyable.


Tools This is an intermediate level project and requires basic woodworking tools. Did not list all the tools. Look over the project. A few: Kreg Jig and 1 ¼ inch Kreg screws Power saw with blade good for plywood. A way to make straight cuts on a full sheet of plywood. One way is to use a 4 x 8 sheet of foam from the building supply store- lay the plywood on top and clamp on a straight edge to guide the saw. A drill, bits, including a spade bit set.


  • Pneumatic storage bed lift mechanism 5 foot length. Two in box. Purchased online under $75.
  • 3 full sheets 4 x 8 plywood. Smoothest plywood you can afford. Found some salvage.
  • 1 piece 12 foot 1 x 6 hardwood board (or two 8 foot 1 x 6 hardwood boards).
  • Used poplar. 1 piece 3 foot 2 x 2 (or a 2 x 4 that you can rip to make).
  • 3 piece 8 foot 1 x 2 boards
  • 8 elevator bolts 1 ¼ inch. Found 10 pack of elevator bolts online.
  • 8 wing nuts to fit the elevator bolts 6 joist hangers for 2 x 4 (1 x 4 joist hangers perfect instead if you can find them)
  • Wood glue
  • 8 bolts ¼ x 2 inches long 8 bolts ¼ x 3 inches long
  • 16 wing nuts that fit bolts
  • Washers for the bolts- about 30
  • 2 “L” brackets about 2 inch each side
  • Screws sized to screw the L bracket and joist hangers to ¾ inch boards
  • *Optional- obtain 4 bolts small enough to fit pre drilled holes in joist hangers and L brackets. This to avoid having to drill out holes to enlarge for the ¼ inch bolts. Don’t forget matching washers and wing nut for each bolt.
  • 16 stick on round felt furniture pads ½ to ¾ if bed will be on hardwood floor
  • Queen Mattress- used an innerspring. Did not use separate box springs.

Step 1: Frame

Rip 1 sheet plywood into four equal pieces approximately 12 inches wide. Very important that the pieces are equal width. Some big box stores might rip them for free or cheap. This could save time but you may have to stack and clamp all four together and trim one or both sides to ensure they are the same width. This so the frame rests flat on the floor and all four sides are equal heigth.
Next we will cut these four sides to length. Select the two pieces with the best overall smooth side for the sides and the other two for the head and footboard. The headboard will probably not be visible on the finished bed as most headboards are against a wall, so use the best looking pieces for the other three.

Align two pieces for side boards together and clamp together. Cut at 81 ½ inches. Align two pieces for the head and foot boards together and clamp together. Cut at 60 inches.

Mark the inside all four boards so you know how all will be when the bed is together- footboard, headboard, side boards and which end is up for all four. Remember smooth sides out.

Step 2: Spacers

We will use spacers several times. Go ahead and take a scrap of 3/4 plywood from the frame cuts and cut two to four spacers about 3 inches x 1 inch. Set aside.

Step 3: Braces

  • Cut the 2 x 2 into two 11 ½ inch and two 6 inch pieces. We will use these as corner braces that are screwed to the side boards and have bolt holes to allow the head and footboards to be attached.
  • Kreg jig- we will use this to drill holes to allow our 1 ¼ Kreg screws to attach to the inside of the side boards. The screws must go deep enough to secure but not go through. Strongly recommend that you use a piece of scrap 2 x 2 and scrap ¾ plywood to set up and practice.
  • Once ready, drill three Kreg holes on one side of a 2x2 brace and then three more on the opposite side- offset the holes on each side and don’t put them too close to the ends. Repeat this step for the remaining three 2x2 braces.
  • Take one of the plywood spacers and drill two pilot holes through the ¾ inch edge. Put screws through each hole deep enough that the tip barely portrudes. So you can easily, and temporarily, attach the spacer
  • Now we will attach the braces and drill bolt holes. Important to line all this up so frame ends up square and the bolts fit well. When the frame is together, the head and footboard will fit inside the sideboards. We will use the ¾ plywood spacers so that fit will be exact
  • Take a sideboard, a spacer, and one of the 11 ½ inch braces. This brace will go at the FOOT end of the sideboard. Position the spacer (on the inside of the sideboard) so that is exactly flush with the end of the sideboard (as if it were the ¾ inch plywood footboard that will end up there) and screw the spacer down so it does not move. Do not screw all the way through the sideboard. Fine if the screws are not all the way down, The spacer is temporary.
  • Line up the 11/12 inch brace against the spacer so that you can screw the brace down. Screw down the side away from the spacer, remove the spacer, and screw down the other side.
  • Use a six inch brace a the HEAD of the same sideboard. The brace should be flush or almost flush with the bottom of the sideboard (the part that will touch the floor). The process to install this is the same- put the spacer in, screw the brace down.
  • Repeat for the other sideboard. You should now have the four braces attached on the inside of each sideboard, so that the head and foot boards will fit against the braces.
  • Let’s check before we drill holes in the braces. Put all four pieces on the floor and fit your bed frame together. If you have a helper it will go more quickly. Gently clamp the head and footboards to the braces you screwed to the end boards. You may want to pad the outside of the footboard where the clamp attaches. Make sure the edges of the sideboards are flush with the outside of the head and footboards. You should have a rectangle.

Step 4: Bolt Holes for Braces

  • Unscrew and remove the two six inch braces from the sideboards
  • Align the braces on the corresponding inside ends of the headboard and clamp, make sure everything is flush and that the braces will be at the bottom.
  • Mark for drilling about 1 inch from each end of the braces, centered on the 2 x 2.
  • Drill pilot holes- they will go all the way through the brace and headboard. Make sure the pieces don’t shift. Select a drill bit that is just barely larger than a ¼ inch bolt and drill out one of the holes.
  • Test to make sure the bolt fits. It may be good to get a nut and temporarily tighten down while you finish the other three holes.
  • When you finish you will have drilled four holes for ¼ inch bolts
  • Repeat the above process for the footboard- you will drill four holes in that end for ¼ inch bolts
  • Take your four 2 x 2 braces, position them back on the sides, and glue and screw them down EXACTLY where they were before.
  • * you can skip the glue to test the fit first, then come back and glue. But gluing is strongly recommended.
  • Felt pads- if using on a hard floor, put peel and stick felt pads on the bottom edge. I used three each on the head and foot and four each on the sides. This will protect the floor and make the bed easier to move around.
  • Now put your frame together, bolt it but not too tight, and make sure it will square up- use a tri square or framing square.
  • Use washers between each nut and brace and between the end of the bolt
  • Congratulations, you have finished the most tedious part of this project!

Step 5: L Bracket

L brackets
Add L brackets above the head board braces. Screw to the sideboard and then drill through the head board for the bolt. This thin brace will allow the mechanism to move when installed later

Step 6: Optional - Hide Bolts at Foot of Bed

Optional- if you wish, you can take a spade bit that is slightly larger than the bolt head/ washer and drill the outside of the four footboard holes just deep enough for the bolt head- Do not drill too deeply into the plywood, this could cause the bolt to pull through and ruin the end. Practice on scrap before drilling. This will allow you to cover the bolt with a cap or plug if you wish.

Step 7: Head and Footboard

Now we will install joist hangers on the head and footboard that will hold supports later

You may note that I used 2 joist hangers and cut brackets for the other two braces. It will save time to use all joist hangers but you can cut braces if you wish. You will need at least two joist hangers for the center support

  • Mark the center inside of the head and footboards and then mark 16 inches to the left and right of center. Install joist hangers so that your 1 x 4 boards will be flush with the top of the frame. Make sure the joist hangers align at the head and foot.
  • With the frame together, measure the three 1x4 boards and cut to length to fit in the joist hangers. Take the remaining scrap and screw a piece on each end so the boards don’t wobble in the hangers and install. (You can use 2 x 4s here if you wish but the 1 x 4 boards are easier to move and work with)
  • The center joist hanger is special. To support the head and footboard from pulling out. You may have to drill out the joist hanger holes. At the head, drill at least one hole through the joist hanger’s pre drilled hole and through the headboard and bolt. Do not do this at the foot as the bolt would show.
  • Now, with the brace in place, drill through the pre drilled joist hanger holes and the brace, this may be a horizontal angle. You may have to enlarge the pre drilled holes.
  • Take 2 long nails and dull the ends. You could use two long thin bolts instead. These will slip into each end of the center joist hanger, through the 1 x 2. This will add strength. I added some button tab ends to make the nails easy to see and remove/ put in

Step 8: Mechanism Prep

  • Cut your hardwood 1 x 6 board(s) into two 6 foot pieces. You will have a left and right mechanism and attach one mechanism to each board.
  • Take the two 5 foot pneumatic mechanisms and attach one to each board. There should be instructions with the package and there are videos online. Use these. You want both to match closely when finished. It may help to clamp the wood pieces together before drilling pilot holes.

Use instructions for your mechanism but four basic goals here:

1) In the closed position, the top edge of the brace (where you can see holes drilled to attach the platform) should be parallel with the top edge of the brace.

2) When closed, the top edge should be even with or slightly lower than the top edge of the board.

3) The front/ headboard side of the mechanism should be about one inch from the front end of the board when attached.

4) Very important- the side of the board that the mechanism is not attached to will mount to the inside of your sideboard. Very important to countersink for bolts so there is a smooth surface

Step 9: Mechanism to Sideboards

Mount the pneumatic arm and board to insides of the side boards. Make sure to note the front of the mechanism goes on the end with the headboard.

  • I lined the top edge of the hardwood board up with the top edge of the sideboard. But adjust down as needed
  • The main thing is to ensure the top edge of the mechanism, where the holes are drilled for the platform, will close flush with the top edge of the frame.
  • Remember the mechanism edges lining up across the frame is much more important than if the hardwood supports line up. It will not hurt if the mechanism closes slightly lower than the top edge.
  • Once everything is lined up, glue and screw the support boards to the inside of the side boards.
  • Do not screw through the side board.

Step 10: Platform

  • Put the frame together, checking for square. You do not need to put the three “joists” in the joist hangers for this step
  • Make three spacers about ½ inch thick and 4 inches long. These will create the small gap needed at the headboard to ensure the platform raises and lowers without scrubbing.Attach three temporary spacers (near each side and middle) to the inside of the headboard, the spacers should stick up about an inch above the headboard.
  • *The below measurements are for the mechanism I bought, check the bolt holes on yours and adjust as needed. It does not matter as long as each piece will take four bolts and the total platform size ends up 62 inches wide x 81 inches long.
  • Cut one piece of plywood 62 x 45 inches- this piece fit near the foot
  • Cut one piece of plywood 62 x 36 inches- this piece fit near the head.
  • Place a temporary spacer between the arms of the mechanism and the support. This to ensure the arms do not scrub the sides of the support when raised and lowers after the platform is attached. Stapling cardboard may work.
  • Place the 62 x 36 piece at the head, against the spacers.
  • From below, through the pre drilled holes in the mechanism mark the plywood for a hole near each corner. Four holes. Drill pilot holes and then drill a hole large enough for the elevator bolt to enter from the top of the platform, go through the support, and have the wingnut attached. It may help to drill the hole slightly larger than the bolt. The wingnuts for my project did not spin freely because the side of the metal harm was in the way, it was still possible to tighten as needed
  • Once all four bolts will fit, attach the wing nuts to the bolts further from the headboard. (You can attach all four now but will have to crawl under the platform to do so)
  • Attach the pneumatic arms to the mechanism and raise the platform. Remove the spacers if needed. Go ahead and install the elevator bolts and wingnuts near the headboard. You should have four bolts securing this piece now.
  • Place the 62 x 45 inch piece and mark/ drill/ install bolts.
  • Add the three 1 x 4 “joists”, installing the nails in middleTest to make sure the platform raises and lowers.

  • Mark so you can create a hand hole that will be covered by the mattress if you wish. Or simply drill holes and knot a string to make a handle that will be covered by the mattress.

Step 11: Finish

Now take it apart and paint/ finish as desired. There is no need to finish the entire platform as all but the edges will be covered by the mattress. I used a chalk line and painters tape to mark a border and just painted that.
If painting and want a more finished look, you can spackle any exposed edges and sand smooth before painting.

Step 12: Headboard Option

Headboard Option- I did this - Adding a headboard does not take much time.

  • Cut a piece of plywood 62 x 34 (add or subtract to the 34 if you want it higher or lower). I added a 62 inch strip of plywood to the back on top for looks.
  • Cut 3 or more 1 x 4 supports and screw to the back of the headboard. The bottom of the headboard will rest flat against the top edge of the bedframe.
  • Drill two holes through the support and lower frame and bolt those on.
  • Depending on how often you move furniture, you could use a french cleat to attach the headboard to the wall and simply slide the bed in place.
  • Make the headboard in any style you desire. The plywood was relatively quick and matched the rest.

Step 13: Game Space Option

A game board or the like could be painted on or placed under the mattress to create a multi purpose surface

Step 14: The Mattress and the Rest

Add the mattress and rest!

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable. This is a good project to do on your own or with someone else to share skills and time together

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