Introduction: Under Bed Storage Unit.

About: Couple of years ago I created my metal casting blog and over the years I uploaded many projects, my main goal is to increase the awareness of recycling, I use recycled scrap aluminum for all my projects and h…

My in-laws asked me to build them a storage unit for a small room where the grandchildren stays from time to time. So in this instructable I will show step by step how to build it.
The same idea can be applied for a window seat with pillows adjusting the unit size to fit.

Hope you enjoy my instructable.

Well lets get started with materials and tools you will need:

• 2X2 planed for the unit frame.
• 2x1 planed for door frames, 30mmx100mm for ladder steps.
• 18mm (full sheet) of MDF.
• 10mm (full sheet) of MDF.
• 2 mouldings for the front of the unit (decorative cover).
• Silicon (for moulding grip).
• 18,40,60mm screws, pin nails.
• Sand paper
• Metal angles to fit 2x2 and smaller ones for attaching top MDF.
• PVA wood glue.

Tools you will need:

• Long spirit level.
• Plastic 6mm plugs for plaster wall + 6mm drill bit, 10mm wood bit (pilot holes)3mm wood bit (pilot holes).
• Pencil + measuring tape, adjustable set square.
• Screw gun.
• Pin hammer + pins for attaching front moulding and tapping plugs into place.
• Jigsaw or handsaw for cutting 2x2 and notching over skirting boards, shaping  MDF, blade for cutting angles, soft wood blade.
• Silicon gun to glue front moulding.
• Clamps (as many as you can get)
• Skill saw for cutting 10mm door panels.
• Mitre box + tenon saw.
• Electric router for MDF rounding and 2x1 rebating.
• Sander with different grit levels
• Pipe & wire detector.

Safety : When using electric tools use ears and eye protection.
Keep body parts away from sharp blades, use mask when cutting MDF . WORK SAFE!

Step 1: How to Make the Unit Frame

Before you start make a plan for the size of the unit and don't forget the matress on top.
Start first by marking on the wall using your spirit level the top height of the frame don't forget the 18mm MDF and matress will be on top of that height. After marking with a pencil along the wall this will be the guide line for the top frame 2x2.

Check along the wall that there are no electric wires or pipes with Pipe&wire detector.
Place the 2x2 under the line and drill pilot holes with a small 2 or 3mm wood bit through the 2x2 until you mark the wall. If you are using a long 2x2 ask someone to help you hold it while you drill. For extra strength I drilled each pilot hole every 250-300mm.
After you have all the small holes marked on the wall use a 6mm bit to fit your plastic plugs. Drill into the marks with the 6mm. press the plaster board plugs into the wall or tap them in with a hammer. Use a 10mm wood bit with stopper or just masking tape around the bit as a mark for 10mm deep. Drill all the small holes in the 2x2.

Now just place the 2x2 against the wall and use screws to attach it into the plugs all the way around the top frame.
After the top frame is ready start with the support legs on 4 corners and under the 2 back frame joints.
Attach support angles to the corners for extra strength.
Make the front frame spacing of the legs in equal size so all doors will be the same. Make sure all the front frame parts are dead level easy door fitting.

After you finsh the front frame add extra support legs for the top frame all around.
Attach 2x2 to support the 18mm MDF top. Place 2x2 in the center of the unit so it will support both sides of MDF sheets. Attach with steel angles from 3 sides.
Measure and cut  the 18mm sheet of MDF to fit  the top of the bed unit, cutting it into half will be easier to lift. A full 18mm sheet of MDF is heavy.

Round the end of the sheet with an electric router or sand paper and leave extra 20mm over hang from your original mesurement for more attractive look.
Attach small angles from all sides underneath the 18mm MDF but don't secure it to the 2x2 at this stage only after adding the matress side board that you will have to drill from underneath then secure the 18mm MDF board .

Step 2: Making the Door Frames

Use the planed 2x1 and cut with the tenon saw and mitre box 45 degree angles for the frame using the exact measurments from your door opening. Keep the angle left overs as these will be used later  for ladder supports
After you have all parts cut use an electirc bench router to make rebates for the 10mm MDF inner door frame.
Set the router bit the same height as the 10mm MDF using it as a guide and 10mm wide by setting the bench router fence. Before you start run a scrap piece of timber the same size on the router and check if you have the right setting. If not adjust the bit or the router RPM button if timber finishing is too rough.
Start with a shallow pass and change the bit height every pass, if you force the timber when the bit is too high you will create too much preasure on the bit and the router engine. You might chip or leave burn marks on the timber and destroy the router bit so do it in phases.

After all the pieces are routed use light sand paper and clean all corners and rebate lightly. On a SUPER flat surface place the frame together using PVA wood glue on corners, clamp or use ratchet straps with 45 degree steel angles to protect soft wood from the pressure of the straps. Leave the glue to dry and wipe all access glue with wet cloth.

Step 3: Attaching Door Panels

Measure and cut the size of the panels using your skill saw to fit into the rebates of the door frames.
Glue all panels into the frame rebates using clamps all around.  Make sure you get good glue coverage as this will give good streangth holding the door together since we didn't use any special joint. Don't forget to place blocks between clamp and frame to protect it.
try fitting the doors into the opening and slowly shave sides of with block plane if needed.
Attach decorative moulding to the top and bottom of the unit frame with pins and silicon on the back. Paint doors and unit front.

Step 4: Decorative Side Board

I used the left over from the 18mm sheet of MDF and used it as a decorative mattress side board.
First cut the MDF to fit wall to wall size and height of the mattress.
Next you can make some decoratve features on it or not its up to you. I used my plastic french curve to aid me in making the designs. Use a pencil and eraser until you are happy with your creation. A little helpful tip for the center shapes: measure and draw lines to guide you where you will make center shapes.
Now after you have all shapes drawn drill holes in the center of the shape to fit the jigsaw blade. Place block of timber under the drilling hole to prevent breaking the MDF.
Use the jigsaw with a special blade for cutting curves and carefuly cut all shapes.

Cut outside of your house, use protective mask as MDF produces a lot of fine dust that is bad to inhale.

After all shapes are cut use a hand sander to sand the MDF and an electric router to curve the top of the board.
On image 7 you can see 2 small MDF parts for the inner sides of the board to support and to be attached to the wall.

Last thing, choose your color and paint giving 2-3 coats to the MDF.
Attach the board by screwing it from the bottom of the 18mm MDF top and into the wall sides using the two MDF blocks attached from the inner board sides.
Choose your door knobs and paint the. I used wooden knobs from old drawer unit.

Step 5: Hinges and Knobs

I used simple flush hinges they're not expensive, looks good and no need to chisel recess for them. Same for the door locking clip you will find many types out there the one I used is very simple and effective for this type of unit.

Start by attaching the hinges to the inside frame, measure the same distance between  them top and bottom. Hold the door or ask from someone to give you a hand or you can use spacers under door to get the correct height.  Fit the the door leaving about 3mm all around the door.  You can use a penny as a spacer guide.
After all the doors are in place fit the door knobs and locking clips.

Step 6: Making the Bed Ladder

The unit  I built is about 700mm high so for a child its a bit high so one solution is making a small ladder.
I used timber from an old shelf unit and I doubled the thckness of the steps just for extra safety. A good thickness for the steps is about 30mm. Use an electric router or sand paper  to round all front edges of the steps.

One easy way to get your angles for cutting the ladder sides is to measure the height of the ladder and measure the distance from the bottom of the ladder to the unit.
After you have the measurements use something straight and mark a long line on the bed MDF board (this can act as a drawing board) this line will be the ladder height, then take a 45 degree set sqare and mark a line for the lentgh of the ladder.  Now measure and mark  from the lines meeting point height and the distance between the bottom of the ladder and the bottom of the unit. Take your step material and place it on your drawing under the height mark and before your length mark and draw a line against the timber.
Now your angles are ready, all you have to do is bring the line meeting points from the drawing to your timber and cut the angle.

To get the holes for the steps do the same thing creating mirror image of your first drawing and bringing the lines to meet each other on the drawing and to the timber.
After all the timber is marked drill pilot holes and use long screws to attach the steps. After the ladder is ready secure it to its place and add small the small timber support left overs from cutting door frame angles. Glue and screw supports under all steps. Paint and secure into place.

Step 7: Bed Head Board

This is more decorative then anything else. I used the old head board painted it and attached it to the wall.

Step 8: Basic Shelves

Here I made very simple and basic shelves over the bed for books and dvds.
Decide where you want to hang them and mark the line on the wall with your spirit level.
Attach shelf supports to the shelf and mark holes for support angles on the wall.
Drill holes, place plugs and screw angles into place.
At the corner of the walls where the 2 shelves meet you can cut it in 45 degrees or just hang flush going with the wall. At the end of the shelf screw some stop ends to prevent the dvd's from falling down.
Paint shelves and support angles or leave natural. Makes sure you support shelf properly.

Step 9: Pillow Box

I had a bit of space left at the end of the bed so I made a simple MDF box for pillows and such using my left over 10mm MDF from the doors panels and 18mm for the box lid.
Secure the box to the unit by simply screwing it from the inside.