Box From a Bed Base




Introduction: Box From a Bed Base

About: I pursued my technical interest and found myself a job as a product development engineer. In my spare time I keep spending time on DIY projects to upgrade my stuff to my own preferences.

I decided to share this project with you today!

While upgrading a bedroom I ended up with an old wooden bed base that has 2 broken boards. I decided to transform it into a nice looking storage box. A typical project in which I try to use as much re-purposed materials as possible.

So if you happen to come across a spare wooden bed base, don't throw it out but transform it to something useful.

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Step 1: Dis-assembly

To be able to start building you need to get your building materials. That means the bed base has to be fully disassembled.

The tool I used for this step:
- Screwdriver
- Claw hammer
- Pliers

1. Start by removing the screws. Make sure to save them, they can be re-used later in the project!
2. After removing the screws all the wooden boards should fall right out.
3. The plastic end-caps remain, they are a bit harder to remove since they are nailed to the wood. I wiggled them of with the claw of a hammer.
4. If some of the nails remain in the wood, they can be pulled out using pliers.

All done, now you have your stack of building materials ready! Make sure to dispose of the plastic parts and the nails appropriately.

The only other thing you will need is a bunch of old screws, approximately 50 pieces with a length of 20-25 mm. If you have the materials, start working on the design.

Step 2: Box Design and Material Preparation

The design of the box is pretty straight froward, you need to determine the length, width, and height. Based on the dimensions of your bed base you are bound to maximum dimensions. The maximum length is the length of a wooden board. The maximum width is half of a wooden board. The height you should choose based on your preference, but try to avoid 30+cm since this will create large spacing in between the boards.

The design is a two-piece frame and boards for the floor and sides. The frame you will make from the thick beams of the bed base. The rest will be from the 'flexible' boards.

My bed base had 13 boards that were 78 cm long. I choose the length of my box to be 55 cm. I choose this because it has to fit on a 60 cm shelf for its intended use.
The width did not really matter, but I wanted in to be the same as previous ones I build, so I choose the inner width of 34 cm. The outer width is approximately 3 cm wider because of the design, so keep this in mind if you design your box! The exact box width will be determined by the curvature of the side boards, so it is hard to determine exactly.
I will use 3 boards on both long sides, which require me to use 1 board per piece. This leaves 7 boards, which will allow for 14 short side and floor boards.
For the height I choose 28 cm because it looked good.

So in total I had to prepare these material:
4 Vertical frame beams: 28 cm
2 Horizontal frame beams: 55-2*1.5cm = 52cm (the 1.5 cm is the thickness of the frame beam)
6 long side boards: 55 cm
14 short side/ floor boards: 34 cm

Now we are done at the drawing table and go back to the workshop!

Tools I used during this step:
- tape measure + Pencil
- T-square
- (Electric) wood saw
- Wood file (or sanding paper)

1. mark all dimensions on your material.
2. Check if your design looks good and check if you like the spacing in between the boards.
3. If you are 100% sure everything is OK, saw all beams and boards at the locations you marked.
4. Clean up the rough saw edges using a wood file or some sanding paper.

All done, now we are ready for the assembly phase.

Step 3: Frame Assembly

The frame consists of two identical U-shape pieces. The materials we use during this step are:
- 4 * 28 cm wooden beam
- 2 * 52 cm wooden beam
- 8 * re-used screw (Note: remember I removed these from the bed base during the dis-assembly!)

Tools to use:
- T-square, tape-measure, pencil, piercer (or if you prefer other tools for marking drill locations...)
- Power-drill + drills (determine drill size based on the screw thickness, I had to use 5 and 8 mm in this step)
- Clamps (to secure the wood during drilling)
- Screw driver (or screw insert for the power-drill)

Work to do:
1. Mark the two drill locations on the one of the 28 cm beams (check the photo, better then words..) In my case I could re-use some of the holes in the 52 cm beams, so I choose marked this location on the 28 cm beams.
2. Drill the holes 0.5-1 mm larger then the screw diameter, the screw should not cut into this part.
3. Check if the screws align with the 52 cm beam holes. If it fits drill the other 3 28 cm parts the same way.
4. The holes you need to drill in the 52 cm need to be smaller! The screw should fasten in the wood, so use a smaller diameter drill, in my case 4 mm.
5. Assembly everything, check the photo to see how it should turn out.

Step 4: Making a Box

During this step we will transform the fill of wood into the box, almost there..

So assemble your parts and lay them out in comparison to the frame, check everything one last time. See if you like the spacing in between the boards (I used ~2 cm in between the boards). And for this step you need ~50 screws of 20-25 mm. They should not be longer then the thickness of 1 board and 1 beam combined, otherwise they will stick out!

The tools again:
- Power-drill + drill (I used a 2.5 mm drill, it is for pre-drilling the screw holes only!)
- Screwdriver (or screw bit insert for the power-drill -- Preference!)

The assembly procedure:
1. Align the two outer boards of the floor, mark and pre-drill the screw holes.
2. Fasten the two floor boards by fastening 4 screws, one in each corner.
3. Align the upper board of the short side on the inside of the frame, and follow the same pre-drill and fasten procedure. (My design has the upper board not completely at the top of the frame, but 2 cm lower)
4. Repeat step 3 on the opposite side.
5. Align the upper board of the long side on the outside of the frame. Notice that you have to be precise while drilling since the frame is narrow from this side.
6. Repeat step 5 on the opposite side. The box is now strong! just not a box jet...
7. Finish up by securing all other boards in place.

Note: if you plan to put heavy stuff in the crate, put 2 extra screws in every board that you will use to lift the box! I learned this the wrong way, a screw snapped the first time I tried to lift it with a lot of heavy stuff in it..

And now we are all done, the box is complete!

Step 5: The Result!

My boxes hold 10-15 kg each, they can handle more, but then handling gets though.. The box I made in this Instructable was the third for me. Last summer I spend a day to build two identical boxes from two identical bed bases. I used a slightly different design which made these two stack-able. I don't have an Instructable for this, but if you want to now more, I will be happy to help you with such a design!

Thanks you for reading and keep sharing your own projects! I get a lot of my inspiration from all your great ideas and projects.

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    4 Discussions


    4 years ago

    Great innovation, good use of junk...


    4 years ago

    old box springs also have good wood that can be salvaged.


    4 years ago

    Super cool and useful! Nice job :)


    4 years ago

    Super cool and useful! Nice job :)