Nail-less, Glue-less Almost Screw-less Fire Finished Bed





Introduction: Nail-less, Glue-less Almost Screw-less Fire Finished Bed

About: I'm a biologist, DIY guy, tools hoarder, and big admirer of people who can solve problems with ingenuous solutions..... the kind that make you say "why didn´t I think of that....." I also enj...

DO YOU MOVE A LOT FROM ONE HOUSE TO ANOTHER? you need nomad furniture and this bed is really good to move it around, just take it apart and put it together like a puzzle, No Nails, no screws. It is also really simple to make and looks very good.

Step 1: How to Begin.... What You Need

You need basic tools for carpentry and wood working, manual or powertools. This bed can be made using only a saw, a screw driver and a steady hand for straight cutting, you also need 3/4" or 1" x 6" x 10' boards and a pole 6" diameter. (How many boards you need or how long the pole, depends on how tall you want your bed to be. (standard height of a bed is about 2 feet) and the size of your mattress so you will have to do those calculations yourself..).
1" board will make a stronger more sturdy bed so I recomend those. You will also need about 20 screws, and 3 or 4 hours of your time.
To make the fire finish you will also need a plumber's torch or any other gas torch but of course this is optional.


Step 2: Measuring and Measuring and Then Cutting

So, take your boards and put them beside your mattress to be sure you will have a perfect fit.
Mark the boards with a pencil on one side and measure the lenght and width of your mattress. You need to measure only one side, obiously the other side should be the same (unless is a weird non-square mattres)

Step 3: Cutting the First Joints

Really important!!!! make 90 degree cuts as precise as you can, If you do not do this at the end you will not have a strudy bed.
This step is really easy to understand just by looking at the pictures so please go ahead and look at the sequence of pictures below.... you simply cannot miss.
Just remember two things:

to have a TIGHT FIT you must cut just a little bit smaller than the width of the board (about 1/32" less than the width of the board)

When you put togeher the boards you will need to tap slightly with a hammer to make a good fit.

Step 4: This Is the Almost Screw-less Part of the Instructable, the Side Board

You will need to attach a side board in the inside of the "square" you've just finished so take a 1" X 3" X (lenght of your mattress)' and screw it to the inside of your, almost finished, bed using 10 screws on each side. This board will be used to support the boards (plancks) that will hold your mattres, so it must be well screwed unless you want to fall through your bed in the middle of... the night.
You also need to leave about 2 to 3 inches from the top to fit the plancks and your mattress so that it will not slide while...sleeping.
Once again just look at the pictures and you will know exactly how to do it.... really easy. I don't think there's need to explain how to do the transverse plancks, is there? just make sure your 90� cuts are good enough

Step 5: The Tricky Legs....

Now, THIS is the step that will decide how strong your bed is so.. be careful.
First decide how tall you want your bed to be (in my case 23") and cut the pole, but take into consideration, the thickness of your mattress, the 6" of the board that will slide into the pole. AND ONCE AGAIN 90� cuts must be very well done!

You must cut a cross shape into the pole at 90� angles, the cuts must be as deep as the boards (6") so that they will slide all the way in, also the cuts must be a little bit smaller than the width of the boards to ensure a tight fit and no movement, you should be able to put them together tapping sligthly with a hammer.

Once more, just look at the pictures.... they are worth a thousand words.

Step 6: Check Point...

By now your bed should look like the picture below..... If it doesn�t, you screw it very bad in one of the previous steps (that's why is named the "almost screw-less bed".

At this point you can choose any kind of wood finishing procedure (barnish, ink, paint, etc) or you can continue and see the fire finishing method.

I should thank the author of one instructable from which I took the idea of making " fire finishing" of wood but honestly i do not remember which instructable was it and i can't find it anymore. Please if anyone finds it let me know so that I can give proper credit to the person who wrote it.


Step 7: Playing With Fire

So, Now you need to take that little pyromaniac inside of you and let it out...
Take the plumbers torch (propane torch) and slightly burn the surface of the wood (between 3 to 5 seconds will be enough) constantly moving the torch to avoid total charcoal finish. Try it and you'll get the hang of it really quickly.
Once you are done with the whole surface you are DONE you have a new bed..... no wait.... just put the mattress on to and some clean sheets and now you are DONE.

enjoy your new puzzle bed that you can move around to any house easily.

All comments are welcome.



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    79 Discussions

    I used a hand saw for some of the cuts, then I got tired and borrowed a reciprocating saw from a friend like this one:

    I used a large chisel to remove the wood between the cuts and then sanded.

    I moved home about 2 years ago which was made a little easier because the bed can be dismantled very easily. Last year I decided to change the legs to a different design that takes up a little less space in my new house. A neighbour was having a loft extension and had some leftover wood that was strong enough to use as bed legs. The legs are bolted to the bed sides using 150mm and 180mm coach bolts and I added some extra pieces of wood as cladding, just to make it look a little tidier

    My version of Tazo's design with the round legs lasted for more than five years. The bed now has different legs but is still very strong, doesn't creak, and has never needed any maintenance. We now have two young children who bounce and climb all over this bed and it stands up to everything we throw at it.


    Hi Tazo,

    I used your guide, but with a few minor alterations, to make a king sized version of your bed. I used larger boards for the sides and also used three 4cm x 4cm beams to support the planks - gotta be strong enough to hold two people. The mattress I have is a Tempur one that measures 1.5 metres, by 2 metres. I've got a little more work to do on it like trim the ends of the main boards so they are flush agains the legs, then apply some sort of finish (my gf probably won't like the pyro idea though).

    Thanks for the guide, I had a lot of fun building my own bed =)

    5 replies

    Hey, not sure if people still come back to this thread 5 years later, but anyway what did you use to cut the cross joints on the legs? Im an using 8x8 square oak ones with at least 6" depth of cut, so a jigsaw is not going to work. And i dont know how straight it would be to cut one by hand. Any suggestions?

    I find this post 2 months ago. I cuut all of my board but i still didn't cut the cross on the legs cause i don't know how to do it...

    If you found a find a good way to do it, please tell me :)

    I meant to say bandsaw, I ended up using a Handsaw. I have edited the instructable to avoid confusing people. Thanks for the comment.

    That's a great photo. This is the purpose of instructables I´m glad you had fun

    You'd have to be pretty accurate to use a jigsaw to cut the posts, and have the world's straightest cutting jigsaw. I think you can pull it off with a bandsaw.

    2 replies

    A bandsaw is the correct way to do it, I have edited the instructable to avoid confusion. Thanks for the comment.

    A bandsaw is the correct way to do it, I have edited the instructable to avoid confusion. Thanks for the comment.

    any ideas for a headboard and footboard to match....i need a king size i'm thinking maybe another set of post for the middle? obviously with only one cross cut...and does using the torch help seal in all the toxins that are associated with those kinds of post? yeah i know there are "sealers" but adding one toxin to cover another seems...well kinna silly,

    3 replies

    I do not know about the toxins on treated wood so i really do not know how to answer your question but someone out there may have better info??

    Formaldehyde is the usual chemical used in treated lumber, and it will gas out into a room if used indoors. That is why it is only ever used outdoors, those posts you used are for supporting decks mostly.

    You do NOT want to use treated lumber for this. It shouldn't be used inside in any case. It's strictly for outside use.

    This is awesome!!! I was going to buy a bed base but now I want to make one! Thank you so much.

    I love working with wood so easy to correct your mistakes

    its just like a big mortise and tenon, but your using a who plank in stead cutting a shoulder, that is a very good idea, is it rock solid?

    2 replies

    I've been using it for more than a year now and it is still rock solid.I actually had some problems when moving since it was harder to disassemble than I thought probably moisture swelled the wood and made it even tighter.

    yeah i had that problem before with a puzzle i once made it swelled and locked together, i think if you sealed it really well it would move that much on you