I recently outgrew my king single, so it was time for a bigger bed. A queen size bed.
For my final year 12 assessment in technology studies, i decided to build my own bed.
In the end it cost around $260 and turned out amazing. It's something i use everyday and proud to tell anyone who will listen that I built it alone with my own two hands.
Step 1: Tools and Materials Needed
For such a large project I really didn't use a lot, it just took time and precision.
- Drop saw, or just a normal saw
- A drill
- A chisel
- Wood glue
- Merbau wood, or any wood you would prefer (pun intended)
- Bed brackets
- Beam bracket
The most expensive thing was clearly the wood, however in the end it cost me around $260 Australian.
Step 2: Starting With the Legs
The legs are made from 90x90mm merbau. I cut the pieces to 350mm on the drop saw and gave them a light sand. I than cut the end railings and the side railings. However, I wanted to focus on the end pieces. The end pieces and side pieces were all made from 140x35mm merbau. Now this wood is heavy but the solid and beautiful character of the wood is worth the weight.
Step 3: The End Pieces
Once the legs were cut to size it was time for the end pieces, I wanted the end pieces to be connected to the legs so that it was easy to pull apart and put together, with the side pieces detachable. I started cutting the end pieces. I wanted the bed to be 1660mm in width to accommodate for my mattress, taking in the leg thickness, I cut the end railings to 1550mm. Once the 2 ends were cut, I measured roughly 30mm from either end, this would make the joint to go inside the leg. As i wanted the joint to be flush with the leg, i also cut 15mm from the top and 1/3 of the thickness of the wood, as seen in the images.
Step 4: Building the Ends
Now that the end pieces were cut to size, I needed to cut holes on the legs so that the ends would be a nice tight fit. I measured 15mm down, and 1/3 of the way across. Once i had the correct position i used a drill to drill 30mm deep, now it was rather messy with the drill so i used a chisel to clean it out. I would recommend using a drop saw rather than a hand drill, but work with what you have. On the inside piece i added the bed bracket. For that i measured how far in and down i would need for the side pieces to sit flush. that it was a matter of drilling, chiseling and cleaning out the holes to screw in the bracket.
Step 5: Fitting and Prep
Now that my joints were done, i did a dry fit and it was rather tight which is good. I decided to add some dowel through the joint for the aesthetics as well as functionality. I clamped the leg and end piece together and drilled through the joint leaving holes going straight through. The holes were 15mm in and spaced evenly down the end piece. I decided to clamp the pieces so that i could get a tight seal with minimal gaps.
Step 6: Time for Glue
Now that i have tested the fit and added holes for dowel it was time to glue the end pieces. Now this was rather fiddly so if you can get a friend to help here. First i filled the joints with Titebond wood glue, i than clamped the joints together. Once it was correctly in place i poured more glue in the drilled holes. i than hammered a piece of dowel in making sure it went all the way through the joint. i than used a handsaw to cut of the extra. I had to use 2 clamps here to ensure i tight fit and to make sure it was actually holding it in place.
Step 7: Support
Now that the end pieces were solid and together it was time for support. I used a support bracket to add the support beam. I simply found the middle of the end piece and screwed the bracket in place. Ensuring i had enough room for the beam to sit in and another 20mm for the slats so that the entire bed would sit flush with the side. i wanted the end pieces and slats to all be flush. Once the bracket was in place, i used a beam of pine for the support beam. It was 2090mm long and about 35x50mm. This piece doesn't really matter in appearance as it will be hidden it just needed to be strong.
Step 8: Side Pieces
It was time for the side pieces. They were cut to 1990mm so that the bed would be 2170mm in length once assembled. I cut a smaller piece to attach on the inside for support. These pieces were 1980mm so there was still room for the bed bracket to be screwed in. The inside support was placed 19mm from the flush top, as the slats would be 19mm thick. Glue was added underneath the inside support piece and the pieces were clamped together. I pre-drilled holes so it didn't split and than i screwed the pieces together for extra strength. Once they were connected I added the bed bracket on the correct position to sit flush with the once attached to the leg and than pre-drilled and screwed the brackets in place.
Step 9: Finishing Touches to the Frame
Now that all the pieces were complete I decided to coat the exterior. I did a test on a scrap piece using laquor and oil to see which finish i preferred. In the end i decided upon the oil as it gave a more rustic and less shiny look which i was after. I sanded all the pieces with 80,120,320 grit sand paper and than finished with a coat of oil to really bring out the beautiful patterns. Once it had dried outside i put it all together.
Step 10: Slats and Finish
To finish the bed, I got decking strips of merbau 90 x 19mm, I cut them to 1575mm so they could sit perfectly on the side supports and middle support, i sanded the edges to ensure no ruff edges. I spaced them evenly along the bed and while my dad held them in place i pre-drilled and nailed the pieces into place.
Step 11: Finished
I than placed my bed on top and it was perfect. Now it may be a bit rough around the edges but its just what i planned, designed and wanted. The bed is strong and sturdy. It comfortably had 4 people sitting on it and didnt budge, squeak or move. This bed turned out better than i could have anticipated and i hope i inspire you to build it aswell.