Kyle R. Wenholz

"Hope is the thing with feathers" - Emily Dickinson



Platform bed

Saturday, October 31, 2015


Back in February, my wife Rachel and I started work on a new set of bedroom furniture. It began with little things like a headboard

and a bookcase

The largest project so far is a bed. I took a lot of time cobbling together various tutorials and images from across the web and Seattle’s many furniture stores to finally settle on a platform bed that looks a lot like Crate and Barrel’s Atwood bed. It turned out pretty simple and feels solid several months later, so here are the plans!

Materials

Measurements are for a queen size bed. If you want to work on a smaller bed, adjust the length dimensions (last) for the beams and pine boards.

Tools

Suggestions

Beam hunting

Home Depot is great for many projects, but for beautiful cedar (or pine) beams, I went to a local lumber yard: Dunn Lumber in Seattle. The quality of wood there was significantly better and the guys behind the counter were more knowledgeable.

Staining

It’s simple: sand it down nicely, wipe clean with a rag and some mineral spirits, and use pre-stain. The latter will ensure you don’t get streaking or splotches. It’s amazing.

Plans and assembly

You’ll want to set aside a large space for assembly, since you’ll have to flip the bed over at certain points. Additionally, make sure someone is around to help you do the flipping. This design doesn’t really become sturdy until all of the pieces are in place, but once they are, it’s a heavy and nigh indestructible son of a gun.

You’ll want to start by attaching your corner braces and 2x2 runners as shown here:

Note that the corner brace is going to be underneath the runner and you should leave at least an inch of space for the slats to sit on top of the runner. Pre-drilling the runners will ensure they don’t split, so only skip that step if you feel really lucky. I attached the runners after the corner braces and attaching at least one end to each side beam, so in the image, the upright beam is an end (top or bottom).

The order of attachment was such that I ended up with an L then a U and finally my nice rectangular frame. At each joint, I attached the corner braces and then the 1x4 on the bottom, as shown in this image:

Attaching the second side was the trickiest becasue we had to flip the bed over and hold it steady as we attached the corner braces and 1x4s.

Once it’s all assembled, you’re probably wondering, “What do I use for feet?” Originally I used big wooden blocks, but a few months later I headed to my local Metal Supermarkets and picked up some steel rectangular hollow section:

And boy do they look good! I didn’t bother attaching them since the weight of the frame and mattress keep everything in place. You may want to attach the slats your mattress sits on with some screws going into the runners, but that’s the last piece of the puzzle and entirely optional!

Afterthoughts

I might have chosen to go with cedar boards instead of beams, but the thick look of the beams is just spectacular. It looks like someone pulled the bed straight out of a mountain man’s cabin! The plans should be generally the same if you want to use 2x6 cedar boards instead of beams, but you would need to ensure the 1x4 braces on the bottom are enough to connect your cedar boards. I’m not sure they would be.

If you decide to build your own, take your time, do some research, and start with some smaller projects first. Good luck!


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