I'm probably about one more paycheck away from being able to afford the wood for my most ambitious project to date. LOML and I have a very nice king size mattress set but a not so nice metal bed frame for it that someone gave to us for free. She wants me to make a bed for the mattress set and eventually a complete bedroom suite. She wants storage under the bed (drawers) so that means it will be a platform bed. We've been looking at pictures and plans and we think we've found something we like. It's a bed we saw on Lumberjocks.com. It appears simple enough that someone with my skill level should be able to tackle it without too many mistakes yet elegant enough that it doesn't look like a stick frame $99 unit from the bargain store.
Since she wants drawers on both sides my thoughts are to build what amounts to be two dressers that meet back to back to form the base of the bed. Then the headboard and footboard can be built separately and attached to the frame from inside the dresser base. I have lots of questions though.
1) Would 3/4" MDF be sufficient to build the carcass of the dressers with or should I stick with plywood? It won't be seen from the outside so I don't want to spend a lot of money on it but I do want it to be strong enough to be around in 50 years or so when my sons or grand sons inherit it.
2) LOML wants the drawers to be deep, at least 12". Using cabinet grade plywood for the sides and back (1/2" or 3/4"?) with a decent hardwood front would make the drawer by itself weigh a good 15 to 20 pounds. I was wanting to just wooden glides for the drawers but with that much weight I use metal slides?
3) LOML really likes deep dark red wood as in red mahogany. I won't have enough money to buy that kind of wood, even in a veneered plywood as I haven't found anyone in OKC that carries it. Would birch be a good choice, both for the hard wood and veneered plywood?
Here's a picture from the project we saw on lumberjocks.com. What we'll wind up with won't look exactly like this but will be based on this. Where they have the paneled sides I'll have three sections, two for drawers and a third blank next to the headboard. We'll have side tables there so a drawer wouldn't be practical. We haven't decided if we're going to stick with raised panels for the head and foot boards yet but we do like the look. The legs will be made from 4 strips of veneered plywood, bevel cut and glued together to make the posts.
This isn't anything near as challenging as what Allen has done but I still feel like I'm going in deep so any and all advice is appreciated. Thanks!