Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Making a bed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    158

    Making a bed

    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.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	Big Bed.jpg 
Views:	54 
Size:	39.7 KB 
ID:	31846

    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!

  2. #2
    Thats going to be a fun project Terry!

    I'd go with plywood for your base. The base is going to suffer a fair amount of side to side twisting type motion (torque I guess is a better word) from people getting in and out of the bed and moving around at night while sleeping, or other bed activities and the plywood will hold up to that much better than the MDF would.

    Wooden glides can be fine for that kind of weight, so long as you are attaching them to your base using good attachments, screws and glue. The MDF would again suffer from this as its not a great material for screws.

    Whatever wood you go with, you can always stain to whatever color you like, you will of course have tone variations from the different types of wood, so might be best to go get some red mahogany stain, and a few scraps of different wood you could use to build it, let LOML see the samples, and then make your decision based on her input...I think life goes easier when LOML is happy

    Good luck with your bed, don't forget to post pictures along the way!
    Go ahead and run clown, with those big floppy shoes, you won't get far.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    158
    Thanks Mike. Would you recommend cabinet grade plywood or would "regular" plywood work for the carcass?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    RETIRED(!) in Austintown, Ohio
    Posts
    5,321
    Quote Originally Posted by Terry Rodecker View Post
    ...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...
    Those will be some really long drawers! A king is something like 78" wide, so the drawers, if full depth, would be about 38".

    Think about making the drawers 24~27" deep and put a single long drawer, about 20" wide, the whole length of the bed between them. It'd be a good place to store skis, or maybe golf clubs - or maybe you can sleep in it when she's mad at you...
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
    Posts
    4,552
    I would use maple plywood you can get it from Lowe's look for stain grade if you can. Also use soft maple lumber Red leaf Maple if possible play with stain and you should get what you want. I would find a Sherwin-William store that the pros use to get the stains you want as they can help you and custom mix it.

    Check around your area for a lumber yard that is not a chain store as you can buy the lumber you need a lot cheaper than at the Borg stores they really rip people off there with there cabinet grade lumber you could probably do fine with #1com lumber as there are some good wholesaler in your area and Tulsa. Shop around even check with some smaller cabinet shops.

    Jay

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Posts
    13,443
    Another motion for the cabinet grade plywood. Much lighter than MDF and will look nicer overall. I've had projects that I used cheaper grades on the "unseen" parts and am to this day unhappy with the overall project. Jim is correct about the size of the drawers, either go big or go practical (practical would be more sensiable). The borg stores do have good plywood on sale once in a while. Might find a cabinet shop that is willing to do resell to you for supplies too, will still be cheaper than the borg. Does look to be an interesting project, look forward to the pics.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Floydada, Tx
    Posts
    1,941
    For ply trhat wont be seen, use D-3 birch. It has a solid core and ugly faces. I made a few double beds with 20" deep drawers. They have 3/4" sides and 3/8" BB bottom. Drawer slides are ball bearing full extention +1".

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    158
    Thanks guys, cabinet grade plywood it is. There are several regular lumber yards around here but I didn't think they had much of anything other than construction grade lumber. I'll call a couple of them and see what they've got.

    The dressers were only going to meet in the middle for support. I was planning on making the drawers about 24" front to back. Now that you mention it Jim, 27" or 28" would make the blankets fit a little bit better.

    We looked at lumber tonight but only at Lowes and HD. A full sheet of maple plywood wasn't too expensive. Neither Lowes nor HD had maple strips thoughs so I'm not for sure what I'd do for the rails and stiles. Does Poplar work and stain like Maple or is it closer to pine?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Posts
    158
    Quote Originally Posted by Al killian View Post
    For ply trhat wont be seen, use D-3 birch.
    What's D-3 birch? Is that the cabinet grade birch?

    Quote Originally Posted by Al killian View Post
    Drawer slides are ball bearing full extention +1".
    Those are nice slides, especially if you get the soft close kind but they'll add a lot to the bottom price. The ones I saw at the borg stores were about $20 each.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Floydada, Tx
    Posts
    1,941
    Yes cabinet grade birch ply. The face is grade D and the back is grade 3. Around here it is $30 per sheet. The slides came from http://www.cshardware.com/

Similar Threads

  1. Pen making kit...
    By Roger Tulk in forum Turning Tool Questions and Show & Tell
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 05-13-2015, 08:43 PM
  2. Axe Making
    By Ted Calver in forum Neander Tool Questions and Show & Tell
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 02-18-2014, 03:09 AM
  3. We all are making gas
    By Chuck Thoits in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 02-03-2011, 05:37 AM
  4. Making a Workbench Top
    By Rich Aldrich in forum General Woodworking Q&A
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 04-28-2008, 12:20 AM
  5. Pen Making
    By Mike Rathe in forum General Woodturning Q&A
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 04-03-2008, 04:13 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •