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Thread: A funny little bed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009

    A funny little bed

    Hello all of you out there,

    This is my first time posting and most likely not my last by far. I would like to start with a thank you to the folks that run this forum and all the contributors. I have already gleaned an incredible amount of information from you.

    I am a 32 year old hobby woodworker that is just starting out. I have a circular saw from my grandfather (at least 30 year old B&D) and a newly acquired Delta CMS, a jig saw, and a B&D router with practically no bits. My resources are minimal but I just want to build all sorts stuff.

    This leads me to my first post. My sister wants me to build a bed for my nephew. Very simple, just need to screw and glue the parts together. Because this is my first post I will try like heck to post a picture. Better yet Iíll give you the link.

    This will be designed for a crib mattress. Unlike the picture it will not have a wood finish, just paint. My main question is.

    1. Do I just make this out of ĺ MDF and use big dowels for the legs and mattress stops?

    My construction method will be as follows

    1. Have the BORG cut the MDF to size for me (I donít cut to straight with a 30 year old saw.)

    2. Drill through the dowel centers as best I can. Counter sink screws through the MDF into the dowels and glue.

    3. Fill holes with putty, caulk any joints and paint.

    Will this be strong enough for a 2.5 year old to jump around on? Will the dowels just eventually give way to the pressure of movement? Iíll have to put a center dowel to stop bowing in the MDF.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated. I have reading up on woodworking for the past year and quite familiar with the majority of the terms and lingo, and Iíll always just ask a question if I have one.

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    London, Ontario
    Paul, Welcome aboard!

    That looks like an interesting bed design, but I would NOT build that with MDF.
    Nor Particle board either. Both of those I would expect to sag, and more likely break.

    The problem is that there doesn't seem to be any support except for the 4 legs at the corners. Are there some hidden legs in the middle?
    Even a plywood bed would probably bounce and sag over that sort of a span.

    Maybe if you put some sort of a skirt underneath it might work. Or I'd put some legs in the middle.
    There's usually more than one way to do it... ........

  3. #3
    I agree about the sagging w/o a middle leg or two... but I think 3/4 MDF will work if there is a middle leg.

    What I found interesting was the Price "1,099.99 Now: $798.99" Geese I need to get busy and make a few... Or maybe that is why the price drop.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    I agree with Bill and Oh BTW welcome to Family woodworking.
    "Thereís a lot of work being done today that doesnít have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesnít have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
    The Pessimist complains about the wind; The Optimist expects it to change;The Realist adjusts the sails.~ William Arthur Ward

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Thank you for the warm greeting

    I'm with you guys, there needs to be a center support or another set of legs in the middle giving the bed 3 sets of 2 legs on the outer rim. Even then I think I'll have to put something in the center.

    When painting, how do you eliminate brush strokes? Does the paint need to be thinned so it will lay flat? Or is it all in the sanding?

    Yes the price is ridiculous, that's why i have been called upon.

  6. #6
    If you do it with MDF, once you seal it with shellac (ie BIN) you could easy just spray it with rattle cans if you dont have a sprayer. Sand the mdf preferably to 320 (220 if you feel lazy) and then sand inbetween coats with 320.

    If you're doing it out of real wood the grain can disguise some of the brush strokes but you need to be smooth with your final brush passes. You could use a roller instead if you didn't want any brush strokes.
    daiku woodworking

  7. #7
    I don't know how the website contructs the bed but think it would be wobbly,because theres no bracing for the legs. Where are you going to get dowel that big, they look to be 2-3 inches in diameter

    I would recomend adding a 1x3/1x4 inch apron around the edge of the ply/mdf to strengthen it and make the legs from 1x3's screwed together into a column. If you have any round over bits for your router I'd suggest rounding all the edges to make them not as sharp.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Billings Missouri near Springfield Mo
    3/4 Baltic Birch would work if it would be long enough they are 60" X 60" sheets and you can find 2" dowels at Lowe's I know. The Baltic Birch will be strong enough for the kids without any apron but it would make it look more finished with it.

    And Welcome aboard Paul your journey is just beginning.


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Kemah, Tx. - Houston Suburb
    This will be designed for a crib mattress.

    1. Do I just make this out of ĺ MDF and use big dowels for the legs and mattress stops? Yes, however, where will you find dowels of that diameter? I would use pvc pipe since it will be painted and cap the open ends with either wood or plastic. Tony B

    Will this be strong enough for a 2.5 year old to jump around on? Yes, since a 2 1/2 year old dont weigh that much and this is for a crib matress he will out grow it soon enough, so dont waste time getting it done. Tony B

    I’ll have to put a center dowel to stop bowing in the MDF. Yes and I would also add a stretcher/apron by gluing and screwing it underneath running lengthways just inside the edge enough where it cant be seen. It can also connect to the legs for additional lateral support. Tony B

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