Monday, July 9, 2012

A Bed Tutorial

I should probably say this is less like a tutorial, and more like a "here's what I did, copy at your own risk" sort of thing.

I knew I wanted something very simple with clean lines. I'm picturing 1x6 sides, flush with the top of 14" square or tapered square legs. I buy my stuff, and even spring for the spendy oak furniture grade 1x6 because they were so pretty! I had everything cut to size at Lowes. Here is what I got:

2 1x6x77" oak boards
2 1x6x81" oak boards
5 1x4x77" pine boards (for slates across the bed)
2 1x2x77" pine boards to run along the sides and hold up the planks
2 2x2x28in oak table legs

First I busted out the Kreg Jig to test drive it. Then I drove two holes into each side of the 1x6 boards. I didn't take a picture, but the holes turn out to look something like this:
(photo from centsational girl)

Next I tried to screw the boards into the side of the legs. Note the use of the word "tried." It didn't work so well, even when I drilled pilot holes. So I devise a genius plan to use the pine 1x2's as legs because they are softer. Works like a charm, screws go right in. Here is a photo of my laundry hamper supporting one side so it doesn't fall over while I was working on something else:

The joints are strong enough, but not as strong as I was hoping for. They would be stonger it I had been able to use the more substantial oak legs I think, but I just could not get the screws to go in all the way. This is kind of a theme in my life. Whenever I try to build something, or work with power tools in any way, something inevitably goes wrong, even if it is just a simple, straightforward project. I run into stupid road blocks, like not being able to screw the screws in all the way and stripping out the screw head in the process. Sigh. Nothing can ever be easy!

After lots of craziness, balancing acts, and careful maneuvering, I ended up with this:

The hardest part was screwing the legs to the boards without my upright boards falling over! Hence the laundry hamper support above. Anyway, you can see in this picture the small 1x2s running along the side. Because I improvised the legs, it added a little width to the bed, making my 77in slats too short to be supported by the 1x2. Womp womp. I had some remnants of the 1x4s so I decided to cut 3/4in pieces and screw them into the ends of each slat to elongate them. Worked ok, but will not be a permanent solution! Then I screwed 2x4 pieces to each slat, perpendicular to the floor to support the middle of our bed. The man at Lowes said the 1x4s would be fine and 2x4s would be overkill. I think he was wrong. Our bed is HEAVY. And my husband sleeps like he is being stung by a bunch of bees, flopping all over the place. A solid 230lb man throwing his weight around in his sleep is serious business for a bed frame to handle. 

So that set up will be temporary. I have plans for a platform made out of 2x4s and plywood to just set inside this frame, and be covered with a bed skirt. I also have some sanding to do where my joints didn't stay exactly flush. :-( But overall, I am happy with it. It is much more my style, and the room already feels bigger without our big giant bed. I can't wait to get the headboard up!!

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