A Bed for the Princess #1: Design Concept

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Blog entry by PurpLev posted 06-10-2008 03:25 AM 11720 reads 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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So for a very long time I have been planning to build my daughter a bed.

I have been reading anything I could get about bed construction (I really liked “Anatomy of a Bed” from Fine Woodworking), checking out different beds for design concepts, and construction methods, and have been mentally practicing building it for the longest time.

so I finally came up with the following design. frame is all Maple, joinery is Mortise & Tenon and headboard/footboard panels are planned to be Birdseye-Maple – either solid, or Veneered – depending on budget and availability. This is designed as a trundle bed, so there is an extra guest/friend mattress under the bed.

the main difficulty I’ve had with this was the extra length that was needed to ad to the main bed in order to accommodate for the secondary mattress and enclosing box. and since I have zero experience with building beds, it just took a bit longer for the information and ideas to settle in.

here is the planned design:

Fully open Trundle Bed
Closed Trundle Bed

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

8 comments so far

View GaryK's profile


10262 posts in 3955 days

#1 posted 06-10-2008 04:13 AM

Nice looking design.

You could put big posts and notch them out at the bottom to accomodate the mattress.

-- Gary - Never pass up the opportunity to make a mistake look like you planned it that way - Tyler, TX

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3788 days

#2 posted 06-10-2008 12:06 PM

This is a nice looking design. I like the idea of incorporating storage space underneath the bed. This is essentially dead space which you are taking advantage of by adding needed storage.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3615 days

#3 posted 06-10-2008 04:40 PM

Thanx GaryK, It’s a good idea, but it wouldnt work for me for 2 reasons:

1. I like simple lines in my work, notching the posts at the lower part would break that clean post line.

2. it’ll be another step that I have to take cutting, and matching pieces – I’m just lazy… I’m kidding – I’d rather spend an extra hour designing the piece to reduce the amount of steps I have to take from start to finish.

all said and done – it IS a definite option.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

View Grumpy's profile


23841 posts in 3817 days

#4 posted 06-11-2008 01:27 AM

Very similar to the one I am making now but it will have drawers underneath & slats between the rails on the head & end.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View Dave's profile


6 posts in 3014 days

#5 posted 03-10-2010 06:23 AM

I am not a DIY carpenter, however I have a lot to say about the function and design. Can I offer a suggestion that may be important with the finished product? Just ensure that the bottom drawer does not slide either side of the bed, as this can be an absolute pain and sometimes dangerous for younger users. I know this means a locking piece on one side, but visually this will look better too as the alignment of the outside boards on bed will be maintained when not in use. Just one other point! Ensure that the box bed locks when opened! Ha Ha. I am sure you have thought of all of these “minor” functions, though, I thought I should say it just in case you have not taken this into account.

-- Dave | Tool Shed |

View SimonMayport's profile


8 posts in 2630 days

#6 posted 03-03-2011 09:11 AM

I am a huge supporter of the trundle bed idea. My Mother has one in her guest bedroom and the kids simply love it!

-- Simon -

View ABB's profile


24 posts in 3044 days

#7 posted 03-03-2011 09:54 AM

Would it work for you to just trap the trundle mattress between the front and back pieces and move the end supports underneath the trundle mattress ends?

-- Allen, WA

View PurpLev's profile


8534 posts in 3615 days

#8 posted 03-08-2011 04:21 AM

Sorry for not replying earlier, was somewhat away.

Thanks for the comments -there are all great ideas. At the moment this project is long done though for me to incorporate any of those in it.

-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.

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