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Tatami Bed

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Blog entry by dave33 posted 04-19-2009 02:22 AM 25088 reads 6 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, I’m starting another project. I don’t think I’m at the skill level many of you are here. I’m do this as a hobby and still consider myself a beginner even though I’ve done various small projects over the years. My current project is to build a Tatami Bed. I saw Brian Havens bed and some online that were ridiculously priced. It looks so simple to do. Well, i guess for woodworking people but not to the average joe. I’m selling my home and I hate my current bed and want something that looks different when i move into an apartment…whenever my home sells the way the market is.

I emailed Mr. Haven about those Bridle joints. I did a practice one from scraps I had. As you can see, it’s pretty rough but I got an idea how to approach it now. Mr. Haven suggested using 7 pieces but I think that may look odd but would be so easy to do lol. I wish my table saw was able to cut 5 1/2 high but I’m going to have to use a hand saw for notching out part along with a chisel. My first attempt i tried using my router doing 2 passes on each side to cut out bridal joint but didn’t work well. First Attempt

I went out and bought some regular pine to start doing the real thing. I don’t want to spend much so I’m going this route. I’m still debating to do a small platform on top using Poplar. The headboard will be made of Poplar. I have a nice headboard plan from another platform bed plan I have. Not fond of the bed the headboard looks nice.

In Progress

In one of these shots I have some birch plywood on top to see if a platform would look nice. If I go thru with it it’ll be a 1×6. And like Brian’s I’m still undecided if I should have the frame stick out at the corners. Any thoughts?

Platform?



16 comments so far

View noknot's profile

noknot

548 posts in 2901 days


#1 posted 04-19-2009 04:03 AM

Heck the style is your own how the platform sits is up to you thats the fun of doing it yourself . good luck

-- GO DAWGS!

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3559 days


#2 posted 04-19-2009 04:19 AM

Click for details

One of the things that makes Brian’s bed look so neat is that the joinery is not covered up on the top.

I would like to point out that your model is a good idea. When you don’t know what will look right and you need more than just a drawing, making a model is the best thing you can do.

You will come to understand so much more by creating the model. It will help you understand the relationship of the pieces to one another. Construction methods and problems will be revealed to you while making the model no matter if it is in scale or full size.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View dave33's profile

dave33

12 posts in 2788 days


#3 posted 04-19-2009 04:21 AM

Yeah i know, but now that I’m making my own there so many ways to make it lol. I guess the good thing is once the legs are made (the hardest part) I can always just make new sides and a foot board when I feel like changing things up.

I do love the exposed joints in Brian’s bed. That’s why I’m iffy on covering them up. They add a nice touch to the bed frame. I’m sure I can find a way to make a small platform sticking while still leaving the joints exposed. I’ll have to do more experimenting. To bad I’m out of wood. My friend is out of town so I’ll have to wait till next week to borrow his truck to pick up more lumber. I’ll experiment with my test piece in the mean time.

View Todd A. Clippinger's profile

Todd A. Clippinger

8901 posts in 3559 days


#4 posted 04-19-2009 04:25 AM

I find that there are usually a few options that would look good on any given project. You just have to pick one and go for it.

This is how one idea begets another. You can always make another one in the future and do it differently.

-- Todd A. Clippinger, Montana, http://americancraftsmanworkshop.com

View Blake's profile

Blake

3442 posts in 3334 days


#5 posted 04-23-2009 08:01 PM

This is cool. I love this style of bed, but I’d never seen it before now. Thanks for posting the link to Brian Havens’ bed, Todd. Good luck, Dave33, looks like this will be a great project.

-- Happy woodworking! http://www.openarmsphotography.com

View dave33's profile

dave33

12 posts in 2788 days


#6 posted 04-24-2009 03:40 AM

I had never seen this type of bed either till I started to shop for platform beds. I had seen these running for $500+. Looking at it it looked so simple to make but just didn’t know where to get started on those legs. Luckily I found this site and got advice from Brian on how to go about it. I hope this weekend I’ll have most of the bed done minus the headboard.

View dave33's profile

dave33

12 posts in 2788 days


#7 posted 04-24-2009 04:43 AM

DaveR, thanks for that picture. That’s exactly what I was looking for. I went to several sites trying to get closeups of the legs. Looking at your picture it looks like I’m on the right track. I’ll find out this weekend once I get the rest of the wood I need. Is there anyway you can remove the mat so I can see how it’s resting on the legs?

View dave33's profile

dave33

12 posts in 2788 days


#8 posted 04-24-2009 05:24 AM

I think I have an idea of what you’re talking about. I never thought of adding a central rail though. It will be a queen size bed. I wonder if I need that for added support along with that central leg . I was going probably use oak for the slats if I can find it around here. I figure that wood should be strong enough to hold up a mattress.

If you manage to get some pictures of whats under the mats I can modify my plans from there.

Thanks for the help Dave I really appreciate it.

View dave33's profile

dave33

12 posts in 2788 days


#9 posted 04-24-2009 05:30 PM

I won’t be using the Tatami mats. I’m going to fit in a mattress.

View dave33's profile

dave33

12 posts in 2788 days


#10 posted 07-19-2009 04:12 AM

Well I finally finished my Tatami style bed. Took me forever since I only worked on it on some weekends and I had no plans to go by. So trial and error. Applying the finish took forever. 4 coats ugh lol.






View soonersfan63's profile

soonersfan63

6 posts in 2803 days


#11 posted 09-28-2009 07:10 PM

im making my own tatami bed, but i keep running into problems with the design

-- Soonersfan63

View dave33's profile

dave33

12 posts in 2788 days


#12 posted 10-01-2009 05:49 AM

what troubles are you having?

View ning's profile

ning

8 posts in 2584 days


#13 posted 11-05-2009 05:01 PM

I am thinking of making a same bed. Your post is very inspiring. Thanks!
What dimension of lumber you used? I am considering using the regular 2×6 fir. I have no wood working experience, so don’t want to go something expensive, but not sure if that would work.

View dave33's profile

dave33

12 posts in 2788 days


#14 posted 11-11-2009 04:05 AM

It wasn’t as hard as I thought. I’m not professional woodworker either. Most of what I did was trial and error. i did use 3 2×6 for each leg. I used regular pine. It matched the poplar i used on the sides and headboards. I tried to keep it as low cost as possible too but I didn’t want knots or ugly grain showing on the sides and headboards. For the legs that didn’t matter. There are a few knots in the legs but I liked how that came out. The frame is also 2×6 pine.

View JeremyB's profile

JeremyB

2 posts in 2571 days


#15 posted 11-19-2009 05:25 AM

Hi there Dave33, nice work on the bed. I’ve been planning on getting a memory foam mattress and building my own platform bed for quite some time and have been messing around in Google Sketchup to the extreme with 3 or 4 different designs. I too have chosen the tatami style with the interlocking rails held up by the 3 2×6’s and will be using pine as well to save on cost.

Question for you – what are the big holes on the inside of the side rails for? Are they for a special piece of hardware that allowed you to secure the top covers to the rails without screwing through the top of the plates?

My top plate design is a little different than yours but I still want to hide the fasteners like you did.

TopCornerView - Tatami Bed
(Those colors are just to make it easy to see the different parts)

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