Bed and Headboard

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Project by atombomb posted 05-07-2013 08:06 AM 1860 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I’ve just been lurking on these forums, so I thought I should contribute something. If what you folks do is called “fine” woodworking, I think I do “fair” woodworking. In comic books, a “fine” book is in really nice condition. A “fair” book is just above “poor”, when the cover falls off and someone spilled coffee on the rest :P

My wife and I decided we needed to dump our queen bed and go for a king. We got the mattress from Ikea, but I wasn’t really excited about any of their frame options. They had one that we kind of liked, but it was out of stock and $500! Our old queen bed was on one of their simple “Malm” frames, which was okay, but my wife wanted the bed to be higher off the ground and I wanted to minimize the size the frame added to the mattress itself since we don’t have a large bedroom.

The bed is mostly dimensional lumber. I’m sure it’s over-engineered, I could probably park my car on top of it. The sides are just 3/4” birch plywood from Home Depot. The slats are 2×4s I split into 1×4s.

The headboard is made out of pallets (oak I think). I built it on 3/8” OSB so I could assemble it outside. I wanted to use plywood, but the prices at HD were really high, and the smaller thicknesses were very, very curled. I attached the OSB to a frame I made from the wood I took out of the queen box spring we replaced.

I was trying to learn as much as I could with this, so I used some techniques I’ve never done before that weren’t really necessary (m&t and biscuits). The results weren’t great, but good enough for our purposes. Things I learned:

- Use loose tenons next time. My mortises were pretty good, but I didn’t cut the tenons that well.
- Get all the nails out of the pallet wood. I ended up cutting off a lot of the nails by pounding a pry bar through them. I didn’t mind the look of the nail heads in the wood so I just left them. However, all those nails made sanding much harder than it had to be. Oops!
- Rip a straight edge on the pallet wood planks. I think it would have assembled better and still looked “rustic”.

Anyway, I think it’s better than what we had before and my wife is really happy, so I’m calling that a win.

8 comments so far

View SuperCubber's profile


1037 posts in 2456 days

#1 posted 05-07-2013 06:24 PM

That thing looks rock solid. I bet your theory about parking a car on it would hold true.

-- Joe | Spartanburg, SC | "To give anything less than your best is to sacrafice the gift." - Steve Prefontaine

View atombomb's profile


14 posts in 2044 days

#2 posted 05-08-2013 03:42 PM

Thanks. The actual frame is 2×8’s and it sits on six 4×4 legs. When I get more confident I might rely more on skill and less on just adding more wood. It was a pretty good strength workout carrying it from the backyard into the house.

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2347 days

#3 posted 05-09-2013 04:43 PM

Like the rustic look of the headboard, has so much character. The bed is really sturdy with all those aligned wood. Awesome work on it.

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4065 days

#4 posted 05-18-2013 09:13 PM

Aside from the “Instagram” type photos I think you did well. I’m not much of a “green painted walls” kinda guy but I think your selling yourself short as the up-cycled skids are a pleasant change to a sterile world. I might consider doing the whole wall in up-cycled wood, a few black and white photos on that headboard/wall ?

it could be in a magazine.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View RibsBrisket4me's profile


1554 posts in 2677 days

#5 posted 05-18-2013 09:15 PM

Happy wife, happy life :)

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 4065 days

#6 posted 05-18-2013 09:21 PM

”Happy wife, happy life :)”

True that.

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View atombomb's profile


14 posts in 2044 days

#7 posted 05-20-2013 07:59 PM

Thanks for the comments! My wife took the pics to share on her Facebook, so I’m not going to criticize her intsagram craziness :)

We’ve got 6 or 7 b&w photos I took hanging in that room. I was going to add some shelves to the headboard to put pictures or knick knacks on, but the wife said she wants it left as is.

View Built2Last's profile


234 posts in 3649 days

#8 posted 05-24-2013 10:54 PM

I like the look and especially like the frame. Nothing wrong with over engineering. On a more personal note, always remember, that even when the wife is wrong, she’s still right and like will be so much easier!!!!!

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