|Project by PurpLev||posted 07-12-2008 07:06 AM||3471 views||1 time favorited||14 comments|
So we decided to get our daughter her first bed. hurray!!
We thought a trundle bed would be the best solution, as it includes an extra mattress that we can use for guests/friends that sleep over. we looked around for beds that we liked, and the price ranges were at the $500-$600.
I figured I can build one for half the cost. and so it began.
while driving around town one evening, I spotted some birch boards (mostly 3/4”x2-1/4”, and some 3-1/4”x3-1/4”) I immediately slammed on the brakes, put the car in reverse.. pulled over, and hauled those boards on my roof rack – I had some perfect Posts there!
I took the sizes of the boards I just got, and started designing a bed using Sketchup (one of my favorite tools in my arsenal). The initial design was based on the boards I had just picked up, and a frame+panel headboard/footboard – you can see it in this Blog.
I had then come about a headboard and footboard that were originally for a baby-crib, and were the width of a full size bed. since my bed is planned to be a twin size bed. I figured I can trim those down, and use the extra length of material to form some tenons that I can fit into my posts material. And so I did.
since the headboard and footboard were already fully assembeled and glued, it made it a bit difficult to cut them to size proportionally, and square to each other, especially since they had curves on the top part and didnt have any straight lines to be able to square anything to. But with the help of hand tools, a bit of patience, and a good amount of desire – the job was done!
OK, so this is where money started coming out.. but not for long. I wanted the rails to be of exact size (1”x6”) and color (to match the birch posts) so I went to the local lumber yard, and picked up some hard maple. gotta love that maple! with a single coat of natural stain, and 3 coats of Poly, it matched the birch posts on the money!
For the slats I opted to go with birch plywood 3/4” that I had laying around. I like the fact that the ply doesnt change with seasons, so it will not push and pull on the bed construction. Since plywood is somewhat more flexible then solid wood, I had the slats rather wide (9” each) and 1” apart from one another. not sure if thats an acceptable thing in the bed-making industry, but hey – I had it, and it fits perfectly, and seems to hold very well.
Total Cost and Labor
Mostly recycled materials!
Total money out of pocket is about half than what I’d planned for, and a quarter of what we would pay if we bought a similar bed from the store. plus, I was loving every minute of making this bed.
99% hand tools work (japanese saw, chisels, and hand planes) since working with the already assembled pieces took some precision work, but I love doing that- very zen like work.
All Mortise and Tenons. the Rails are not glued, but tightened with bed bolts, and the protection-rail is just floating in the mortises, and can be taken out later on.
And Best Part is:
Telling your daughter that you build a custom bed just for her – priceless!
hope you like it, I know I do.
-- ㊍ When in doubt - There is no doubt - Go the safer route.