Murphy Bed Mechanism, Homemade

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Project by bushmaster posted 168 days ago 2620 views 28 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hope this project will help some who is thinking of building a Murphy bed.I designed and built this project with the help of my son-in-law while we where visiting them for Christmas a year ago. They needed another bed in the play room for visiting family but did not have the funds for a complete unit or any unit at all. We looked at kits and they where costly. The one that I looked at that I thought I could build was Next Bed. The cost there is 650 dollars, shipping to Canada would make the cost much higher. The principle of this bed is quite simple, bed swings on two posts, springs attach to base and base screws to plate in wall. If you look at their web site you will see what I mean. Since I did not have access to the springs they where using I came up with this idea using spings from the hardware store and cable and pulley arrangement. We first tried 4 springs but had to go to the six. The complete base and bed was made from 2 by 4’s and 2 by 6’s, slats 1 by 4’s. The legs automatically swing down. The improvised unit works quite well and easily stores a regular queen size matress.
The cabinet is independent of the force of the bed. It was made from painters grade clear plywood, double deep bookshelves that swing out on each side. There are double bifold type doors that enclose the bed when it is up. They do not appear to be on, in these pictures. The complete cost for this project was I think 4 to 500 dollars, mainly for the cost of plywood etc. for the cabinet, I think dad may have reduced that cost for them too, after all it was Christmas.
Thanks for looking, comment are welcome, and will answer any questions.

I have some short video’s on my computer and my son in law made a video of the construction, may be this could be put on utube or if could be copied to a camera chip I could mail it to someone that was very interested. Just found the finished photo’s, sorry they where not on at the beginning.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

9 comments so far

View mafe's profile


9483 posts in 1714 days

#1 posted 168 days ago

Dam clever!
Thank you.
Best thoughts,

-- Mad F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Tommy's profile


62 posts in 205 days

#2 posted 168 days ago

Great idea! I’m sure this will come in handy.

-- Tommy

View Oldtool's profile


1776 posts in 815 days

#3 posted 168 days ago

Really slick! Great design and build. This makes you a No. 1 Father in law.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Cruiszr's profile


87 posts in 217 days

#4 posted 168 days ago

Nice design and money saver. Would like to see more photos in the up position and how the feet work if you have them. Thanks

-- George R. Forest, Virginia

View tjdv's profile


55 posts in 1317 days

#5 posted 168 days ago

Nicely done in both the engineering and carpentry.

View CharlesS's profile


16 posts in 212 days

#6 posted 167 days ago

Hi Brian,
I’ve been eyeballing those Murphy Bed kits also but Having them sent to Germany is probably like shipping to Canada. This is a great idea that I would like to copy (plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery ;) ). I’m +1 with George (Cruiszr). I would like more detail fotos (not only the feet but the tip mechanism and counterbalance).
Thanks for sharing this great idea!
Greetz from Germany,

-- Greetz from Germany, Charles - Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool!! {borrowed from BRKH;)}

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1813 days

#7 posted 167 days ago

Wow this is cleaver…. Great idea….. Nice savings! $$$$$

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

2382 posts in 2062 days

#8 posted 167 days ago

I’ve never seen this method. The murphy bed kits I’ve seen and used have gas pistons. Sort of like the ones that lift the hatch on suv’s. The cost of that type here in the US is about $250-$300

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Rob's profile


273 posts in 1695 days

#9 posted 167 days ago

I’ve been wanting to build a murphy bed for the spare bedroom/office but every time I look at the hardware in those $300+ kits from Rockler, I start wondering if I can piece together my own hardware kit for $50 or less. What do you figure your hardware cost was?

It would be awesome to see a video of your springs and the swing-down legs in action.

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