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Help with Upholstered Bed Construction

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Forum topic by Tango posted 01-12-2010 11:51 PM 5754 views 0 times favorited 14 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Tango

74 posts in 3019 days


01-12-2010 11:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: question tip

My wife asked if I can build a Bed like the one on the picture. Is a full upholstered bed so I assumed this will be an easy project.
Now with the questions….
a) Can I build the whole stuff using just 3/4” Ultra Light MDF (which I already have laying around in my shop…) or would you use any kind of 3/4” Plywood?
b) I plan to build the side rails as a rectangular hollow beam with some solid wood core inside at the ends to screw the metal knock down hardware.
My concern using MDF is that it will warp over time. On the other side…if I use solid wood like poplar or pine for this particular upholstered bed I feel like I will wasting money in something that will be covered by fabric.
Any suggestion will be very appreciated. I am looking to start this project this weekend!

Queen Upholstered Bed


14 replies so far

View pommy's profile

pommy

1697 posts in 3158 days


#1 posted 01-12-2010 11:53 PM

I cant see the problem in using the MDF as long as your carcas is good and strong

-- cut it saw it scrap it SKPE: ANDREW.CARTER69

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

3139 posts in 3179 days


#2 posted 01-13-2010 08:15 AM

Will you be upholstering this yourself? If not, consult the upholsterer to see what you should do. I have re-upholstered several pieces of old furniture as well as furniture I have made. (I am only a self-taught hobbyist.) I would be concerned about tacking or stapling into MDF. I’m not certain how well they will hold. It takes tons of tacks or staples to get a smooth upholstery job. I would use solid wood, at least along the edges where you will be stapling/tacking the fabric.

Are you planning to upholster the rails in such a way so as they can be knocked down? Do you plan to use webbing inside to support the stuffing or foam? I don’t quite understand the rectangular hollow beam. I would think a solid piece of plywood might be easier to cover with a layer of foam, then wrap with upholstery fabric.

You should be able to use MDF for the platform, provided you have ample cross support under it.

I’m not certain I’ve been of any help to you, but I’d hate to see you go to all the work and not have it successful.

Best wishes on your project.

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Jeison's profile

Jeison

951 posts in 2574 days


#3 posted 01-13-2010 09:07 AM

You DO realize the moment you say “assume”, the universe immediately takes notice and turns your easy project into a collossal nightmare of epic proprtions :D
...
...
...
or is that just me?

-- - Jei, Rockford IL - When in doubt, spray it with WD-40 and wrap it with duct tape. The details will attend to themselves.

View CaptainSkully's profile

CaptainSkully

1437 posts in 3025 days


#4 posted 01-13-2010 05:47 PM

I would be concerned about the strength of MDF for a bed project. There are no long fibers to give it any directional strength. I would go with plywood for the frame at least and use the MDF for any panels. Sorry.

-- You can't control the wind, but you can trim your sails

View Tango's profile

Tango

74 posts in 3019 days


#5 posted 01-14-2010 03:14 AM

Ok …thanks for all the answers.
Obviously the answer I like the most is Pommy’s (hahahaha)
The point here is not that I am trying to save any $$ just because I already have the MDF (by the way…it’s LIGHTWEIGHT MDF…I dont know if you have heard or used this thing). Its exactly like regular MDF but 30% lighter than the regular MDF.
Personally, I prefer to work with plywood, I feel more comfortable using it and also gives me some sort of confidence in how it will structurally behave. I will definitely NOT using any Solid Wood for this projetc since it will be totally upholstered (At least one point I have clear!)
Regarding the structure, this Bed is basically 2 Boxes (One big for the headboard and a smaller one for the footboard covered in 1”foam and fabric) and the rails are two hollow beams. (see the Sketchup model) The rest is pretty traditional.
Ohh and I will not do the upholstery myself !
Bed Designs

View Mark's profile

Mark

1801 posts in 2740 days


#6 posted 01-14-2010 03:25 AM

does your bed frame float like that or did u just not bother adding the legs in the drafting…lol

-- M.K.

View Tango's profile

Tango

74 posts in 3019 days


#7 posted 01-14-2010 04:46 AM

Sorry about that! I didnt bother drawing the legs. I will use this metal legs. They’re from www.ferroushardware.com and the size is 2”height x 3”w x 8”long

Metal Legs

View KayBee's profile

KayBee

1083 posts in 2713 days


#8 posted 01-14-2010 05:23 AM

The upholsterer will most likely want popular to nail into for holding the material in place. Pine falls apart and doesn’t hold brads or tacks as well as popular. You can glue some popular to the mdf or plywood. Find yourself an upholsterer and what they want before you get too far into your project. That way you’re likely to be charged less than if they have to come up with a work around. I used to work with a few of them before on airplanes.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View Chuck 's profile

Chuck

88 posts in 2666 days


#9 posted 01-14-2010 05:33 AM

a) no
b) that is not a question

-- Chuck, Washington D.C.

View Tango's profile

Tango

74 posts in 3019 days


#10 posted 01-14-2010 05:45 AM

That is one reasonable suggestion Kaybee! I will print a couple of views and go see one upholsterer tomorrow. Thank you very much for your advice.

View lightweightladylefty's profile

lightweightladylefty

3139 posts in 3179 days


#11 posted 01-14-2010 06:24 AM

Tango,

I think you should pick up a video on upholstery at your local library and go for it! This is a simple, straight-forward project that you could accomplish yourself. If you don’t already have a compressor and pneumatic stapler, you could buy one for what you will save doing it yourself—a good excuse for buying more tools!

-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Tango's profile

Tango

74 posts in 3019 days


#12 posted 01-14-2010 09:45 PM

Just talked to the upholsterer and he said he don’t care what is made of. Usually he works over Pine or poplar structures but also over MDF or plywood or sometimes a combination of several. It depends on the shape of the piece to be upholstered, he said. “You won’t even imagine what kind of stuff is inside some pieces I re-upholstered…”
So far I think I am good to go…maybe I’ll start a small blog with this project.
Thank you all for your help!

View KayBee's profile

KayBee

1083 posts in 2713 days


#13 posted 01-14-2010 10:14 PM

Sounds like you found a reasonable upholsterer, very cool. A blog would be nice, as I think most of the people here have no experience with any upholstery besides cushions.

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

View Tango's profile

Tango

74 posts in 3019 days


#14 posted 01-18-2010 01:49 AM

Today I started to build the structure for the bed. I made a couple of changes after talking to the upholsterer and also following the advise of the Lumberjockers. Instead of using MDF for the frame itself, I switched to Pine which I cut it to size. I will still using MDF for the big panels (Headboard and Footboard). Tomorrow after work I will start assembling the frames. I’ll keep posted.

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