DIY Murphy Bed ?

  • Advertise with us

« back to Designing Woodworking Projects forum

Forum topic by dbarr15 posted 05-23-2012 04:44 PM 91751 views 3 times favorited 21 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View dbarr15's profile


5 posts in 3340 days

05-23-2012 04:44 PM

Hi All, I want to build a Murphy (wall) bed but the hardware kits alone are still too much $$$$$ Does anyone know of plans to use inexpensive, easy to find parts? Did anyone create one of these already? Thanks Doug

21 replies so far

View DeputyDawg's profile


196 posts in 4137 days

#1 posted 05-23-2012 05:15 PM

Rockler seems to have the plans but I haven’t went there and looked at them. I have googled and found plans. I understand that the hardware is usually about $300. What have you found?.

-- DeputyDawg

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2170 posts in 3022 days

#2 posted 05-23-2012 08:05 PM

I have built several from the Rockler package. The physics of the thing is pretty daunting, when you think about the weight of the bed and what’s required to keep it in the vertical position, and horizontal position, and be manageable in between.

You’ll need the kit, in my opinion.

It is challenging and fun. You’ll want to be sure your 3/4 panel stock is flat.



-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

View DS's profile


3022 posts in 2592 days

#3 posted 05-23-2012 09:57 PM

I’ve built Murphy beds from probably every one of the kits out there. Some are fairly difficult to install and get looking good. There is one that mounts to the floor and you build your cabinet around it. I’ve had pretty good luck with that one. (My brain is too far gone this late in the day to remember which brands were which without looking it up. Sorry.)

Either way, it doesn’t seem to be worth it to go your own way and build the mechanism from scratch. The time, energy and final product make the kits an attractive option for the money—IMHO, of course.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

View Chris Davis's profile

Chris Davis

1560 posts in 4154 days

#4 posted 05-24-2012 07:53 PM

I build about 80 a year and found that Create-a-bed is the best and easiest to use. I believe they even supply Rockler.

I’ve seen people try to make the mechanism theirself. For $300 it is worth buying it with the plans and getting the DVD.

Very nice people, call them directly. They are very helpful if you have questions or want to make changes to the plans. Tell them Chris at WWBeds sent you (not saying they’ll give you a discount. They may even charge you more. lol!)

-- Watch live video from our shop.!current-projects/c3c1

View single_digit's profile


4 posts in 2863 days

#5 posted 01-27-2013 10:51 PM

Sorry for finding this thread so late, but I’m sort of in the same boat. I’ve looked at the create-a-bed kit and I’m betting almost all of the hardware can be purchased for much cheaper. I originally started spec’ing out the parts a couple of years ago and now I can’t find the links, but I do recall finding the struts from one of the mechanical warehouse type places (I don’t think it was Grainger, but it was somewhere sort of like them). I could probably use the create-a-bed kit in a modified capacity, but I’m not a fan of how low to the floor they sit. I had envisioned something that has a set of false cabinet door faces that fold out to be a 16” foot for the bed, so I’m not sure if the create-a-bed kit could be modified in that way. I also was planning on building a fold out table on the front (from another pair of cabinet door faces). My design sketches can be found here:
Any input would be appreciated. The things I’d be interested to learn are:
-struts or springs?
-places/part #s to buy just the closures (strut or springs)
-ideas for keeping the box frame from being too thick (I am wanting to build a fold down desk as part of the design, but also want to make sure the “pan” under the bed doesn’t sag).
Ideally I want to pull off the illusion of a piece of cabinetry, but have the benefits of a wall bed AND a desk.
BTW, I envision the lower drawers for storing the bedding supplies.

View MonteCristo's profile


2099 posts in 2360 days

#6 posted 01-28-2013 04:42 AM

The hardware is likely expensive for a reason . . .

-- Dwight - "Free legal advice available - contact Dewey, Cheetam & Howe""

View single_digit's profile


4 posts in 2863 days

#7 posted 01-28-2013 04:48 AM

You mean to account for the profit margin? :)
I’m not meaning to say the kit that create-a-bed isn’t quality. I’m sure it is. But I’d argue that in large part they are simply gathering and repackaging parts that are available separately for a discount. I may yet buy their kit. Based on this article I may be able to make it work. But I’d still like to see if anybody has any sources for purchasing these parts individually at a lower price…

View Tjcorey's profile


31 posts in 2171 days

#8 posted 01-28-2013 06:16 AM

I’m always looking to “make my own” but the Create-a-bed kit has custom fabricated plates and latches I’ve never seen. My solution was to wait for a rockler coupon, that helped.

View dbarr15's profile


5 posts in 3340 days

#9 posted 01-28-2013 01:07 PM

Hi all, I bit the bullet and ordered the kit from create-a- bed. What a fine product with plans that are well written and easy to follow. Bed came out great! Good luck Doug

View johnstoneb's profile


3033 posts in 2345 days

#10 posted 01-28-2013 01:34 PM

Go with the create-a-bed kit it can’t be beat. If you price individual components you will find that good quality gas shocks large enough to do the job will cost nearly as much as the complete kit price

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View TeamTurpin's profile


85 posts in 2233 days

#11 posted 01-28-2013 02:17 PM

I’m starting on a wall bed project this week. I bought the kit and plans from Rockler. The plans received poor reviews on the Rockler website and I understand why. I wouldn’t say poorly drawn, but more detail would have been appreciated. I had several questions and called Rockler tech support as the plans suggest. Tech Support guy was friendly, but didn’t have a clue.

This may be an adventure.


View johnstoneb's profile


3033 posts in 2345 days

#12 posted 01-28-2013 03:07 PM

I went with different plans for the murphy bed I built. The bed plans that come with the create-a-bed (Rockler) hardware are not the best.

However the mounting dimensions for the pivot hardware are spot on. I used both plans create-a-bed for the hardware mounting and the other plans for the bed. I posted mine on the projects page.

Rockler packages Create-a-bed hardware so I imagine their tech support probably never saw the hardware out of the box.

-- Bruce, Boise, ID

View dlstefan1's profile


1 post in 2109 days

#13 posted 02-04-2013 06:02 PM

I want to sell my D.I.Y. Create-A-Bed kit from Wilding Wallbed. Remodeling decisions ruled out the need for this $300 Queen Vertical Bed kit. All mechanisms are complete with exact plans as purchased and never been used. If anyone is interested in this kit, just let me know because I was going to put it on EBay but you guys seem more interested. Make a reasonable offer and I will ship it out the next day.

View Jackietreehorn's profile


150 posts in 2110 days

#14 posted 02-04-2013 10:34 PM

I used the create-a-bed kit, I went through sketchup and drew my own plans trying to figure out the hardware and once it came down to it I figured the hardware around 100 with shipping etc. The biggest hangup for me was the time to build and weld my own pivots and also what the weight rating needed for the shocks was. Those two things made me just fork over and buy the kit. The kit was nice, and I changed the design a bit and needed extra hinges, they ended up sending me an extra pair free of charge so I was impressed with the service.

That being said, the design on how to build it isn’t all that great, and I changed mine so I could build it out of melamine. I wouldn’t reccomend building it out of melamine on the horizontal layout, the vertical would probably be all right but I got a bit of a sag on the longest part which I suspected would happen. I ended up reinforcing it with some angle steel and calling it good.


View Juami's profile


1 post in 2072 days

#15 posted 03-14-2013 11:46 PM

here is a video ( ) i found about an idea of a murphy bed spring mechanism.although he welded his i plan on making a concept with the dimensions he gave to build my own on a Omax water jet cutter.if anyone else has ideas or suggestions please do reply.right now this is the only video i have found online on a alternative to buy a kit.i have also found another wall bed design that doesn”t use springs of any kind(though you could implement them) has instructions and only uses a couple of hinges(3ish) or one long piano could modify these intructions so it doesnt lay flat on the floor but a standard height off the ground if they would tinker with the plans is the link for the other murphy bed plan that is more doable.(

best of luck ya’ll.

showing 1 through 15 of 21 replies

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics