Basic Bed Frame #1: A Bed Time Story

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by EarlS posted 11-12-2017 03:03 PM 1300 reads 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Basic Bed Frame series Part 2: Time Flies - Everything takes longer than expected »

A little background before I delve into the details of the build. We bought my oldest daughter a daybed when she was in elementary school with the intention to eventually migrate to a queen size bed when she started high school. Well high school came and went and she headed off to college last year…. but no queen size bed.

This fall she reminded me of my promise. Since I was in the middle of building my youngest daughter’s desk, thinking I could buy some time, I suggested that she needed to find a picture of something she liked. Big mistake because she already had found a bed on one of the DIY sites. I looked over the plans that were posted. They used pine 1×6 for the entire frame. She is petite (5’0” on a good day) but I still doubted how well 1×6 pine would hold up as a bed frame. Using Sketch Up I drew up the project. It was a real challenge not to add the little G&G or Craftsman details that I like so well. Here’s what I came up with:

The design relies on 3/8” x 6” bed bolts to hold the side rails tightly in the headboard and foot board leg posts. I chose bed bolts over the inset hook approach since it makes a tighter connection and there isn’t a chance of bending/breaking the hooks when disassembling and moving the pieces. The headboard will be attached to the frame with knock down bolts and support ribs:

Since I had quite a lot of #2 common cherry I convinced her that we could stain the cherry to a tint that she liked.

The rails are made from 2 – 7/8”x 5-3/4” boards. After planing and jointing the wood, I used PVC glue to glue the pieces together. PVC glue is my go-to glue when gluing boards face-to-face. I like that it seeps out around the edges as it expands which means it has thoroughly covered the faces being glued.

The legs were made from 4 – 7/8”x 13” pieces glued together to form a 3-1/2” square block.

After cutting the legs to final length and squaring them up, the mortises were cut on the router table for the side rails and the end rails. In retrospect, I could have probably cut the mortises out of the boards prior to gluing them together and saved a lot of tedious router time.

The inside faces of the legs are tapered. After marking the tapers, I ran them through the bandsaw to get the rough taper then finished them using the jointer with a bit of sanding since they were too tall to cut on the table saw.

The end rails needed a rabbet cut on the ends to accommodate the side rails. Using the dado stack on the table saw seemed to be the safest and most accurate approach. Since the boards were long (63”+) I replaced the miter bar brace with a longer piece of multi-channel aluminum and clamped the board to it for stability.

Before the legs were glued to the end rails the bed bolt hole and inset hole needed to be drilled. After reconfiguring the drill press top to accept thicker pieces they were completed using forstener bits, first the larger diameter hole, then the smaller one. From there, the head and foot rails were glued into the leg pieces.

After letting things set overnight, the side rails were clamped into place so the bed bolt holes could be drilled into the side rails. Each side rail and leg was numbered with permanent marker on the end for future assembly reference. I had to make a big box store run to get a 1/2”x 6” auger bit to drill the hole. The bed bolt extends 4” into the rail and the forstener bit is only 3” long. In order to ensure the hole was exactly perpendicular to the end I marked the center and then used a hole centering jig.

I still need to drill the hole perpendicular to the bolt hole that holds the cylindrical nut that the bed bolt tightens into.

The headboard is next, along with other miscellaneous details such as the cleat for the slats, a cap for the legs, and sanding. Hopefully, that will all get done later today.

-- Earl "I'm a pessamist - generally that increases the chance that things will turn out better than expected"

2 comments so far

View DocSavage45's profile


9048 posts in 3921 days

#1 posted 11-12-2017 07:33 PM

It’s about time? Having to find some and filling it with meaningful things and experiences. Hope you and your daughters enjoy the memories!

You can say “I made this!” LOL!

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View trevor7428's profile


266 posts in 2039 days

#2 posted 11-18-2017 06:47 AM

Great job so far, can’t wait until next post

-- Thank You Trevor OBrion

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

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