Mayan Pyramid Bed Risers in a day

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Blog entry by Eric_S posted 02-07-2012 12:10 AM 13106 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Need extra storage? Don’t want to spend $20 for 4 crappy bed risers that are made of cheap plastic and tip easily? Same here. That’s why I came up with this idea to make some bed risers out of scrap 5 ply birch plywood I had left over from the master bedroom closet redo ( These could also be fun projects for kids to use as fortresses or bases for action figures.

These were very easy to make and only took a single day this weekend. They also look a lot like Mayan pyramids so already they are prettier than than plastic cones.

Unlike the plastic 7” tall cones, these WILL NOT tip over. The issue with the plastic ones is the base is too narrow and the recessed tops don’t properly support metal bed frames correctly.

I do plan on making a proper bed frame for our master bedroom to match the nightstands I made ( , but for now these will suffice.

I made two sets, 4 risers for a full size in our guest room and 6 risers for the queen in the master bedroom(2 extra for middle support bar). Here is how to make them, they are very easy and only required a tablesaw with fence, crosscut sled, glue, nailer, and plunge router with a 3/4” bit capable of plunging to 1”.

To start, I decided to make the risers the same height as our current crappy ones, 7”. To do this with 3/4” plywood, we would need 10 layers. I decided to double each layer up to minimize measuring cuts.

So first thing, rip enough wood to make 4 risers for a full size, and 6 risers for a queen and probably king.
The tiers I made were 7”,6”,5”,4”,3”.
Rip each tier to the proper length of material. These measurements INCLUDE space for kerfs and a little give.
7” – 4 bed risers = 8 pieces = ~ 60” – 6 bed risers = 12 pieces = ~ 90”
6” – 4 bed risers = 8 pieces = ~ 54” – 6 bed risers = 12 pieces = ~ 76”
5” – 4 bed risers = 8 pieces = ~ 44” – 6 bed risers = 12 pieces = ~ 64”
4” – 4 bed risers = 8 pieces = ~ 36” – 6 bed risers = 12 pieces = ~ 52”
3” – 4 bed risers = 8 pieces = ~28” – 6 bed risers = 12 pieces = ~ 40”

Once you have all the sizes ripped, use the crosscut sled to cut them square using a stop block doing each tier at the same time. For me, I had 20 cuts per tier(100 cuts total) since I was doing a full and queen size at the same time.

Then, using a roller I layed out all pieces of a single layer of each tier at a time and rolled glue across, attached the other layer of that tier, and put a few 1 1/4” brad nails in the corners.

Repeat this for each tier individually. You can also do one layer at a time with the same nails, but for me I found it to be quicker to do the tiers individually and then switch to a 2” Finish nail to assemble the tiers in the same manner as the individual tiers. Make sure to keep the top tier nails in the corners, this is important so you don’t hit one when making the holes with a plunge router(or drill press if you have one).

For the holes, I managed to quickly make these using a modified router edge guide. I took some scrap ply and put them together with screws in layers to match the top tier, then drilled new holes in the edge guide to screw them to each side of the top tier.

After finding the center of one, I adjusted the edge guide to this position and was able to quickly plunge each one.
I used a 3/4” straight bit capable of plunging, and plunged to a depth of 1”. Notice the scrap at the base clamped to one side and screwed in front of the workbench. This was for safety so it didn’t spin the base in some freak accident.

And that’s it, you now have cheap, hefty, durable bed risers. These things aren’t going anywhere and once you take the wheels off the metal bed frame, they will sit perfectly in them with extremely little extra space.

I spray painted ours a satin black to blend in with our bed skirt.

I’m getting good at doing these repetitive cuts. I think the master bedroom closet dadoes prepared me. 1 day total for all this, with a lunch break and done by 6pm.

Thanks for looking.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

6 comments so far

View CampD's profile


1833 posts in 4982 days

#1 posted 02-07-2012 12:31 AM

Hmmm, something like these maybe just what I’m looking for.
Nice idea for scraps.

-- Doug...

View Roger's profile


21055 posts in 4300 days

#2 posted 02-07-2012 02:36 AM

gr8 use o scraps, and get a lil more storage space to boot..

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 5169 days

#3 posted 02-07-2012 06:29 AM

Neat idea!

View gul's profile


400 posts in 4458 days

#4 posted 02-07-2012 07:41 AM

I didn’t know what bed risers are,maybe because they aren’t used here.They look good and durable.

View Eric_S's profile


1565 posts in 4692 days

#5 posted 02-07-2012 04:56 PM

Thank you everyone. Gul, they are very durable :) Very handy if you need extra storage under your bed or just want to raise it up.

I may recommend changing the tier levels to 6-2 instead of 7-3” due to the spacing of the leg mounts to the edge of the bed. I’ll find out tonight when I attach them to the bed but I’m thinking they may stick out from the base of the bed by an inch or so.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View lew's profile


13547 posts in 5252 days

#6 posted 02-08-2012 03:13 AM

Very nicely documented, Eric.

Cool idea for increasing storage areas.


-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

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