Asian Looking Platform Bed

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Project by Nitreug posted 04-27-2014 01:25 PM 9859 views 21 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I just completed this asian looking platform bed inspired by a couple of beds I’ve seen in a couple of places:

The first time I saw the basic design was on the fine woodworking gallery and the lumberjack project confirmed my will to build the bed. Although these two projects were certainly awesome, I wanted a headboard. I searched for many hours for inspiration and I finally found something that could work with the workbench magazine slat headboard and incorporated it into the design. The 15 degree cut found in the legs is replicated in a few locations such as the rails and the headboard. On the headboard, there is a 15 degree under-bevel on the entire top piece.

This bed has been over a year in the making due to many projects taking priority over this one (including some that I posted). The bed is made of african mahogany and walnut. The two side rails include a ribbon look that rivals some of the nicest boards I’ve seen in african mahogany. Since I didn’t have access to 8/4 lumber long enough for my side rails, I had to rip a 4/4 board in half, fold it on itself and laminate it. Although not ideal, the glue line is almost invisible. The legs were build with three pieces of 8/4 laminated with the centre piece lower than the rest for the “dados”. I then cut the other centre “dado” with a band saw and cleaned it with a chisel. This was certainly the most time consuming part of the build and the most frustrating. If I had to rebuild this piece, I would glue 9 pieces together with the proper height and not worry about cutting that other centre section. I almost scrapped the legs and started them all over with this alternative solution.

The headboard fits quite well in the side rails and leg dados and it surprisingly stable for such a high and top heavy piece. The horizontal slats on the headboard are glued with dowels. I have two per slats and should be quite strong. My current bed includes a box-spring (as you can see) but underneath, I include a slatted frame that could support a bed. I may eventually decide to get rid of the box-spring and simply put the bed on the slats. If I do so, I’ll cut the legs of the headboard to adjust the height accordingly. In the future, I may include some LED lighting on the back of the headboard.

The bed is finished with my own mixture of BLO-Varnish-Mineral Spirits. I have 2 or 3 coats depending on the location and I sanded the finish smooth at the end.

Finally, I plan on building a full bedroom furniture set based on this design. My next addition will be two nightstands / night tables. I have yet to finalize the design but I have a pretty good idea of what I want. If you have any ideas for nightstand designs that could go well with this, they would be appreciated!

Comments, suggestions, questions and complaints are all welcomed!

12 comments so far

View deon's profile


2522 posts in 3881 days

#1 posted 04-27-2014 01:46 PM

Looks great!

-- Dreaming patterns

View woodcox's profile


2386 posts in 2867 days

#2 posted 04-27-2014 02:06 PM

Very fine work, the headboard has a torii gate look. Are there fasteners anywhere in the frame or do the rails just un slip and it is apart? Great start to your set.

-- "My god has more wood than your god" ... G. Carlin.

View Nitreug's profile


41 posts in 2452 days

#3 posted 04-27-2014 02:38 PM

Thanks. There are no fasteners in the bed, only wood and glue. As you said, the rails slip together and when assembled, the whole is quite sturdy. Individually, each piece has a little bit of slack but together, they fit well.

View woodchuckerNJ's profile


1404 posts in 2489 days

#4 posted 04-27-2014 02:59 PM

Nice work.

-- Jeff NJ

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3722 days

#5 posted 04-27-2014 03:00 PM

Nice design and beautifully done.

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

View siavosh's profile


674 posts in 2726 days

#6 posted 04-27-2014 03:30 PM

Awesome, this style of bed has been on my todo list for a long time.

-- -- Discover the most interesting woodworking blogs from around the world

View longinquous's profile


2 posts in 2322 days

#7 posted 05-21-2014 12:48 AM

I’ve seen this type of bed before and love your version of it! I had a question regarding the headboard. Would you be willing to explain how the headboard fits onto the rest of the bed? I’ve been interested in making a bedframe like this forever, but I could never get a notion of how to add on a headboard, aside from maybe making a metal collar to fit over where it attached.

View Nitreug's profile


41 posts in 2452 days

#8 posted 05-21-2014 01:18 AM

Thanks for the kind words.

By the way you worded your question, I imagine that you know how this type of bed goes together. If you take a look at the headboard picture (the one in the shop without any finish), you can see that the two vertical pieces are attached on the back horizontal rail. I think I used dowels, but dominos or mortise and tenons would work too. The headboard is the last piece of the puzzle to get assembled in the bed. The two giant lap joints (if you can call them like that) are sized with the bottom lap of the two side rails. The headboard just slips in the back legs and with the bottom lap joint of the side rails. Because my tolerances are relatively tight, the headboard rests well in the legs and doesn’t move. If that doesn’t answer your question, just let me know with the details you are looking for and I’ll try to answer your question in a clearer way.

View longinquous's profile


2 posts in 2322 days

#9 posted 05-21-2014 02:06 PM

That answers the question perfectly, thanks. So you sacrificed the knockdown-ability of the bed entirely, or is it still able to disassemble with ease? That was one of the features that attracts me to these beds. Those half-laps are such an elegant solution, y’know?

View Nitreug's profile


41 posts in 2452 days

#10 posted 05-21-2014 09:20 PM

The bed is still able to be disassembled provided you have the strength to lift the headboard (which is actually not that bad). To put the bed together, I roughly place the legs in place. I then add the front rail which fits in the 2 legs. There is a bottom half lap in which the side rails will “lock”. I then add the side rails and finally the headboard. The headboard “locks” in the legs and side rails.

To disassemble the bed, I take it apart in the opposite order, headboard, side rails, front rail, and finally legs.

View ChipByrd's profile


156 posts in 2782 days

#11 posted 09-23-2015 01:00 AM

I absolutely love the design. I was wondering if the joinery is really solid. My wife said she doesn’t want another bed squeaks every time one of us turns over :-).

View Nitreug's profile


41 posts in 2452 days

#12 posted 09-23-2015 11:04 PM


I haven’t used the bed much myself. I put it in the guest bedroom. What I can say though is that every time I slept in it, it was quiet, stable and confortable (as much as my mattress is!)

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