Raw lumber Bed

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Project by jumbojack posted 02-06-2014 05:46 AM 2882 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Some friends came by with several pictures of bed frames they liked. They wanted a raw chunky look. We sourced some old barn wood, but the cost was too high for them. I told them I could achieve the look with regular construction lumber, the cost would be a fraction.
The first picture is the bed set up in their home. They love the look, it is just what they were looking for.
I looked through the lumber rack at HD for the roughest lumber I could find. Using a wire wheel on a drill, I further distressed the already distressed lumber. Then took a propane torch to the soft growth to darken and add some depth.
Using a 1/2” rabbeting bit in a router to inset the ply backing into the frame so it would be flush with the back of the frame. This was glued and nailed to the frame.
I had quite a bit of pallet wood stashed for such a project. Using constuction adhesive and pin nails, attached the pallet wood to the ply. It left a 1/4” recess inside the frame for a nice shadow line between the frame and the field.
Rockler bed frame hardware was used to attach the side rails to the head and footboards. They were easy to install and made a nice tight connection.
I again used Rockler bed frame hardware to attach the middle rail with 4×4 supports doweled to the rail for easy of dis-assembly.
The frame is all doweled together. I used two 3/4”x4” dowels in each cross member, for a total of four each, to attach to the uprights they were glued and pinned. Horizontal boring on my Shopsmith made all of that possible
Distressing the lumber and getting it to look used, took most of the time on this build. Getting all of those dowels to line up on the headboard was also a challenge as all 12 dowels on the headboard had to go together all at once. Since they all lined up pretty well a few smacks with a BIG mallet coaxed them into submission.
I finished it with a Minwax Golden Oak stain and then three coats of Watco natural. I wanted it sealed but no gloss. Some places did get a little glossy so I rubbed those sections out with some steel wool.
My customer/friends were very happy, so I was a happy woodworker.
Thanks for looking.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

14 comments so far

View Handtooler's profile


1628 posts in 2904 days

#1 posted 02-06-2014 10:25 AM

Quite nice! Would be super for a quaint inn or bed & breakfast. I like the finish could take a little abuse.

-- Russell Pitner Hixson, TN 37343 [email protected]

View steve_in_ohio's profile


1195 posts in 2382 days

#2 posted 02-06-2014 11:21 AM

Wow that bed looks amazing, love the finish

-- steve, simple and effective

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3576 days

#3 posted 02-06-2014 01:21 PM

Looks good n stout. I like it

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

View Marty 529's profile

Marty 529

344 posts in 2491 days

#4 posted 02-06-2014 03:20 PM

Very nice. I love the rustic look. I’ve seen a few of these and decided to make some myself. I didn’t think about using the hardware for the frame. Nice idea. Hadn’t thought of the wire wheel either. I do use a torch and some misc stuff to distress the wood though. Again, nice work on the bed.

-- Marty, Ohio

View jumbojack's profile


1690 posts in 3396 days

#5 posted 02-06-2014 05:17 PM

I just had to show another pic of the dowel holes.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View Boxguy's profile


2876 posts in 3039 days

#6 posted 02-06-2014 11:03 PM

Nice work. I like the look. Should be sturdy enough to serve as a dance floor.

-- Big Al in IN

View Ruh's profile


44 posts in 2423 days

#7 posted 02-07-2014 01:53 AM

Cool technique and great results. Thanks for sharing.

View justoneofme's profile


828 posts in 3252 days

#8 posted 02-08-2014 05:48 PM

Lots of work goes into making new look old. You’ve done a wonderful job!

-- Elaine in Duncan

View oldnovice's profile


7558 posts in 4139 days

#9 posted 02-08-2014 06:49 PM

That, Jim, is a winner in my book.
Distressed, raw wood has, IMO, a built in warmth that a similar “new looking” piece does not.

When I was in my teens I worked in a Radio/TV shop who’s owner was a woodworker. He distressed lumber by placing chains links of various sizes between the pieces of lumber and walking on them, he was big enough to leave impressions.

-- "It's fine in practise but it will never work in theory"

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2947 days

#10 posted 02-11-2014 02:37 PM

Beautiful and sturdy bed. Love the distressed look, pretty grains and cool textures on wood. Awesome work!

View mrjllj68's profile


22 posts in 3102 days

#11 posted 02-15-2014 11:13 PM

Very cool Project Jack.

-- Jon, Morgan UT

View AlanJ44's profile


278 posts in 2059 days

#12 posted 12-14-2014 01:23 AM

I like! When I convert my basement bedroom from storage to a guest room I’m thinking of this style. I’m wanting a rustic lodge lookl. You nailed it.

-- Alan J. Hoover, AL Keeping in mind I believe college football is only a profit center for the school.... Roll Tide!

View AlanJ44's profile


278 posts in 2059 days

#13 posted 12-14-2014 01:24 AM

No wait STOP, You dowel-ed it!

-- Alan J. Hoover, AL Keeping in mind I believe college football is only a profit center for the school.... Roll Tide!

View jumbojack's profile


1690 posts in 3396 days

#14 posted 12-14-2014 02:33 AM

Oh it is dowel-ed alright 4”- 3/4” dowel-s

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

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