Murphy Bed Mechanism, Homemade

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Project by bushmaster posted 03-05-2014 09:58 PM 12169 views 32 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Hope this project will help some who is thinking of building a Murphy bed.I designed and built this project with the help of my son-in-law while we where visiting them for Christmas a year ago. They needed another bed in the play room for visiting family but did not have the funds for a complete unit or any unit at all. We looked at kits and they where costly. The one that I looked at that I thought I could build was Next Bed. The cost there is 650 dollars, shipping to Canada would make the cost much higher. The principle of this bed is quite simple, bed swings on two posts, springs attach to base and base screws to plate in wall. If you look at their web site you will see what I mean. Since I did not have access to the springs they where using I came up with this idea using spings from the hardware store and cable and pulley arrangement. We first tried 4 springs but had to go to the six. The complete base and bed was made from 2 by 4’s and 2 by 6’s, slats 1 by 4’s. The legs automatically swing down. The improvised unit works quite well and easily stores a regular queen size matress.
The cabinet is independent of the force of the bed. It was made from painters grade clear plywood, double deep bookshelves that swing out on each side. There are double bifold type doors that enclose the bed when it is up. They do not appear to be on, in these pictures. The complete cost for this project was I think 4 to 500 dollars, mainly for the cost of plywood etc. for the cabinet, I think dad may have reduced that cost for them too, after all it was Christmas.
Thanks for looking, comment are welcome, and will answer any questions.

I have some short video’s on my computer and my son in law made a video of the construction, may be this could be put on utube or if could be copied to a camera chip I could mail it to someone that was very interested. Just found the finished photo’s, sorry they where not on at the beginning.

-- Brian - Hazelton, British Columbia

14 comments so far

View mafe's profile


12592 posts in 3869 days

#1 posted 03-05-2014 10:06 PM

Dam clever!
Thank you.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View Tommy's profile


62 posts in 2360 days

#2 posted 03-05-2014 10:31 PM

Great idea! I’m sure this will come in handy.

-- Tommy

View Oldtool's profile


2961 posts in 2970 days

#3 posted 03-06-2014 01:35 AM

Really slick! Great design and build. This makes you a No. 1 Father in law.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View Cruiszr's profile


88 posts in 2372 days

#4 posted 03-06-2014 02:11 AM

Nice design and money saver. Would like to see more photos in the up position and how the feet work if you have them. Thanks

-- George R. Forest, Virginia

View tjdv's profile


66 posts in 3472 days

#5 posted 03-06-2014 02:51 AM

Nicely done in both the engineering and carpentry.

-- At least in the Navy no one ever told me to put the seat down.....

View CharlesS's profile


17 posts in 2367 days

#6 posted 03-06-2014 07:00 AM

Hi Brian,
I’ve been eyeballing those Murphy Bed kits also but Having them sent to Germany is probably like shipping to Canada. This is a great idea that I would like to copy (plagiarism is the sincerest form of flattery ;) ). I’m +1 with George (Cruiszr). I would like more detail fotos (not only the feet but the tip mechanism and counterbalance).
Thanks for sharing this great idea!
Greetz from Germany,

-- Greetz from Germany, Charles - Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool!! {borrowed from BRKH;)}

View Ken90712's profile


17877 posts in 3968 days

#7 posted 03-06-2014 09:11 AM

Wow this is cleaver…. Great idea….. Nice savings! $$$$$

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3345 posts in 4217 days

#8 posted 03-06-2014 02:01 PM

I’ve never seen this method. The murphy bed kits I’ve seen and used have gas pistons. Sort of like the ones that lift the hatch on suv’s. The cost of that type here in the US is about $250-$300

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3850 days

#9 posted 03-06-2014 10:18 PM

I’ve been wanting to build a murphy bed for the spare bedroom/office but every time I look at the hardware in those $300+ kits from Rockler, I start wondering if I can piece together my own hardware kit for $50 or less. What do you figure your hardware cost was?

It would be awesome to see a video of your springs and the swing-down legs in action.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View VidorFlash's profile


2 posts in 2134 days

#10 posted 09-23-2014 03:51 PM

That is really neat. I wonder about the life of the springs, but probably superior to gas pistons. I wish you could post some video.

-- You are only as good as the people you rely on.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

24809 posts in 3885 days

#11 posted 10-18-2015 02:07 AM

Very ingenious design. You are a very good engineer to build the bed like that. I like slick designs such as this!!


-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View remember's profile


1 post in 1671 days

#12 posted 12-17-2015 02:21 PM

can you please send me a vid [email protected]

View Pacificodk's profile


1 post in 1996 days

#13 posted 12-17-2015 03:48 PM

I second that. Would be great to see a video of this contraption in action

View macosta's profile


1 post in 1753 days

#14 posted 12-17-2015 03:54 PM

I second that to.Would be great to see a vĂ­deo. Can You post it?

Thank You in advance.

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