Murphy Bed: A strange experience for someone who usually builds freestyle

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Project by Craftsman on the lake posted 04-09-2014 06:27 PM 2081 views 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

With the whole house remodel we lost two of the three bedrooms. This place, by the lake, is for my wife and myself. Kids are gone. By eliminating two bedrooms we drastically enlarged the living area. But….

It seems that the kids still like to come home and visit, not to mention other people visiting. Up to now they’ve used the couch and we have a couple of air mattresses. Plenty of floor space but only one bedroom. I decided that a murphy bed might be the thing to do. I ordered the deluxe kit from Rockler when it went on sale and built what you see here. It’s made of oak and oak plywood. Seems you have to use plywood. Anything else they won’t guarantee it will work or hold up. It says so specifically in the directions. I would have used cherry but after pricing the cost of cherry plywood at double that of oak ($119/sheet) and needing four sheets I decided that oak was good.

This was an interesting build in that I’d never done any woodworking from plans before. It was a weird experience. You follow directions and cut everything out piece by piece. In the end they’re supposed to fit together. And lo and behold they did. At one point I had cut pieces of plywood lined up against the wall that was supposed to fit together to make a bed. I usually design and build off the cuff, fitting as I go along. Following specific plans seemed like the build wasn’t mine. I was just the assembly person. Sort of like buying a kids bike for Christmas and putting it together. I was able to customize it a bit by finishing off the front any way I wanted. It’s hard to decide on how to finish off a big piece of plywood so I decided on a standard design I see a lot around on the net.

Anyway, all the hardware is heavy duty and all fit as described in the very complete set of directions and dvd. And the bed goes up and down easily even with our big, old 12” pillow top mattress in it.

For those who sleep in this bed, this is the view they wake up to in the morning.. I’m Craftsman on the Lake. This is the lake. Thanks for taking the time to view and read this. (btw, the tapestry in the center of the wall was photoshopped in… I don’t have one yet.)

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

4 comments so far

View grizzman's profile


7836 posts in 4186 days

#1 posted 04-09-2014 07:37 PM

beautiful bed great build , and what a beautiful view..ive always like the murphy bed, to bad you could not use solid wood, the cherry would have looked great. but i imagine the plywood will do better with no shrinkage…

-- GRIZZMAN ...[''''']

View Craftsman on the lake's profile

Craftsman on the lake

3519 posts in 4320 days

#2 posted 04-09-2014 08:01 PM

According to the directions Grizz, it said that even solid oak might not hold the tension of the pistons that move the bed up and down. So plywood or take your chances.

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

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 3915 days

#3 posted 04-10-2014 06:43 AM

Very Nice Work Indeed. Well Done. Thanks for Posting.


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View hotncold's profile


788 posts in 2427 days

#4 posted 04-11-2014 02:22 AM

Your kids and your guests will really appreciate this even if they know the work that went into it.
Great job!

-- Dennie - Tennessee

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