Maple Bed Frame

20 December 2010

Here's an early woodworking project of mine, where I reused the perfectly fine slats of an otherwise decrepit bedframe bought on Craigslist. Because of my minuscule bedroom at the time, it was difficult to fit a queen size bed, so I decided to build a frame that would minimize the footprint by being completely concealed under the mattress.

To my surprise, it has served me well and survived the last three years.

Everything was done at the Hobby Shop at MIT. Many thanks to Ken, Hayami and Brian for their help. Here's my original design. I wanted a simple, all-wood (no fastener) construction, easy to take apart and put back together.

Hayami helped me change the design slightly to make it more sturdy easier to build, while still responding to my criteria. To strengthen the build, the joints were brought inwards by changing them from end laps to cross laps, and the pins holding the feet to the frame were lengthened and made traverse the whole thickness of the joint.

I bought the lumber at a local yard, and Ken helped me make the most out of it, avoiding knots, choosing where to get the different boards from. After jointing, planing, sawing and sanding, the final board dimensions were around 1.5"x2.5" for the main boards, and 1.5"x1.5" for the feet. Great for a sturdy bed !

Brian showed me how to make the joints, and especially correct for the inaccuracies in the initial cuts using a chisel. It wasn't the easiest to make the three pieces fit nicely at every corner, but things came out pretty well. Not that we get to see the woodwork very often, since it's completely concealed under the mattress.

Finally, dowels were used to hold the slats into place, by drilling holes in the slats at the right locations. Here's what the frame looks like, with and without the slats.