As a very novice DIY person I want to build a very simple platform bed,
and am struggling to find any advice online for something so simple.
My ultimate aim is to have a frame with four chunky, square legs
(around 15cm square). Mounted on these would be the 4 pieces of the
outer frame (2 running length, 2 running width).
So to my questions: in order to support a king size mattress, is any
wood suitable (strong enough) to simply lay on this outer frame, or
would slats be more appropriate. If so, would be it ok just to fix
these to the top of the outer frame, and what thickness wood should I
use? Should I consider anything running down the middle of the bed
(length or width) in order to add extra support to the slats?
Onto a more technical question, what joints should I use to fix the
frame onto the legs, the front and side frame timbers together, and
mounting the slats on or to the side of the frame?
Ideally the final construction would be easy to disassemble (for
removal) and also not creak at all
I made a queen size mission style bed and used pine as the slats to support
the mattress it is pleanty strong enoug because you have to run a accross
and yet on king usually 2 down from head board to foot board to support the
slats. I used to deliver furntiure and but alot of them together and used
their design to make the bed I have made. I hope that helps.
Take a look at this drawing. This is for the bed I sleep on every
night. No racking or creaking and it requires no tools to assemble or
On to your questions:
Slats would be appropriate, especially with a king size. Our bed is a
queen and it has slats. The slats are linked together with a couple of
long webbing straps (dark gray in the drawing). The end slats have
holes drilled so they slip over dowels in the legs. The webbing ensures
the slats remain evenly spaced. It also keeps the slats together when
transporting the bed--you just roll them up and go.
I've seen other bed designs that entail pins for every slat. That seems
like a big PIA to me from both during construction as well as during
Next, yes, you should run a support from head to foot down the middle
and it should have at least one leg in the center of that support rail.
Our queen has that although I didn't show it. The center rail is shaped
like an upsidedown tee and the slats sit in the rabbet. The slats, then
are slightly less than half the width of the bed.
Hope that and the drawing give you some ideas.
On 21 Jan 2005 10:14:40 -0800, the inscrutable "abaker"
Hmmm most platform beds that I've seen don't -have- legs, just a
platform and base. Try www.Google.com with the query "platform bed
plans" or "platform bed construction". It'll give you some ideas.
The simplest platform bed I've seen consisted of a rectangular set
of plywood boards with 2x2 cleats to make the base, a pair of longer
boards with slots for the center support X in the base, and a large
sheet of plywood for the platform top. Who needs plans?
Another heads-up: most queen and king matresses are sold as pairs, a
mattress with foundation box spring. You might want to source a
separate mattress before proceeding with the base.
Yea, though I walk through the valley of Minwax, I shall stain no Cherry.
I made a platform bed of which I am rather proud. Had been conjuring it up
for many years. It looks like it is floating, as the legs are inset about
12" all around. Also, it is built a bit high so that I can fall out of bed
and right onto my feet. I don't have any photos available. But, some
relevant points, perhaps:
- The bed is king-sized. Mattress only.
- I used 3/4" ply as the platform. There are two sheets. I left a slight
gap between them so that any (even slight) movement would not cause a
squeak. (Past experience.) If I had used a wood edging (see below) I would
have also used biscuits (even if dry) and would not have left the gap.
- There are two (basically) 2x4s on their side running the length of the
bed about 12" in from the sides and from the head to about 12" in from the
- There are 3 2x4's running at the head, about mid-way (where two sheets of
ply meet), and about 12" in from the foot.
- The platform extends about 12" beyond the end of the mattress to create a
- Legs are 2x8s with 3.5" wide, about 1/2" deep rabbets to match up with
the 2x4s of the "frame".
- I made the bed before I had my current collection of tools (e.g., biscuit
joiner, TS, kreg jig), so I finished the exposed areas with cloth over
padding. The bench has about 1" foam and for the edges all around I used
foam pipe insulation. Some manly fabric and a staple gun gave it a
tailored look, IMO. (No "H".) The bed frame structure is solid and while
there is some give in the ply because of the inset frame (i.e., where it
hangs over), the give is as I had expected -- gentle. (I weigh >200lb.)
If nothing else, no more stubbed toes! HTH. -- Igor
The current issue of Fine Woodworking has an excellent article about
bed construction. For a king size bed they recommend a cross member
with a center leg. There are a variety of ways to join the rails into
the posts. but they should be some kind of easy knock down joint.
I built a simple platform for our king size bed using 2x4's, 4x4's for the
legs, and a couple of sheets of 5/8" particle board.
I made my frame smaller than the mattress so it provides a "toe kick" of
sorts. This keeps me from stubbing my toes on the corner posts.
The frame itself is a simple box of 2x4's, setting on edge, and screwed
together with 3" deck screws. I added a 2x4 lengthwise down the middle for
a little extra support.
I made the legs out of 4x4's and cut rabbets in the top so the frame would
be supported by the legs and not by the fasteners. I put one in each
corner, one in the middle of each side, and one right in the middle of
the bed under the center rail.
I just used 3/8" bolts, washers, and nuts to hold everything together. Not
exactly an appearance item, but because the frame is inset from the
mattress, you really can't see the frame anyway.
I then screwed the particle board to the frame, and set the mattress on
top. Very sturdy, and no squeaks in more than 10 years.
When I need to move the platform, I just unscrew the particle board top and
carry the whole frame as a unit. Easy enough...
If you don't need the space under the bed, you could just build a simple
plywood box or two that set right on the floor.
My build was simple, using 6x1 sides/ends with 3x1 re-enforcements to
carry the slats and spine, flat 6x1 with 2x2 for the centre spine, legs
attached one to each side and end, slats 4x1 dowelled to locate and hold
the frame together. No tools to disassemble, no metal in the frame, all
legs 4x4, inc the centre "king" (or humping) post.
12 years, 2 dogs, 2 kids and its still quiet and stable!
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