But as a woodworker building one gives a much nicer and lasting product.
I made the futon in wood magazine for my computer room. I converted a
bedroom to my computer room and needed to be able to use it as a guest room
when needed. Look at these plans downloadable for a few dollars from Wood
Magazine. It requires no special hardware..
I thought by mentioning the Rockler and Woodmall plans, that my desired
product was fairly clear.
A piece of furniture that can be used as a couch/chair and fold down in to a
bed. Much like the aforementioned woodworking plans illustrate.
Just in case my house burns down and I lose all my woodworking tools, I'll
keep the floor idea in mind. Until then, I'll continue with my plan build a
multi-purpose piece of fine furniture.
Any other fellow woodworkers had any futon building experiences to share?
You're talking about a futon frame, not a futon. The futone is the
Here's one from a quick Google Search
<http://www.google.com/search?q=futon+frame+plan , only $10.
The plans are incorrect in their nomenclature. A futon is a mattress.
You can put it on any variety of pieces of furniture including chairs,
sofas, bedframes etc. The furniture is still a chair, sofa or bedframe.
The futon is still a mattress.
: Any other fellow woodworkers had any futon building experiences to share?
Yes. Designed and built one for my then-girlfriend (now SWMBO) in
college. She used it for a couple of years in college, it was our
sofa for a while in an apartment, and now (with new mattress) it
serves as a guest bed. Ten plus years and no problems yet.
Mine is not what I'd call fine furniture, but it was nicer than what
the futon stores were pushing. Instead of legs & a frame, it uses
three crosswise members about 10" tall, with lengthwise slats. The
crosswise members are each in 2 pieces which overlap, pivoting around
simple bolts. To hold the back upright, large diameter dowels are
inserted into holes. On my then-college-student budget, this was
built with (carefully chosen) 2x lumber - the cross members are 2x10's
and the slats 2x3's, planed down a bit, and then sanded and rounded
over. Considering that, it's held up well - no significant
twist/warp/check problems and it still looks OK.
- Rock solid & sturdy.
- Was quick to build.
- Folds up & down easily.
- No special hardware.
- I got the back angle wrong - it's a little too upright to be really
comfortable in 'sofa' mode. This would be easy to fix.
- When in 'sofa' mode the futon mattress has a tendency to slide down
& off. We used to work around this by running a long piece of nylon
webbing around it to "tie" it to the frame, but that wasn't a great
solution. I would imagine this to be a problem with other designs as
- It's a bit low to the floor. Fine for sleeping, not great for
As you can see, all the problems are with the sofa aspect. As a
platform bed it works great.
If you're interested in more details send me email. I can take pics
of the design, and I even still have the plans.
Brett B. Bonner This planet needs a lot more kids who think
email@example.com taking the lawnmower's engine apart is *way*
Would you mind posting the pictures of the futon and even the plans for it
if you have them to ABPF. Or else/also send the picture to me and the plans
if you have then. I am going to need to make one soon and the information
would help with what I come up with.
My sister-in-law owned a futon and I had visions of making one based on
hers. There's nothing significantly difficult in the construction, but
there are dados cut in the sides for the pieces to travel in. Very
important that the geometry be correct. "I" would have a very hard time
winging this. Had I proceeded in making one, I definetly would have made a
1:1 template of the dados from hers.
I had some difficulty in finding the hardware necessary also. Later I found
a company that offered plans/hardware, but by then I gave up on the idea.
Good luck on your project. If you have success, share your info. I may yet
again get the hankering to build one...
I built a frame out of 1/2" plywood and 2X6s. It sits about 5 feet off
the ground and I can store things underneath. The problems are that it
creaks when I roll over and sometimes I get scratches from the
unfinished edges. Being off the ground like that its also a little hot
in the summer. It holds a double size futton so there is a lot of
storage space down there; I keep two dressers, all my shoes and about 15
boxes of stuff, like pictures, that I don't want to store in the hot attic.
Several bed frames, some for futons, some not.
To avoid creaking, make a rigid frame. Then place the slats on top but
_don't_ fasten them rigidly.
The frame gets a lot of racking stress, even worse than a chair. So
don't rely on M&T joints alone. Use drawbolts (good for demountables)
or tusked tenons.
For slats on a typical bedframe, I use cheap softwood floorboards
(picked over to avoid big knots), ripped in half. 4" x 3/4". For a
futon with visible slats, then you might want better timber. Ash is
To attach them, I simply lay them on top of pins in the frame. These
pins are just rods, or cut-down thick nails, nailed into the frame. A
loosely drilled hole in the slat locates them. For a futon, use a
screw and washer from above, into a jig-routed counterbored slot, so
as to hold the slat down if the bed is lifted up.
As to the overall frame design, then just look at what's available and
make something like that. There are lots of variants, and it isn't
do it again, I would not use the slot mortice in the rails. Instead, I
would use real mortice and tenon joints. However, it would be easy to
modify this set of plans to do exactly that, and the piece turned out quite
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