Re: Ever Built a Futon?

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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.. http://woodstore.woodmall.com/fantasticfuton.html

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you guys are always trying to save a buck.

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If you want a real futon. No problem. Foam pad, cloth cover. Lay on floor, sleep on it.

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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?
Rick

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You're talking about a futon frame, not a futon. The futone is the mattress pad.
Here's one from a quick Google Search <http://www.google.com/search?q=futon+frame+plan , only $10. <http://www.u-bild.com/projects-indoor/809.htm
djb
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On Sun, 17 Aug 2003 19:45:44 -0500, "Rick"

I was confused and gave up at the woodmall link since they list a "futon table" which neither reclines into a bed nor includes a pad. "Futon" has lost all meaning. Is "life" far behind?
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:)
wrote:

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Another one for the KILL file.... BYE

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Fine me, fool.

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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.
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FF

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Correct.

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: 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.
The good: - Rock solid & sturdy. - Was quick to build. - Folds up & down easily. - No special hardware.
The problems: - 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 well. - It's a bit low to the floor. Fine for sleeping, not great for sofa-ing.
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
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Bret 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. thanks C Cole

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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...
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nope cotton batten. roll it up after use. the problem is futons don't really work in the american home as they wear out too fast.
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Been to Japan lately? They've gone to foam. Might be able to find better but that is most common. Slept on one for years.
wrote:

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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.
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That's alot like mine. I have 250 bf of cedar stacked underneath it.
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On Sun, 17 Aug 2003 14:15:30 -0500, "Rick"

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 good.
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 rocket science.
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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 nice.
Cheers, Eric
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