The bed project

About 11 years ago I was sleeping on a cheap wood framed single bed until one of the bed frames broke. It had a weak spot at a knot and it split diagonally at that knot which meant a replacement was needed.

I decided that I would build a replacement bed which would be stronger and taller than the old one, and have a double mattress on it.

Back then, I made some design changes that I thought would work well, such as using lock together fittings that would make sure the legs would be assembled to the frame in parts so I could build it outside the room and assemble it in the room when done. Unfortunately, making each leg independent meant the legs dropped off each time a piece was assembled.

In the end, I used thin metal brackets to lock the legs in place. Additionally I used wooden floorboards for the head and foot boards as well as to support the mattress. Unfortunately, this also created a problem that the bed frame would rock from side to side slightly and the headboard would bash the window sill when climbing into bed. The side to side rocking was solved by wedging my desk against the bed.

Under bed storage

Since I built the bed frame with 600cm of clearance underneath, it made under bed storage much easier and in the early days, the single mattress was stored under my bed.

We were fostering at the time, and our foster child used to play under the bed, and there was plenty of space for him to lie on the mattress under my bed, like it was an oversized bunk bed.

2020 Lockdown

During the 2020 lockdown it was obvious that I would need to upgrade my bed to cope with the changing needs I had, first by moving the desk to a different position and later adapting the bed for a green screen.

Unfortunately, the discovery that one of the headboard uprights, in fact the only piece of wood I didn’t buy on the bed had a case of woodworm and that meant I had the opportunity to make some much needed upgrades.

Metal framework

I bought a welder and initially started to build the bed frame in metal, which would have made everything easier to assemble and become something I could adapt easier, unfortunately I bought the wrong welder and realised that I don’t have skills in that area, so I gave up with that idea and re-used the metal in a different project.

New headboard and footboard

After replacing the uprights with new wood, I used brackets I bought for the metal frame to make a secure headboard that served a dual purpose, it also prevented the side to side wobble of the bed frame.

Initially, the plan was to use a rail on the footboard to hang clothes that I would use during the week, and keep the rest of the clothes in the wardrobe, but lockdown had other ideas.

I installed a folding desk that would support the computers used for Zoom as well as a projector screen for watching movies at night while in bed.

Above the headboard I installed a shelf for the projector where I could store everything I might need at easy reach.

Stronger brackets

I replaced the thin brackets with reinforced brackets that meant there wasn’t any rocking action front to back either.

Conclusion

There are some things I would change if I had to build the bed from scratch and that would probably include using dovetail joints for the head and footboards because that would have prevented the frame from rocking from side to side. The use of oak dowels and hidden bolts in the sides would have held the sides in place and prevented rocking front to back too.

You never know what way life will go next, so having the ability to adapt to the changes. Maybe make the clearance underneath lower would make it easier for some people to get into the bed without a stepladder, but I’m tall.