[Maker’s Note] First Time Bed Frame DIY

by Yun-Han Lin

It has been ten months since we moved our studio. For all this time, we have only a wooden board under the mattress for our bed. Although we have had our drawing for the bed frame for a long time, we were able to start working on it, due to our weekly post update, on the one hand; on the other, we feared that it could not have been completed within a week. Recently, the weekly post update is on pause, so we had the luxury of two weeks for our bed frame design!

Two types of bed frames:

1. The first type is the one with slat support (the first picture), where wooden slats are built on the bottom. The advantage is that it is permeable, which can prevent mold due to humidity. The price is also more affordable. The disadvantage is that it may not be suitable for pocket spring mattresses, because some spring strings may sag without the support at the bottom.

2. The second type is the one with a full bunkie board (the second picture), while some are slats patched together. The advantage is that it is stylish and there is full support for mattresses with pocket spring. The disadvantage is that it comes in higher price, for it takes more material to build one. Even if it can be disassembled when moving, the whole board is large and heavy, which makes it hard to carry.

Our design

Our mattress comes with pocket spring, so there needed to be a full board. We have only watched one or two videos for production, and the designs in the video were built using leftover bits and pieces. It was different from the materials we usually use, and the pieces were out of stock. Therefore, we simply built one using 18 mm plywood. Our mattress is queen size for two and it comes in 182 x 212 x 28 cm. Since it is 28-cm thick, we set the height of the bed frame at about 15 cm. In this way, our robot vacuum can go under the bed, and we can hop the bed easily. We tried to set the size of the frame according to the mattress, or we might bump into it, should the sides stick out from the frame.

For the whole structure, we used the design for furniture legs that we have frequently used in recent months. The legs are 3 plywood pieces stacked together in a square that is cut across the angle. For fixture, we used bridle joints made using wood glue and staple gun. Four square shape designs were built and evenly placed in the top, middle, and bottom over the entire frame surface, and then we put in 3 wood slats for support, followed by a whole piece of wooden board to seal the top. For the four angles and sides of the frame, we rounded them with a huge corner router so that it will not hurt as much, in case we bump into the corners by accident.

Video for our production:

Shortcomings we noticed along production:

1. The square-shaped legs: the bed frame is quite short, yet there needed to be certain height reserved for the robot vacuum to go in, so the legs are only 5 cm high, which makes the whole structure a bit fragile. It bent when we put simply a bit weight on it. Although the whole piece of boards strengthened the structure, but I still added a few more slats for support right away, for fear that whole frame can fall apart.

2. There were two whole pieces of boards because it was huge in one piece, but the square-shaped legs beneath them were evenly distributed. Except for the three slats, there was no direct support at the part where the two wooden boards meet. As a result, four more slats were added to strengthen the structure.

3. We had no exact measurements fo the square-shape legs, as we just stacked up the wood pieces and fix them together, so the surface was smoothed using sandpaper and planer knife. Yet, the top surface was not smoothed, making it a bit tricky when we tried to smooth it later with a rounding machine. Next time, if we try similar structures again, we will make sure to adjust the design to have more accurate specs!

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