Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Chunky Bed Frame

I wanted a proper bed frame for our California king bed. It had been on a metal frame that was getting old, and was starting to dip on the sides where we sleep. So, while my husband was overseas for a few days for a wedding, I surprised him by building us a new bed frame. I almost replaced it with a new metal frame, but then I realized that I could build a nicer wooden one for about the same price in lumber, plus a little building work,which I enjoy anyway!

I found this frame design online, thanks to Ana White and Big Box Detox at www.ana-white.com
Isn't it beautiful?  So pretty and inspiring. I already had my recycled headboard, but I used the plans to build the rest of the bed frame, with a few modifications.

I used 2"x 6" pine to make the rectangle. The size is for a California king mattress, which is 72" x 85". It is 4 inches narrower, and 5 inches longer, than a king size bed--this comes in very handy for tall people (like my 6'3" husband!) I planned on having the box spring rest inside the frame for extra support and height, and having the mattress rest on top of the box springs. The dimensions of the frame are 74" wide by 88" long, to give a little extra room for the box spring, batting and fabric that I'd add later. 

I checked that the corners were square by measuring diagonally from corner to corner, and connected the pieces together with 3 screws at each corner, with 3" Spax brand screws.


 The Spax screws are amazing for wood working!  Let me tell you, I do not have a powerful drill, but the screws go right into the wood without splitting it, and I don't have to drill pilot holes anymore! They have a square and phillip's combo head, so you can use a phillip's drill bit or a square bit, which strip less and I also love working with. They're amazing! Here's a photo of the cases they come in:


(Scroll to the bottom of the post for a link to Spax screws on Amazon.)

After making the rectangle, it was time to put triangular braces into the 4 corners.  I used two 2" x 4" x 5" squares, cut in half. I screwed the triangles into the 4 corners, using two 2" Spax screws on each side (four per triangular brace), screwing from the outside of the frame in.  They are about 2" down from the top of the frame, so the box spring can rest down in the frame a bit.

Next, it was time to attach the legs. I decided to use 4" x 4" posts, because they're less expensive than 6 x 6 posts, and I wanted them extra tall, to give more storage space under the bed and a more regal appearance with the extra height. Plus, you can always cut it shorter! It's better to start taller and cut more off if necessary.  The legs here are 15" tall. I used my miter saw to cut them to the right length, then I cut off a corner diagonally because I liked the shape.  You could leave them square if you like. Then I flipped the frame over carefully and attached the legs to the bottom of the triangular bases.  I used small metal L-shaped brackets to attach them to the sides, as shown below, and after I flipped the frame right side up, I screwed down through the braces with a single 3" screw.

After the legs were attached, I worked on adding 2"x 2"support rails.  Below, you can see the 5"piece I added to the middle and bottom edge of each end of the bed, head and foot. I attached them with 2"screws.
On top of the supports, I screwed down a 2"x 4"x 88"of lumber.  On a narrower bed like a twin or full, this extra support wouldn't be necessary.


Then I added a brace of 2x2 lumber all around the perimeter of the frame, to support the mattress.


Spax screws are the best!  They are self-drilling, so no pilot holes needed!

Here's the frame!

Another close-up of the legs.


For added support along the center brace, I added another chunky leg.

A little spray paint on the legs.

I stapled batting around the frame...

...and cut up an old brown curtain that I was glad I had saved, into 4 strips. I used masking tape to help me cut it straight.

Finally, I stapled the curtain strips down onto the batting/frames.

It doesn't have to look pretty on the inside!

Tada!  Chunky, solid wood bed frame.  For about the same price in lumber as an ugly metal frame!  I think I spent about $75-$100 total.  Let me know what you think, or if you've tried this project!







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