DIY Barn Door Headboard: Day 5

The countdown is on for the headboard. We’re in the homestretch now. After we cut off the bottom and sanded everything we needed to sand (multiple times), we came across one major dilemma: how are we going to attach this to the bed? That’s when “aspiring carpenter Andy” put on his work pants, plugged in the power tools, and came up with some ideas.

Our first step was to stabilize the whole thing. The door, as we’ve said, is really heavy, and the support in the middle is not at it’s strongest. When you pick up the door, it wobbles in the middle. So my first plan of attack was to prevent that from happening. I figured the best way to do this was to put a large support beam across the back.

After stopping at Home Depot to pick up some 2x4s, I had to cut them down to size. I wanted the crossbeam to be wide enough to provide support, but short enough that, if you look at the headboard from an angle, you still won’t see the 2×4. This was the first time I was able to use the miter saw that I recently acquired from my dad (thanks dad!)

First time on miter sawAfter the support beam (and other boards) were cut down to size, it was time to screw the 2×4 into the back of the door. I had done some incredibly complicated calculations while at Home Depot, and figured that my door was 2 inches, and the 2×4 was 2 inches, totaling 4 inches. I bought 3.5″ screws, thinking it would secure deep into the door, but not far enough to risk poking through.

Here’s a pro-tip for you: 2x4s aren’t actually 2 inches by 4 inches (as I’ve recently learned). They’re actually 1.5 inches by 3.5 inches. So the screws I had were the exact same length as what I was drilling through — door (2 inches) + “2×4” (1.5 inches) = 3.5 inches. I didn’t want to risk the screw poking through, so I went back to Home Depot to buy 3 inch screws.

The next step was relatively easy. Lots of measuring (with bright orange soccer ball measuring tape) to make sure the board was straight and centered. Then it was all about drilling pilot holes and screwing the back board on. In the end, I most likely over did it on the number of screws, but I figured it can’t hurt. It can’t, right?

Installing a crossbeam on headboard


Installing a crossbeam on a headboard

Next step was getting it upstairs. I had to finish the frame, which meant putting some support legs (made of my “2x4s”) on the back of the door. These were perpendicular to the support beam, and I had the support beam sit on top of them, so the door would sort of be sitting on these legs, and also screwed into them. With the help of my friend Bill, we got the door upstairs, and then I pretty much repeated the last process. I put three legs on the door: one in the middle (to add even more anti-wobble support) and one on each side. Pilot hole, drill (or hand screw when your drill battery dies) and the legs are on.

Installing the legs on a headboard

Stay tuned for our next update when … the Barn Door Headboard is done?! Follow the updates here.

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