I built a bed.
I was going to end the post there and just call it a day but Kerry said I had to write something more … like how I did it. Truth be told, building this bed was pretty easy. It’s not perfect, and there are a few little things I look at daily that I think I could’ve done better. But overall this is a really simple thing to do even if you don’t have a ton of fancy tools.
A bed frame is really simple. It’s a box with some supports. I’m not going to be able to tell you all the measurements I made, but basically the box I built is about the size of a king sized bed, and then the “platform” part sticks out a little farther than the bed (and box) on all four sides. So first step was building the four walls.
I used the Kreg jig to connect the sides to the front and back. To make sure it was nice and square, I also cut a 4 x 4 to the same height as the frame four times, and again used the Kreg jig to attach the four corner posts. This gives it a little more stability but also made sure the corners are nice and square. To these 4 x 4s I screwed in 2 x 4s that ran from the front to the back of the bed, on the inside of the frame. These would be supports for the slats that run horizontal across the bed, which are what support the mattress.
Next I added the “platform” part of the platform bed, which was just four pieces of wood that extended out past the box/frame. Each corner here is cut at a 45 degree angle so they should line up in a nice point. We decided to paint the platform part white for two reasons: 1) we didn’t want to over do it with the same wood stain that we tend to use on everything, so the white broke it up a bit, and 2) I didn’t cut the most perfect 45 degree angles on those corners, so there were a few gaps when we put everything together. But with white wood, a little caulk hides a lot of mistakes! Also during this stage, I started installing my two additional slat supports. They, again, run front to back. I drilled them up into the bottoms of the white part, just to hold them in place for now, but they need more support.
Underneath all the support 2 x 4s, I screwed in more 2 x 4s standing up as supports. I did two on each of the middle ones, and one on each end (partially due to running out of available 2 x 4s to cut — but also because the ones on the end are screwed into the 4 x 4s). Joey was very interested and very helpful at this stage. Her octopus, which actually only has 6 legs and confuses me, kept a watchful eye as I did my drilling.
(Side note, in the picture above you’ll see two “drills.” I didn’t really know what the difference was for a while so I am going to just explain it here, in case you’re in the same boat. If you know why there are two: feel free to skip to the next picture. If not, here you go. One of the “drills” above is a drill. You put different sized drill bits in it, it’s got variable speeds and you drill holes with it. Normal old drill. The other one — the one I’m using in the picture — is called an impact driver. This serves one purpose: screwing screws in. You can’t put drill bits in it. It’s like a super-powered screwdriver. While it’s spinning, it’s also putting pressure where you’re screwing, pushing the screw in. Can’t you just put the little screwdriver thing into the drill and use that? Yes, you can, but an impact driver is quicker and takes a lot less effort. If you see a good-reviewed combo set ever, I would say it’s worth it. We like our Ryobi.)
After I felt like all the supports were sturdy, I put all the slats on the bed. At first I was just going to put them down and leave it at that, but I realized that putting the bed on might move them around considerably, so I decided to screw each slat in at the ends. It was kind of annoying and time consuming but I think it was the right decision. I’ll really regret it when it’s time to take this bed apart. I guess we’re never moving.
With that, the bed frame is done. All that is needed is putting a bed on top, which is always harder than it looks. But only because beds are heavier than you think they should be. I always think I can move a bed on my own and then there is a moment of panic while I’m balancing the bed in some precarious position and yelling, “KERRY! I NEED HELP!” So that happened. But once she came to my rescue, we got the bed on, got it made, and we’re as happy as can be.