Monday, December 6, 2010

Maker Monday: Reclaimed Wood Platform Bed - TSM Original Design

[Charles] I've wanted to document the construction of some of our furniture pieces for a while now and this platform bed has been a long time coming. I've been promising to build this one for way too long now and finally the confluence of time, the right sized wood, and inspiration came together a few weeks ago. Hopefully you'll get a kick out of the photos. It's a pretty simple piece but every piece teaches me something to look for the next time. I'm not kidding about the wood either - in Florida, reclaimed wood is hard to come by and often chewed up, bug ridden, too short, or just plain ugly. These wood pieces were cypress wood and they didn't look like much before sanding and oiling but after they were done - these were amazing.

This plan isn't much, but I can't say how important it is to have one. Especially if you are using reclaimed wood or even just need to plan with what you have to avoid making one more
trip to pick up materials. Take a few moments and sketch out something as well as you can.

This is the rough looking wood that I chose, basically based on the size of it and the fact that it was pretty solid. I also know how well this stuff cleans up after using it for a few things. You can also sort of see the large circular saw mill marks in these which can be country in the wrong setting but on this bed will contrast the modern simplicity nicely.

This photo shows the basic idea, as I mocked it up on its side. Basically I'll attach a plymood piece around the inside of the wood sides. This will support a plywood top for the bed. I decided to toss the box spring and just put the mattress on top. This will also have a center rib that spans across the bed which I'll make from leftover plywood pieces glued together.

If there's one thing I've learned with wood working - it's that you can't have too many clamps. It seems like I'm always using almost every stinking clamp in the place for even simple jobs. Wood glue does its job better under pressure so just suck it up and clamp away. This is when I glued the sides to the support pieces. After they were clamped, I countersunk some screws from the inside just for added strength.
Here's the beginning of the assembly in place. Because I think a good bed should be able to be broken down and moved, I made this with the idea of simple disassembly and assembly. I wanted to use hidden brackets, but I wasn't happy with what I had in the shop and just went for countersunk screws at the corners. I think it looks okay because they are really set in far, but I would like to improve this on future models. You can see the holes in the next few shots.

Since plywood comes in 4X8 sheets and beds are 5 feet wide, you get this. This is why the plan is important and I had decided to take advantage of this and actually set the wood to one side and add doors for hideaway storage. Try not to notice the stupid mess of wires behind the bed because this is an old house without a lot of plugs...

These door pieces were made much more awesome by the fact that they were from a painting that Amy did before and wasn't happy with. It had a mixture of tree and stenciled numbers in a bright green which makes for a nice surprise when you open the door. Notice how the doors both sit halfway on the rib across the bed. The larger piece of plywood is screwed down to the sides for added strength. I used simple hinges left over from some furniture I'd salvaged before on the doors and I drilled finger holes to use for pulling them open.

Here's the bed done, but unfortunately not made yet. I didn't want to hide the sides for the photo. Ignore the mattress tag - I'm still afraid to remove it. I shortened the custom floating shelves on the side also. The headboard is now a rusted steel pan that we had planned to make a table with, but it looks amazing on the back and is a great reminder of Amy's amazing talent!

After making this, I would shorten the length a little and do something different to hide the assembly better, but I love the way it looks. Our dog Baci is a fan too. It is about the height of a low bench so she can just hop right up and head to dreamland. Thanks for checking it out, and send me questions in the comments if you'd like more info...


  1. I LOVE this! So cool! You did an awesome job! We'll take one!!!

  2. Thanks Anna! I need to get a few more shots of it done to show off how beautiful this wood is, but I love the way it turned out. This one should go in the TSM catalog for sure...