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Old 03-20-2006, 10:06 AM   #1
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Choosing hardwood

Hi folks, nice forum.

I am wondering if anyone could give me a little advice. I am looking to buy a small amount of hardwood to be a square frame around a king size matress.

I'm not rich or anything close, so cost is important, the look is not as it will be painted. I just need something that is very strong, and moderately priced. Can anyone recommend some woods that might suit my needs? I have never ordered wood before soI dontknow where to start,

Thanks in advance.


Last edited by Greencow_555; 03-20-2006 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 03-20-2006, 11:03 AM   #2
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You can go with whatever kind of wood you want, even waterbed frames are usually just made of white pine, so it isn't essential to use a more expensive hardwood. HTH


All you need is ignorance and confidence and success is assured. - Mark Twain
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Old 03-21-2006, 10:24 AM   #3
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thanks for the reply. That eases things abit. My problem now is that I don't have enough knowledge about wood to decide what I want... Can anyone point me in the direction of somewhere I might find some info about wood cos google isn't helping me, or I am short on specific key words...

I look at lists of types of hardwoods but it may as well be foreign, I don't know what is harder, softer, cheaper or what?

Is there some nice standard relatively cheap wood that is just a common type?


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Old 03-21-2006, 02:07 PM   #4
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Do a google search for "Types of Wood" and the top 3 results will give you good info. Fast growing trees (softwood) tend to be least expensive because you can harvest more board feet in a shorter amount of time.
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Old 03-21-2006, 06:08 PM   #5
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I've got a bed similiar to what you're describing, and I just used construction lumber. That is pretty much the cheapest type of lumber you are going to find at a lumber yard/big box place. It is the basic lumber used in construction, i.e. framing walls and roofs. I built a square base out of 2x10 boards and reinforced the middle area with a large 2x10 X member that runs across the square from each corner. Picture an X in a box. On top of this, I screwed 1/2" particle board for the main platform. So far so good; the bedframe is about 3 years old and has survived 3 moves.
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Old 03-23-2006, 10:37 PM   #6
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Housedoc gave good advice WHITE PINE. That is what some nice looking fences are made out of.
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Old 03-29-2006, 05:33 AM   #7
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I built a couple beds for $30 in materials. I used ledger boards for the band (the perimeter of the bed) and a single 8' douglas fir 4x4 for the posts. Also a couple of 2x3's for the slat-ledger and then whatever you have available for the slats themselves.

Ledger boards are available in the box stores for maybe $8 = they are green wood - undried - and unplaned so they look furry. They're basically a green unplaned 1x8 pine board. But that's fine for me. It looks great and dried out on its own in a few months. But it's *not* good for painting. I suppose you could stain it if you wanted.

I countersunk and screwed the ledger board to the posts with some 2" decking screws. Then cut and fastened the 2x3's to the inside of the length-wise ledger board cross-beams, a couple of inches down from the top.

Then lay in enough slat material cut to the correct length on top of the 2x3's and voila - a bed for $30 or so.

(You could use 2x lumber for slats or 1x stock - whatever you have in scraps. Or you could buy some for it.)

I made one bed a little longer put a 6 inch wide board across the head for a little head-table for reading lamp, books, glass of water, whatever.

If you're dead-set on painting it, I guess you might want to buy poplar for the banding material. I'd want something 6/4 (six quarter, or 1 1/2 inches) though I know from the ledger boards that 1 inch nominal (3/4 actual when planed) works fine.

Poplar is cheap among hardwoods and it's a great wood for paint-grade work. Available at the box stores too. Buy it 8 inches wide minimum, as that's what you'll need structurally for the long members.

Hope that helps you get more into wood.

---- edit:

I realize I didn't mention how I did the posts. Simply cut it to whatever height you want the bed - I think I went with 18 inches. Then fasten the ledger boards to it with the post sunk down a couple inches from the tops of the ledger boards. This is so the post doesn't interfere with the box spring or matress - in other words it should be at the same height or lower than the slats.


Last edited by karma_carpentry; 03-29-2006 at 05:36 AM.
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