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suggestions for bed hardware

1241 Views 7 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  MichaelMDillon

I'm looking at building a wooden bed frame. What fasteners etc do y'all think will be good?

Size is Eastern King. I already have a thick pillow-top mattress sitting on double (side-by-side) 6" tall foundations. I want to raise this up off the floor, finally, and get 7" of clearance under the frame for bed storage boxes.

Yes, I know the bed will be up kinda high. We like it that way.

I have a CAD design using some doug fir 2x4 joists attached to fir 2x4 side rails. There will be three 1x12 hardwood boards making a skirt/rail around the outside (sides and foot), flush with the bottom of the frame and sticking up. So not only the twin foundations I already have are held in place, but also this skirt gives enough lip to encourage the mattress to stay in place as well.

There are 10.5" tall legs attached to the inside of the corners, top flush with this 2x4 frame. We want the legs inset from the corners instead of like a normal bed post, to save stubbing our toes. I'm thinking of using a couple of pieces of 2x4 attached at a right angle, then cut to make a triangle footprint (see the diagram). This is so that I can clad the legs with the falloff bits from the 8-foot-long 1 x 12 hardwood boards, so the color and/or stain of the legs matches the skirt. I don't have enough falloff if the legs are a rectangular profile, but with this triangle idea, I only need two 5.5" x 7" bits and one 6" x 7" bit for each leg.

Oh and also I have six 10.5" tall 2x4 legs holding up the middle of the middle joists as well. Overkill, or just enough?

I already have a separate headboard, and it will be attached to the wall, like in a hotel. Because reasons.


Take a look at the diagrams. My questions, if y'all have ideas:

How should I attach this stuff together? What size screws/bolts? Placed where? Should I do the corners of the frame differently? Should I use the salvaged and good-condition deck joist hangers I happen already to have?

What is a good way to make this frame dis-assemblable for moving house? I'm not ready to move anytime soon, but I'm thinking ahead.

Any carpentry load-knowledge comments are helpful.
Thanks. :D


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You may wish to check out Lee Valley Tools. In Hardware, look up Bed Hardware. Might be useful.
The frame seems substantial enough. How do you plan to joint the side and end skirting? A pocket hole jig might work.
Normal construction-grade softwood (spruce-pine-fir) isn't really dry and straight enough for furniture building although, having said that, I've not worked with Douglas Fir.
Since the skirting will hide the frame, you could join the cross pieces with angle brackets and countersunk bolts, or mortise-and-tenon joints. I wouldn't use construction joist hangers.

Edit to Add: Most box springs have radiused corners. You should have room to consider 1x1 gussets glued and screwed to hold the skirting together.

For queen size, I made the frames without the solid lumber. With oak plywood, 3/4", for outer layer, 3 layer frames and capped the cut edges with oak 1x. I made them 10" wide. Higher headboard. Legs were pieces of ply cut long and short and attached to the end board or the headboard. Then 5/4 ledgers, 3 2x4 mid supports and 3/4 ply in 2 pieces to support the mattress. 2x4 sagged a little but I would turn them over now and then. The whole frame was too heavy even for me, even to push it to side a little for things that drop. I think 2 layers would have been enough. Your design looks good but make sure the side board doesn't come up too much over the mattress. Sheet changing becomes difficult.

I cut the 1x edge caps hair wider, belt sand smooth. Also not nailing too close to the edge so I can route the edges round. I remembered cheap frames with formica edges that would scrape the hands while changing sheets.

For legs, angle cuts look good but leave inside parts square for more meat. Or may want to skip the legs like them. Mattress can't go around them so waste of space. I would put the legs outside. Somebody is going to stub their toes, no matter what. Round the edges and lot less pain.
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I made my own bed frame, using nice framing lumber and oak trims. All fasteners concealed.
Beats any commercial frame out there.
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Thanks for all the input! :D

FYI, I'm thinking this now:

I'll use hook/stud bed brackets to attach the side rails and head/foot rails to the legs. I want the leg attachment to be solid but come apart for moving. I'll change the legs so the top edges are right angles to hold the brackets. I may make the bottoms of the legs triangular to fit inside the amount of hardwood scrap I'll have... or I might just keep the bottom squared too, and buy just a little more hardwood. :p

The 1 x 12 skirt can be held to the 2 x 4 frame with screws and also with some 3/4" metal corner braces. I can fit a 1 x 1 triangular gusset to hold the inner corners of the skirt together, and/or some metal corner braces also. The skirt will only overlap the bottom edge of the mattress by 2" which is just enough.

Oh, and for attaching the 3 center joists that hold up the foundation boxes, I think I'll use my Krieg pocket hole jig and just put tape over the holes to keep spiders out. I don't wanna fill the holes with putty or anything, so I can optionally disassemble this thing.

For wood, several sources say Doug fir has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of American woods, so I'm planning to use it for 2x4s. For the 1 x 12 hardwood boards, Poplar is maybe the cheapest weakest hardwood that's still good enough to use, lol. IDK, before final decision I might upgrade to oak or something, but several sources say poplar works just fine for furniture. Undecided.


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Here is the leg design if I don't make them triangular:

Two 2 x 4 with a 1/2" plywood shim sandwiched in to make a square footprint.

...and btw for these beveled ends on the hardwood 1 x 12 panels, I'll only do this if my miter box tests give me acceptable precision. Otherwise I'll go with a simpler right-angle abutment, with slightly sanded beveled or rounded corners.


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