Plywood bed with storage - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum

 
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post #1 of 2 Old 01-09-2017, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Plywood bed with storage

Hi guys,

I've been working on my first project (attached), which is still in a design phase, and therefore I have some questions:
- Is plywood going to be strong enough to support people sleeping on the bed? Estimated weight is to be around 200 kg.
- I am particularly interested in making the connection between a leg and two supporting beams. I wouldn't like to have any visible screws. If I use 2 dowels per each of the beams, is it going to be enough to bear the load? Or should I create mortise and tenon?
- Is it common anyway to use mortise and tenon joinery when utilizing plywood?
- Can I make such a joint (mortise and tenon) in a piece of plywood?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Best regards,

Dariusz
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post #2 of 2 Old 01-09-2017, 05:13 PM
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Originally Posted by dkrol View Post
Hi guys,

I've been working on my first project (attached), which is still in a design phase, and therefore I have some questions:
- Is plywood going to be strong enough to support people sleeping on the bed? Estimated weight is to be around 200 kg.
- I am particularly interested in making the connection between a leg and two supporting beams. I wouldn't like to have any visible screws. If I use 2 dowels per each of the beams, is it going to be enough to bear the load? Or should I create mortise and tenon?
- Is it common anyway to use mortise and tenon joinery when utilizing plywood?
- Can I make such a joint (mortise and tenon) in a piece of plywood?

Thank you in advance for your help.

Best regards,

Dariusz
I think your estimated weight is too much for the bed design as shown. The design needs a few changes to strengthen it. Plywood is strong, but it will flex. Not up and down but from side to side. In order to keep the plywood from flexing, I recommend using slats under the mattress. If the slats are attached to the side rails it will keep the sides from flexing (bowing outward).
Also, I would plan for a strong center support.
One way to strengthen the bed is to double the sides. Instead of 3/4", use at least 1 1/4" for the side rails.
What you are calling the beam is the side rail. Dowels can be fine to attach the side rail to the leg or post but it needs to be a large diameter hardwood dowel. I recommend cutting a lap joint in the post for support if you don't use the mortise and tenon. The lap will add significant support even if it's only 1/2" deep.
There is metal bed hardware available to attach the rails if you choose to use it.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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