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post #1 of 32 Old 09-27-2019, 11:16 AM Thread Starter
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Platform Bed Build

Morning! Thanks to David for the warm welcome yesterday. Profile updated and hoping to share with yinz my plans for upcoming platform bed frame build I'll be working on the next few weeks. I'm a novice woodworker, trying to use the tools I have and grow the garage "shop" slowly but surely. The deal I have with the missus is that as she sees fancy furniture out there online, if I can replicate it at home I get to spend the difference on tools.
So project at hand is based on the style and dimensions of an Urban Outfitters king-sized bed frame found here: link removed
Platform Bed Build-uo-platform-bed.jpg
After a bit of time working in Sketchup, I think I've got a design down that will fit the bill.

Couple screenshots attached, and I'll email the .skp to anyone who wants to take a closer look at it.
Platform Bed Build-bed-frame.jpg
Living in the FL panhandle, I haven't had much success finding a lumber shop around that carries anything outside of white oak. I have access to the standard big-box stores as well, though I haven't seen much of a hardwood selection in them either. So although the UO Frame is made from mango, white oak is what the main pieces of this build are going to be.
I've worked with a guy on Etsy to source the turned wood legs. Those are 3.25x3.25" square, and 13" high. They will arrive in 2-3 weeks, giving me the rest of that time to buy the materials and start getting some of the bigger pieces cut and glued up.

The exterior planks that join the turned legs are roughly 6ft long (dimensions in sketchup file or in UO link), and I am planning on making them out of 4/4 S2S white oak, cut, planed and glued to make a 1.5"x3.5" beam. The connections at the corner joints I had planned to drill and dowel. I haven't done enough research yet to know what thickness of dowel or how many to install.

The remainder of the wood in the design (and the central support beam) is pine, since it will reduce costs, stress, and no one will be able to see the cross-slats or central support legs anyway with a big mattress on top. The central support beam I had planned to make out of a 1x3 glued to 1x4 glued to 1x3 piece of pine. That fastened to the white plank at the "T" with dowels and a metal corner bracket, to allow for tear-down for next time we move places.



That's the overview of the project. I'm planning on getting the wood, glue, clamps, and materials today.

Main tools I am planning on using: HF benchtop tablesaw; cordless drill and drill jig (in lieu of drill press); router table and fence (in lieu of jointer).



Anything I'm missing? Thoughts/questions? Cheers team, wish me luck.
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post #2 of 32 Old 09-27-2019, 02:05 PM
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You donít need the sides/ends to be 1 1/2 inch thick. 3/4 inch white oak is more then adequate for the rails. If you are starting with 4/4 oak, you could plane it as thick as possible. Usually you can end up with piece 7/8 inch thick.

You need to figure out someway to take the bed apart. You canít rely on just some dowels because you need to separate the sides from the head and foot assemblies. You can use some dowels to hold ends to corner posts, but you need something else to connect sides to end assemblies.

Many different ways to make take apart beds. Look at any unline supplier like Rockler or Woodcraft or Leevalley, see what they have. If you narrow your decision but still need help, we can provide advantages and disadvantages to each option.
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post #3 of 32 Old 09-27-2019, 04:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Q View Post
You donít need the sides/ends to be 1 1/2 inch thick. 3/4 inch white oak is more then adequate for the rails. If you are starting with 4/4 oak, you could plane it as thick as possible. Usually you can end up with piece 7/8 inch thick.
Thanks for the response Terry. Sounds like there is little structural gain from laminating two 4/4 pieces together. Unsure the complexity, I've never done a glue up before. The "gain" here would be the look, since the rails are slightly extend from under the mattress. The entire frame is right now planned to be 77"x81", and when combined with a 76"x80" standard king mattress should leave about half an inch on each side exposed for aesthetic. Although I do worry that a glue up would go poorly.


Quote:
Many different ways to make take apart beds. Look at any unline supplier like Rockler or Woodcraft or Leevalley, see what they have. If you narrow your decision but still need help, we can provide advantages and disadvantages to each option.
I had imagined using dowels because it seemed like the most secure way to join the side planks with the legs. I'm trying to engineer a zero-wiggle solution. I checked out Rockler and they did have several hardware sets which would make plank to corner joining a lot easier not only with install, but with tear-down for transport. The image attached below seems to be a pretty straight forward install, but I worry about eventual screw tear-out and slight flex in the joint. Do you think that would be a factor if installed correctly?
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post #4 of 32 Old 09-27-2019, 09:11 PM
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Platform Bed Build

Quote:
Originally Posted by ftnuna3819 View Post
Thanks for the response Terry. Sounds like there is little structural gain from laminating two 4/4 pieces together. Unsure the complexity, I've never done a glue up before. The "gain" here would be the look, since the rails are slightly extend from under the mattress. The entire frame is right now planned to be 77"x81", and when combined with a 76"x80" standard king mattress should leave about half an inch on each side exposed for aesthetic. Although I do worry that a glue up would go poorly.



I had imagined using dowels because it seemed like the most secure way to join the side planks with the legs. I'm trying to engineer a zero-wiggle solution. I checked out Rockler and they did have several hardware sets which would make plank to corner joining a lot easier not only with install, but with tear-down for transport. The image attached below seems to be a pretty straight forward install, but I worry about eventual screw tear-out and slight flex in the joint. Do you think that would be a factor if installed correctly?


The kind of fitting you chose has the advantage of ease of installation compared to other methods. The disadvantage, as you rightly suspect, is that the corner is held together with 6 short screws.

White oak is extremely tough so pulling screws out is far less likely then when using softer woods. If you do decide to double up the thickness of side pieces you will be able to use longer screws which would lessen chance of pullout.

Having the center support will take a lot of stress out of the corner joints as well. All-in-all, you are using that type of connector under ideal conditions so it has a good chance of holding up.

As for 1 1/2 inch thick boards. The top of the side rails are rarely exposed because of the bedding. I donít think youíd be able to appreciate the thickness of the boards and are just adding weight, cost, and complexity.
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post #5 of 32 Old 09-28-2019, 02:11 AM
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A couple of thoughts....

Size. you say "about 6ft". make it 6 ft 6" so you can use standard fitted sheets. Are you having a head board? Platform beds look good, but without headboards the pillows work their way onto the floor every morning, or your feet hang out the bottom as you slide down the bed to keep the pillow in place.

DONT have the base sticking out past the mattress edges. Hitting your legs on it every time you get in and out grows old very quickly, and your mrs will not thank you when she scrapes her knuckles every time she makes the bad or changes the sheets.

Dont ask me how I know this stuff.

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post #6 of 32 Old 09-28-2019, 08:26 AM
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Good morning Jon. Interesting project that you have going.



You say that you are having a problem finding anything other than white oak. Have you tried Gatlin in Fort Walton Beach. I have not been active in building the last couple of years, but they used to carry fair assortment to include cherry, black walnut, maple, birch etc. They never had a large stock, but could order what you want. Lowes and Home Depot are very expensive for what they have.



There also used to be some little mills in the North end of Excambia and Santa Rosa counties that you could buy from.



How long have you lived in Niceville?


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post #7 of 32 Old 09-28-2019, 10:55 AM
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The design looks fine. Dont try to out guess or over-build this project. As for dowels, I consider them amateurish, not to mention they are weak joints. I have used various styles of hardware for the frame joints to the legs.
You problem might come from the pine is you use standard lumber from the lumber yard that is meant for construction. They will warp and twist unless you get the premium grade which usually cost more than red oak if you find red oak. Again, don't try to second guess the design and materials - DONT CHEAP OUT!
The center beam and side beams should have a strip running along the bottom to support the strips running cross ways.
Also, those strips running crossways - look slike there is way too many. Dont need all of them.
Why don't you start asking specific questions about one step at a time starting with the frame. That will avoid some of the cross talk confusion.

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post #8 of 32 Old 09-28-2019, 12:17 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post
You say that you are having a problem finding anything other than white oak. Have you tried Gatlin in Fort Walton Beach. I have not been active in building the last couple of years, but they used to carry fair assortment to include cherry, black walnut, maple, birch etc. They never had a large stock, but could order what you want. Lowes and Home Depot are very expensive for what they have.

George, thanks for the info! Will swing by Gatlin this morning and see what all they have. Headed down to beach today to Santa Rosa so might be able to check out the mill there too depending. Been a resident here for about three weeks! Trying to get the lay of the land, so I appreciate the insight. You a Panhandle neighbor?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony B View Post
As for dowels, I consider them amateurish, not to mention they are weak joints. I have used various styles of hardware for the frame joints to the legs.
You problem might come from the pine is you use standard lumber from the lumber yard that is meant for construction. They will warp and twist unless you get the premium grade which usually cost more than red oak if you find red oak. Again, don't try to second guess the design and materials - DONT CHEAP OUT!
I'm open to suggestions on the joinery hardware. Dowels did seem like something I could accomplish though with tools on hand, and I figured three 1/2" dowels in the corners would be plenty strong for a corner leg joint. I'll draw up a sketch and attach it. Is there anything to be said about the "spirit of woodworking"? Youtube would have you believe that the more wood-based joinery you do, the more authentic your creation is. I have minimal hours in the shop, would love to hear your take.
Thanks for the heads up on cost comparison between select kiln-dried pine and red oak. I'll keep an eye out.

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post #9 of 32 Old 09-28-2019, 12:38 PM Thread Starter
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Corner joinery:

Figured I'd try and illustrate a few things with regards to corner joinery since that's been highlighted where more thought/planning needs to go.
First 3 screenshots for perspective.

Corner 4 shows top-down view of plan. Red- Dowel. Yellow- glue, Blue - metal bracket, screwed in place.
The left side rail assembly I plan to permanently join with the leg. Three dowels, two centered in the outer-most plank top and bottom, and one centered in the middle plank. Dowels glued to side rail planks and corner leg.


The top planks (or perhaps we call it the headboard planks?) we discussed needing to be able to separate in order to move/deconstruct. Although this joint doesn't have a large need to support large amounts of shear forces (the weight of mattress is distributed across the slats supported by the left and right sideboards), I want to completely eliminate any flex or wobble side to side. I illustrated the joint with a dowel in place to help with that, but maybe you guys know another way?


What else am I missing? Cheers--
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post #10 of 32 Old 09-28-2019, 02:22 PM
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Good luck with dowels on a bed frame.

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post #11 of 32 Old 09-28-2019, 03:33 PM
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This is a very strong joint

One our members, Lola Ranch post his idea for a corner leg brace:









Posted here:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f5/t...bracing-20431/


Here's how I made one:
https://www.woodworkingtalk.com/f2/l...allenge-33352/
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The answer to your question will only be as detailed and specific as the question is detailed and specific. Good questions also include a sketch or a photo that illustrates your issue. (:< D)

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post #12 of 32 Old 09-28-2019, 04:53 PM
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See the above mortise and tenon joint, you can use it for the bed as long as the tenons are loooooong. Probably still not as good as steel hardware. There is a lot more stress on a bed frame joint than you might suspect. For one thing, people have a tendency to plop down on a bed. The joints are under a lot of stress especially if you are a bedroom athlete - lots of lateral stress.
I have seen some old beds that used the mortise and tenon joinery and ran a blot through the joint for extra security.

Another method I have seen is using a barrel nut and a bolt. just use 2 on each joint. Drill 2 holes in the rear of the leg and then into the end grain on the rails about 2 1/2 inches deep into the rails. At the end of the holes in the rails, drill a hole or route a space for the barrel nuts and then run the bolts through the leg and the rails and into the barrel nuts.

Still rather use steel hardware There are lots of different steel hardware for bed frames. Some relatively inexpensive and some really expensive The inexpensive ones are still very effective.
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post #13 of 32 Old 10-02-2019, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks all for the insight on where the stresses in a bed frame are. I'll use the corner bracket on the 4 posts. Dowels will be used just to support against the shear forces of the four legs, and I think the corner bracket will defend against any lateral or twisting. I love the idea of the wooden corner leg brace, but I need to be able to tear down the bed and it seems like the more wooden joints, the trickier it will be (I surmise).

Can't use the bolt because it leaves an external mark.

For the support/cross beam down the middle, just going to use the aforementioned fasteners. Lot of reviews showing how they warp over time when attached to legs as the primary fastener, but I think they will play perfectly in the cross-beam since I'll be able to double up per T-joint.

Dewalt 735x planer purchased and on the way... the tool collection grows by plus one. Will report back for next step of the process. Going to go purchase some lumber soon.
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post #14 of 32 Old 10-02-2019, 10:25 AM
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Where'dj yinz guys live before Niceville? I've only build one bed, and used knock-down brackets similar to these. It's pretty rock solid.



Platform Bed Build-corner-fastener.jpg
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post #15 of 32 Old 10-02-2019, 10:43 AM
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Jon, been in Shalimar area for 42 years.


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post #16 of 32 Old 10-05-2019, 10:51 AM Thread Starter
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Morning! Pulled the trigger and started making material purchases for the project this last week.
Went by the local hardware/lumber store and picked up two planks of white oak. This took far longer than I thought it would, but after 2 hours I think I have planks that will cut down and glue up well. Haven't purchased by board-foot until then, and it was definitely an experience. Total cost of the two planks was just over $100. The spruce for the center support was (as Tony predicted) quite pricey... but I wanted to get done with the purchase so just bit the bullet. Two 1x6s and a 1x4 was another $40.

Picked up two F clamps, two pipe clamps, and a gallon of Titebond.



Got the garage set up to make some of the cuts today. I'm worried that the oak will warp after I cut it down. Is that an irrational fear? The garage is same temp/humidity as where I picked it up.

Will be first time using a planer, and running the router as a jointer. Ripping the boards an extra 1/8" wide to account for two passes taking off 1/16" each time.

@gj13us - I grew up in the south hills of Pittsburgh, where in PA are you at? @George C - thanks for the recs for sourcing wood. Gatlin has a really nice selection of wood types, but ended up going with white oak which the Cash and Carry had in stock.
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post #17 of 32 Old 10-05-2019, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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First glue-up setting now. Did a lot of dress rehearsal for this one since the open time for Titebond is only about 5 minutes. Feeling rushed led to using a bit more glue than I needed to which I have to clean up now.

Created a clamp jig using scrap pieces with the required width to keep the 1x3" plank "centered" exactly where I want.
Platform Bed Build-img_20191005_122827.jpg
The ends are off by 1/16th or so. Will have to keep that in mind to fix when gluing the other side.Platform Bed Build-img_20191005_131413.jpg
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post #18 of 32 Old 10-05-2019, 11:08 PM
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Nice work. I look forward to seeing your continued progress.

Your Next Project:
Buy a few extra pieces of lumber to make stands for your tools?
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post #19 of 32 Old 10-07-2019, 09:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ftnuna3819 View Post

@gj13us - I grew up in the south hills of Pittsburgh, where in PA are you at?

So did I, mostly. MtL '85. Most of my family is still in Pgh.

I live in Lancaster, PA now. I was a Blue Devil, my kids are Blue Streaks.
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post #20 of 32 Old 10-08-2019, 10:58 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tool Agnostic View Post
Your Next Project:
Buy a few extra pieces of lumber to make stands for your tools?

Read this and laughed so hard it woke the dog up. Wondered if I'd garner some love for my workspace... all are welcome to fund it! Got that couch in the background up on craigslist :P
Having an bare-minimum space has led to some interesting situations. Anyone ever had to shop-vac planer chips out of their front lawn? The Dewalt 735x is a beast, though I saw several posts on the internet disclaiming that a direct planer to shopvac connection will only lead to an explosion of dust. So. I woodchipped out the front of the garage into the driveway.


Here's some pics!
I'd never taken a rough plank and worked it to final dimensions before. Seriously cool. I was lucky I was able to fit the cuts I needed to make into the boards I purchased. As you can see in the photo, one had a pretty noticeable bow to one side of it, just barely had the width required.

I don't have a jointer, but was able to use the router to give the edge a nice finish. Used 1/16 shims for total of 1/8" reduction to final width of 3.5".



Some questions though:
Posted a photo of the wood post-plane. I noticed a slight color difference before, but chalked it up to variations in the trees since the boards were both marked as white oak. Wondering if in fact I received a plank of white oak and a plank of red oak?



For the glue up, I spent a lot of time trying to get the seam to disappear. Perhaps I attach the clamps ALL on the top/visible side next time? Since that is the seam I really want to hide.
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