Bed slats on the cheap? - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 12-10-2017, 07:30 AM Thread Starter
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Bed slats on the cheap?

I have just finished constructing a bedframe, 200cm long x 120cm wide. I had originally intended to get a readymade flexible (birch) bed slat assembly to place in the frame but was quite taken aback at the prices (120 cm which is a non-standard size does not help). I can buy 60cm slats - to create two columns of slats - do the rest myself. This works out cheaper but not significantly so. What I have found is a great deal cheaper is to get a ready made sat role from Ikea for a song and scavenge the slats for my own needs. The two things that bother me
Will I be able to cut the slats down to the size I require or will cutting result in deformed slats that lack the right shape - my thinking was that I take 90cm slats and lop off 15cm from either end to get the 60cm width that I require. I hope that I will get some useful thoughts and tips here.
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post #2 of 10 Old 12-10-2017, 07:59 AM
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All the beds I have ever seen had scrap boards for slats. Usually six boards per bed, with gaps between them. That describes my current bed, too. My spouse and I tortured our children by using scrap 3/4 plywood on their twin beds, cut into two squares for each bed. No springiness in those slats, compared with the fancy IKEA slats.
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post #3 of 10 Old 12-10-2017, 08:09 AM
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I just ripped a bunch of 2x4s (6 actually) in half and they do the job just Mrs. isn't exactly a wilting flower getting into bed (not to call her fat..I'm not suicidal at this time.) and there's been 0 sag, but we also placed some of the blue rigid foam insulation over the slats to help distribute the weight evenly..we don't have box springs, just the king size mattress and a 2" memory foam over it..most cozy bed I've ever slept in..

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post #4 of 10 Old 12-10-2017, 09:55 AM
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There is nothing magical about slats nor the wood that they are made from. Just good pieces of 1by.

From what I have been seeing, most modern beds do not even use slats.

However, if you are trying to get by with just using a mattress then that is a different story. I would use a solid wood platform under that.

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post #5 of 10 Old 12-10-2017, 10:25 AM
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bed slats ... or NOT

Bed slats are meant to support a box spring which has it's own internal frame. If you aren't using a box spring then you can just use plywood. A firm support is better than a spongy one, in my opinion. The memory foam mattresses are about 10" thick and heavy as a horse. Mine just sits on a box spring, also about 10" thick right on the floor, no frames or head boards to get hurt by climbing in and out. You can sit on the edge on any place you want, the side or the end, what ever.

There are so many types of mattresses now, that you really have to design the support based on which mattress you will be using.

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 #6 of 10 Old 12-10-2017, 12:45 PM
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Slats are very important if no Box spring is used because they would be the only thing to keep the mattress from sagging. If a good box spring is used the slats are much less important. Indeed some metal bed frames use no slats at all but rely solely on the box spring to support the mattress.
The slats from IKEA you show are plywood. A plywood slat is pretty weak. If you’re going to use plywood it would be best to use it as a whole sheet cut to fit your frame rather than cutting it into slats. The plywood or slats can be turned over if either starts to sag.

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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post #7 of 10 Old 12-10-2017, 01:48 PM
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"There are so many types of mattresses now, that you really have to design the support based on which mattress you will be using."

This is the most important statement in this whole thread. And I would add box spring.

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post #8 of 10 Old 12-10-2017, 01:55 PM
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A few years back, we purchased a pair of twin beds for our Grandkids from an Amish maker. When the beds arrived, one set of slats was missing from the shipment. Needing to get the kids into the beds before the maker could ship us a set of slats, I went to one of the big box stores and purchased some 1x4 S4S red oak. I cut them to length and bandsawed dove tails into the ends to match the bed frame hardware. A couple of weeks later, the replacement slats arrived and I had some oak scrap.

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post #9 of 10 Old 12-10-2017, 02:15 PM
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lordy . . . . European bed styles include one each with bowed slats supporting a mattress. that's it. that's all. it's how they do it. there is no box spring. it is not the same as USA type bed slats 2-3 per box spring.

fancier slats are near double the width with two sliding collars so one can adjust the "firmness" along the entire length of the mattress. these are end mounted and enclosed in a steel frame for the obvious reason that they should not slide apart.

the wider one can be cut down subject to a minimum width of where they are pinned together. they will be slightly stiffer. equally on both sides, as mentioned.

typically these are bend springy wood covered with plastic to prevent snags etc. a DYI bent&springy slat would be an exercise . . .
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post #10 of 10 Old 12-10-2017, 10:44 PM
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Save $10.00 and order this one and cut it down.

They are not plywood, but laminated curved strips, no reason they won't work.

Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something -Plato

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