Man starts with a few wooden boards, ends up with a masterpiece in the bedroom

Save hundreds, if not thousands, by crafting this chic contemporary platform bed yourself, thanks to Rich Pond. The effort is well worth it because you not only end up with a stunning, truly one-of-a-kind furniture piece, but you also gain significant storage space because this piece includes six ample drawers that serve as the bed’s base.
The bed's design is simple and bold, but you can play with its finish and choose one that reflects your taste and design preferences. Choose dark stain and you’ll have a grounded, not-to-be-missed piece, or opt for a light one to give the bed Scandi-mod flair. Top it off with luxurious bedding, and you’ll never want to get out of it.
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Materials
- Large work table
- 2 sawhorses or small table
- 2-by-4 boards, enough to make a queen-sized frame 75 inches long by 50 inches wide, with a 5-inch overhang on its sides and the foot board
- Sheets of 3/4-inch plywood
- Oak plywood to cover the sides of the 2-by-4 base frame
- 2 or 3 packages of wood shims
- Cordless drill
- Screws
- Wood clamps
- Wood glue
- Circular saw
- Hammer
- Chisel
- Table saw
- Measuring tape
- Can of black latex paint
- Paintbrush with foam head
- Mitre saw
- Luan tropical plywood for bottom panels
- Pneumatic nailer
- Box of 1 1/4-inch nails
- Carpenter's square
- 6 sets of drawer extension sliders 22 inches long by 3/4 inches
- 3/4-inch maple veneered plywood to cover the outward-facing pieces of the bed, frame and drawers
- Pack of Band-it iron-on birch veneer edging
- Iron
- Sharp knife or orbital sander
- Package of 1/8-inch spacer sticks
- Can of DAP plastic wood cellulose fiber filler
- 1 package of 220-grit sandpaper
- Can of wood stain
- Several soft cotton cloths for wiping stain
- 1 package 300-grit sandpaper
- Can of polyurethane
Instructions
1. Build the bed base so it can accommodate a 60-by-80 queen-sized mattress.
2. There will be a 5-inch overhang on the bed's sides and on the end, but not at the head of the bed.
3. The frame will be 75 inches long by 50 inches wide and made from 2-by-4 pieces of wood placed up against each other, making the base 3 1/2 inches tall.
Rich Pond
4. Place the base frame on the work table. If the frame exceeds the work table, use something else to hold up the other end, such as a sawhorse or small table.
5. Level and square the frame, using wood shims if necessary.
6. Secure the frame onto the work surface so it doesn't move while you build it. If the frame is bigger than the work surface, temporarily attach the portion of the frame that's not on the work surface to whatever you have holding it up with wood clamps.
Rich Pond
7. Build two halves of the bed frame rather than one large frame, so moving it is easier. When assembled, the frame will have two small drawers on each side and two large drawers at the foot of it.
8. Each half is made from 2-by-4s and 3/4-inch plywood.
9. Lay out and cut the top rails of the frame from the 2-by-4s.
10. The piece toward the inside of the bed is cut shorter and has a half-lap joint cut out of its end.
11. The half-lap joint is intended to accept a plywood panel that will continue the remaining length of the bed. The plywood is used to mount the inner drawer slide for the end drawers.
12. The plywood is used to mount the inner drawer slide for the end drawers.
13. Glue and screw the end wall piece to the floor piece.
14. Cut notches out of the side wall pieces to accept the 2-by-4 top rails.
15. Fasten a side wall/drawer divider to the floor piece.
16. Position the floor section on the base frame, and screw it into place temporarily with two screws.
Rich Pond
17. To make the half-lap joint, set the blade depth on your circular saw to 3/4 inch.
18. Make a series of cross cuts on the board spaced about 1/8 inch apart.
Rich Pond
Rich Pond
Rich Pond
19. Use a hammer and chisel to remove the remaining wood and smooth the surface of the joint.
20. It's fine to use one continuous piece of plywood that's the same length as the bed.
Rich Pond
21. Use the table saw to rip (cut along the wood grain) the plywood to size.
22. Use work tables to steady the plywood sheets if necessary.
Rich Pond
23. Cut one floor piece 30 inches (half the total bed width) by 25 inches, the depth of the end drawers.
24. Cut three vertical pieces 14 inches high by 28 1/2 inches long for side drawer dividers.
25. Cut another piece that's 14 inches by 25 inches for the center end wall piece.
Rich Pond
26. Glue (use the wood glue) and screw the end wall piece to the floor piece.
Rich Pond
27. Cut notches out of the side wall pieces to accept the 2-inch by 4-inch top rails.
Rich Pond
28. Fasten a side wall/drawer divider to the floor piece.
29. Secure and position the floor section on the base frame, and screw it into place temporarily with two screws.
Rich Pond
30. Attach the inside top rail piece.
31. Affix the half-lap joint to the corresponding plywood panel, first with wood glue and then with a screw.
32. Support the opposite end of the top rail with part of a 2-by-4.
Rich Pond
33. Install a 2-by-4 crosspiece next to the plywood side wall.
34. Use screws to fasten the crosspiece to the side wall and the top rails.
35. Install a 2-by-4 crosspiece in place adjacent to the plywood sidewall.
Rich Pond
36. Position the outer top rail and fasten it to the crosspiece.
Rich Pond
37. Attach a 2-by-4 to the rails at the head end of the bed.
Rich Pond
38. For the head of the bed, fashion a 2-by-4 frame that's strengthened and connected by gussets (connective wood pieces) made out of plywood scraps.
39. Drill pilot holes (guide holes) in the ends of the top rails where the crosspiexes are fastened to prevent the boards from splitting.
Rich Pond
40. Attach a 2-1/2-inch strip of plywood to the side edge of the plywood floor piece. This will provide a surface for the lower edge of the finished panel to be fastened to.
41. Install a 3/4-inch plywood floor piece, ripped to 12 inches wide, that runs the remaining length of the bed frame.
42. Plywood along the bed's outer edges will support the lower edges of the drawer dividers.
43. Fasten a plywood scrap piece underneath the floor piece. This will help secure it to the floor section already in place.
44. Install the remaining 2-by-4 crosspiece between the top rails, and position them so they're next to the drawer divider panels.
Rich Pond
45. Install the drawer dividers, but make sure they have notches cut out of them to accommodate the outer top rails.
46. Screw the panels to the crosspieces and through the floor panel.
47. Space the dividers to allow for two 20-inch-wide drawers.
48. The 13 inches of remaining space at the head of the bed allows room for a nightstand.
Rich Pond
49. The first side of the bed frame is now complete.
50. Repeat steps 9 to 49 to build the other half of the frame.
51. Rip enough pieces of 1/4-inch oak plywood that are 3 1/2 inches wide to cover the sides of the 2-by-4 base frame.
52. Paint one side of each of them black.
53. Attach the unpainted sides of the oak plywood pieces to the base frame using wood glue.
54. Cut two pieces of 3/8-inch plywood to fasten to the bed frame's top surface. These will support the mattress.
Rich Pond
55. The drawers for the frame are simple, and will have butt joints that sit against each other instead of dovetail joints that fit into each other.
56. To enable the drawer to slide properly, the drawer box width should be 1 inch less than the width of the opening. This drawer has a 20-inch opening and the drawer boxes are 19 inches wide by 23 7/8 inches deep.
57. Rip 1/2-inch plywood into strips that are 8 inches wide.
58. Cut the pieces to length with a miter saw.
59. Screw a block of wood to the bench top to serve as a cutting stop. This will ensure each piece is the same length.
60. Cut the front and rear drawer pieces to fit snugly within the side pieces.
Rich Pond
61. Cut a 3/16-inch deep slot along the bottom inside edge of each of the drawer pieces. Make sure that the slot is 5/8 inch from the edge.
62. Move the table saw fence by about half the thickness of the table saw blade, and run the pieces again.
63. Now the pieces will have grooves that are just over 3/16 inches wide to accommodate the luan (plywood made from tropical hardwood) bottom panels.
Rich Pond
Rich Pond
64. Raise the saw blade and run only the drawers' back pieces so the sections that were previously grooved will be ripped off.
65. This allows the bottom panel of each drawer to overlap the back piece for fastening.
66. Use the table saw to cut drawer bottom panels out of 1/4-inch luan plywood, and try to cut them as squarely as possible.
67. The bottom panel dimension will be 3/8 inch larger on the sides and 5/8 inch longer.
Rich Pond
68. Sand all of the pieces that will form the drawer interiors.
Rich Pond
69. Start assembling the drawers by attaching one of the sides to a drawer front.
70. Perform this task by using wood glue and a pneumatic nailer with 1 1/4-inch finish nails. ​
RIch Pond
71. Apply just a bit of wood glue to the drawer piece slots, and slide each bottom panel into place.
72. Install the other side pieces the same way.
RIch Pond
73. Position the back drawer pieces.
74. Use a carpenter's square to align the drawer frame, fasten the luan in place, and nail it into the back drawer panel's bottom edge. ​
RIch Pond
75. Get the 22-inch-long drawer slider sets. These are 3/4-inch extension drawer slides, so the drawers will only open about 15-1/2 inches. Each pair of drawer slides comes with two pieces: one to be mounted on the drawer, and one to fasten to the drawer divider on the bed frame
Rich Pond
76. Install the drawer portions of the slides using the screws that come with the slides.
77. Keep the front edge of the slide 1/16 inch back from the front edge of the drawer.
78. Install the piece of the drawer slide that attaches to the drawer divider panel.
79. Keep the front edge of the drawer slide 1/16 inch back from the front edge of the divider panel.
80. The bottom of the slide sits on the bottom of the divider panel at the front of the slide.
81. Rip a piece of wood to 1/4 inch thickness to use as a shim. This will hold the drawer slides level while they are screwed in place.
82. After installing the slides, number each drawer and its matching location on the bed.
Rich Pond
Rich Pond
83. Choose the type of veneer you want for the bed. This example uses 3/4-inch maple veneered plywood for the bed's finish surfaces.
84. Cover the exposed end grain of the plywood with an iron-on birch veneer.
85. The veneer has a heat-activated glue on its underside.
Rich Pond
86. Apply the veneer with an iron. Heat up 10 inches of veneer at a time, and iron for only three seconds.​
Rich Pond
87. Use a small wood block to press the veneer down tightly. If you need to reposition the veneer, reheat and adjust as desired.
Rich Pond
88. There will be extra material hanging over the edge of the plywood because the veneer is slightly wider than 3/4 inch. Trim the excess carefully with a knife or sand it off with an orbital sander.
Rich Pond
89. Fasten all of the finished panels to the bed frame from the inside so no fasteners will be visible, and there will be no nail holes that need filling.
90. Rip plywood to a width of 12 1/2 inches on the table saw.
91. Cut the pieces to length.
92. Clamp a straight edge to the plywood to use as a cutting guide.
93. Use a carpenter's square to align the straight edge to ensure a cut that's perfectly square.
RIch Pond
94. Make the cuts with a circular saw.
95. Start with cutting the side panel at the foot of the bed, and cut it long enough to extend past the foot of the bed by 3/4 inch. This will cover the side edge of the drawer front, on the drawer at the foot of the bed.
Rich Pond
96. Apply the veneer to the edges as described earlier.
97. Let the panel's top edge stick up 1 1/2 inches above the top surface of the bed frame to conceal the bottom of the mattress when complete.
98. When you're satisfied with the position, fasten the panel in place by screwing it to the bed frame from the inside.
99. Cut a piece for the drawers that's 40 inches long (the combined length of both drawers).
100. Rip a 4-inch strip from the drawer piece, 40 inches long, for installation along the bed frame's top edge.
101. Continue with the same veneering, aligning, clamping and fastening-in-place process.
102. The plywood piece that remains after the rip should be cut in half to form the two side drawer front panels.
Rich Pond
103. Position the drawers fronts. The drawer's front panel will extend about 5/8 inch below the bed frame's bottom surface to allow a spot to open the drawer without using drawer pull hardware.
104. Use 1/8- thick spacer sticks, and place them between the top and side edges of the drawer front panel to ensure that gap spacing is even. ​
Rich Pond
105. Predrill the bed frame's holes where the panel fastening screws were installed. The panels will be less likely to shift this way.
Rich Pond
106. Continue to apply the finish panels like this on the bed's other two sides.
Rich Pond
Rich Pond
107. Some adjustment of the drawer slides may be necessary. If any drawer fronts protrude and don't sit flush along the top edge, adjust the drawer slides on the inside of the frame. Lowering the rear, or innermost end of the slides, will allow the drawer fronts to tip inward slightly and sit flush.
108. Use DAP plastic wood filler to fill any surface blemishes in the wood, and mix it with a bit of the stain you intend to use.
Rich Pond
109. After the filler dries, sand the entire exterior of the bed with 220-grit sandpaper to prepare the surface for finishing.
110. Brush on one coat of the stain on the bed's exterior, and wipe it immediately to add color variation.
111. Allow the stain to dry for 24 hours.
Rich Pond
112. Apply three coats of water-based polyurethane with the foam brush.
113. Wait at least two hours before you sand the piece with 300-grit sandpaper, and sand between each coat of polyurethane.
Rich Pond
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114. Let the polyurethane dry completely before moving the bed frame and adding the mattress.
Rich Pond
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