Project Overview

This sturdy wooden bed looks great, is easy to build and will last your kids for years to come.

Continue to step-by-step instructions
Head of hammer removing nails from timber.
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How to remove a stuck nail

Sometimes a nail is stuck solidly in place and won’t pry out easily. A good way to deal with this is to pry up the surrounding timber and then push it back into place. This should leave the nail sitting above the timber. Then you can pull it out with the claw on your hammer.

Step by Step Instructions

1 Cut the timber
2 Lay out the support frame for the bed
3 Lay out the slats in the frame
4 Fix the slats to the frame
5 Cut the ends for the legs
6 Measure and mark the legs
7 Cut out the legs
8 Attach the feet to the bed
9 Measure the length of the frame
10 Cut the timber for the side frame
11 Measure and mark the end frame
12 Cut the end frame
13 Fix the outer frame to the bed
14 Measure and mark for the inner frame
15 Cut the timber for the inner frame
16 Measure and mark the top and bottom of the frame
17 Measure and mark for the dowel
18 Drill the hole for the dowel
19 Cut the dowel
20 Attach the dowel
21 Complete the inner frame
22 Measure and mark for the outer frame
23 Cut the outer frame
24 Attach the outer frame
25 Attach the bedhead to the bed
26 Paint or stain the bed
27 Enjoy the bed!
  • Step 1. Cut the timber

    You can make the bed whatever size you like. One way to make this D.I.Y. project even easier is to have most of your timber pre-cut at your local Bunnings. For this project, we cut our 70mm x 35mm x 2.4m form ply into the following lengths:

    • 2150mm x 2 (sides)
    • 945mm x 2 (ends)
    • 945mm x 26 (slats)

    We then cut our 185mm x 20mm hardwood into:

    • 2190mm x 2 (sides)
    • 980mm x 1 (ends)

    The next step is to cut the 110mm x 20mm hardwood into the following lengths:

    • 640mm x 2 (bedhead frame)
    • 945mm x 2 (bedhead frame)
    • 858mm x 2 (outer frame)
    • 983mm x 1 (outer frame) 

    Finally, for the legs, we cut our 90mm x 45mm Tasmanian oak dowel into:

    300mm x 4

  • Step 2. Lay out the support frame for the bed

    The first thing to do is lay out the timber for the bed’s support frame, it’s best to do this on the floor. To make the rectangular outer frame use the two 2150mm lengths and two of the 945mm slats of structural pine. The two end pieces need to be on their sides.

  • Step 3. Lay out the slats in the frame

    Take the rest of the slats and lay them inside the frame. Use a slat to make sure they’re evenly spaced.
  • Step 4. Fix the slats to the frame

    Once you’ve laid out the slats, use the 2mm drill bit to pre-drill the holes. Fix the slats to the frame using the 65mm bugle screws. Use two on each slat. Remember to use a spare slat as a spacer.

  • Step 5. Cut the ends for the legs

    We want the legs to be cut at a 15-degree angle at both ends. Set the mitre saw to 15 degrees and cut the first end. Then cut the other at a length longer than you want the legs to be, this is so the wood can be clamped when you cut it later.

  • Step 6. Measure and mark the legs

    Now it’s time to mark out the 0-45mm taper on the legs. To do this measure from 0-45 along the length of the timber. Measure the timber at base, 45mm in from the edge. Draw a straight line to the top of the timber

  • Step 7. Cut out the legs

    Clamp the wood to the workbench, then use the circular saw to cut the wood. Next, make the other 15-degree cut at the other end of the foot with the mitre saw. That’s one leg done. Repeat steps 5, 6 and 7 to make the three other legs.

  • Step 8. Attach the feet to the bed

    Place the leg on the underside of the bed so that the foot is flat on the floor. The tapered edge of the foot should face outwards and one edge should sit flush to the frame. Pre-drill two holes using the 2mm drill bit before securing the foot with 50mm screws. Drill the screws on an angle for maximum strength. Turn the bed over and then screw through the top of the slat into the leg.  Repeat this for the three other legs.

  • Step 9. Measure the length of the frame

    Measure the length of your pine mattress frame. Deduct 110mm from this. The 110mm gap will be where the bedhead will be attached. Transfer these measurements onto the timber for the side frames of the bed.

  • Step 10. Cut the timber for the side frame

    Use the mitre saw to make a 45-degree cut at the end of the long length of timber. Cut the other end to length at 90 degrees, which will be joined to the bedhead with a butt joint. Repeat this for the other long length. 

  • Step 11. Measure and mark the end frame

    Measure the width of the support frame at the end of the bed. Transfer these measurements onto your timber.

  • Step 12. Cut the end frame

    Clamp the timber to the workbench. Use the mitre saw to cut the ends of the timber at 45-degree angles.

  • Step 13. Fix the outer frame to the bed

    Measure and mark 50mm from the top edge of the timber frames to create a lip. Fix the end frame to the bed using the nail gun, making sure it’s flush with the ends. Repeat this for the side frames of the bed. Make sure the timber is square before attaching.

  • Step 14. Measure and mark for the inner frame

    Measure the width of the bed. Ours measured 945mm along the top and bottom of the frame. Transfer these measurements onto the timber. Then, measure the height you want your bedhead to be and transfer these onto the pieces of timber.

  • Step 15. Cut the timber for the inner frame

    Clamp the wood to the workbench and cut the four pieces of wood for the outer frame at 45-degree angles.

  • Step 16. Measure and mark the top and bottom of the frame

    Take one of the 945mm timber pieces and run a straight pencil line lengthways through the centre of the board. Repeat this on the other piece of timber. These pieces of timber will be the top and bottom of your inner frame. 

  • Step 17. Measure and mark for the dowel

    Measure and mark along the centre line on the timber for the dowels. These need to be equally spaced. From the left-hand end, ours fell at 113mm increments. Transfer the measurements onto the other piece of timber, making sure they’re exact. It’s important to remember that for safety reasons, the space between the dowel cannot be more than 125mm. The measurements are outlined in the Australian Standards of Construction. Check the standards applicable to your area before making the bedhead. 

  • Step 18. Drill the hole for the dowel

    Clamp the timber to the workbench with two pieces of offcut underneath it. This will stop you drilling into the workbench. Hold the drill at 90-degrees, place the spade bit on the mark and drill halfway into the piece of timber. Repeat this to drill all of the holes in the two pieces of timber.

  • Step 19. Cut the dowel

    Measure, mark and cut the seven pieces of dowel for the bedhead. Ours measured 625mm.

  • Step 20. Attach the dowel

    Place the seven pieces of dowel into one side of the inner frame. Use the nail gun to secure them. Repeat this to join the dowel to the other frame.

  • Step 21. Complete the inner frame

    Use the nail gun to fix the two sides of the inner frame at the top and bottom. Make sure the mitre joints are flush before fixing them.

  • Step 22. Measure and mark for the outer frame

    Mark and measure the lengths for the three pieces of timber for your outer frame. Our top piece was 983mm long and the two sides 858mm. 

  • Step 23. Cut the outer frame

    Clamp the timber in place. Use the mitre saw to cut the ends that will join at the top of the bedhead at 45-degree angles. Cut the ends of the side pieces of timber at 90 degrees.

  • Step 24. Attach the outer frame

    Place the top piece of the outer frame in place, making sure its edges are flush. Use the nail gun to attach it to the inner frame. Repeat this for the two side pieces of the outer frame.

  • Step 25. Attach the bedhead to the bed

    Put the bedhead in place at the end of the bed. Pre-drill holes with the 2mm drill bit. Then fix the bedhead with the 65mm bugle screws. 

  • Step 26. Paint or stain the bed

    Depending on the look you want you can paint or stain your bed. We’ve applied several coats of Cabothane Clear, lightly sanding between each coat. We also painted the dowel white to give it a crisp clean look. Then all you have to do is add the mattress and bedding.

  • Step 27. Enjoy the bed!

    Now your kids can enjoy this super sturdy and stylish bed.

Tools and Materials

Tools

  • Clamps x 2
  • Cordless screwdriver or impact driver with screwdriver bits
  • Mitre saw
  • Nail gun
  • Pencil
  • Pilot hole drill
  • 2mm drill bit and countersink bit
  • Phillips head bit
  • 35mm spade bit
  • Orbital sander
  • Paint brush
  • Scraper
  • Spirit level
  • Stirrer
  • T-square
  • Tape measure
  • Tin opener

Materials

  • 70mm x 35mm x 2.4m structural pine x 15
  • 185mm x 20mm x 2.4m Tasmanian oak x 3
  • 110mm x 20mm x 2.4m Tasmanian oak x 3
  • 90mm x 45mm x 2.4m Tasmanian oak
  • 35mm x 2.4m Tasmanian oak dowel x 3
  • 65mm bugle screws
  • 50mm timber screws
  • Nails
  • Rags
  • 180 grit sandpaper
  • Varnish
  • Water-based wood filler
  • Wood putty
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