Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Bedroom Makeover: The Bed


Initially, I wanted to wait for the room to be finished before I did this reveal.  I wanted the pictures to show the bed in the bedroom, dressed all pretty with the bedding I have planned.  But honestly... it will still be a while before it's all finished.  Besides, it's just not fair.  I showed my little desk redo, I need to show the bed.  It's THE bed.  The one my husband made from scratch, with his bare hands.  The whole reason for a bedroom redo in the first place.  So let's do this already...


The DIY is rather straight forward. 
1.  Marry a handsome, dreamboat of a man who also happens to have mad skillz. 
2.  Have him make a bed.  

Here's what he started with.  While this is the first picture we have of the wood, it's already been sanded smooth here.  The wood is walnut FYI.  It's not cheap and it's not something you can get at your local Home Depot/Lowes (I didn't know that).  When using a nice hardwood the adage measure twice, cut once really comes into play.  


Being in the military my husband has access to a woodshop on one of the bases.  He couldn't have made this bed without some serious woodworking tools.  Although he also did a fair amount of bed making in our garage.  Here are pics of the headboard, frame and the legs.  Yes homeboy even turned his own legs!  The headboard and frame are glued together--later reinforced with hardware.



Easily the most difficult part of making the bed was getting the finish right.  This is really tricky business, but he handled it like a boss.  He spent as much time finishing as he did actually making the bed.  For anyone interested he used Waterlox satin.   







Finished!  




I think it looks amazing and I LOVE it.
And I love that my husband made it.
And I love my husband.
And so we've come full circle.

The End.  


Some things to note:  1) The pictures aren't that great.  The pictures in the shop are all iphone pics, and the final bed pics are in our front living room with bad lighting.  Sorry.   2)  My husband's woodworking experince boils down to a middle school wood shop class.  He got a lot of pointers from the guy who runs the shop on base and his dad who is an avid wood worker.  That being said, he just did a lot of reading, planning and figuring this out himself.  3)  We did not design this bed!  It's a total rip-off from DWR's American Modern bed.  A really, really good rip off.  And since he was copying a bed from DWR, there were no pre-made plans.  He did it all himself, including tracking down some essential but hard-to-find hardware.   


Post script: B here.  I'm going to address some questions that have come up in the comments section over the past months and also add a few tips that may be helpful.  In answer to the question about the joinery of the main frame: I should have gotten fancy and done dowels but I took the easy route and did biscuit joints. The main frame was thick enough to do 4 biscuits in each corner. Maybe not the strongest, but it hasn't broken yet. I started getting worried about it, so I added the metal piece you see in the pictures across the joint on the bottom.  Not sure how much strength that adds, but it adds a little piece of mind. The center support (can't really see it in the pictures) runs underneath all the slats and I attached it to the main frame with brackets like this from Lowes:
There are 2 legs that support the middle of the bed and attach to the center support. I was trying to copy the DWR bed as close as possible and I figured the extra support was probably a good idea anyway.  If you don't want to turn  your own legs, you can get walnut mid century modern legs at tablelegs.com. It looks like they're about $24 each.  The legs I turned are about 12 inches tall.  Originally I had attached the legs to the bed with hanger bolts and these brackets (well just like this but square, not a triangle):  
There was a lot of play in the bed (no pun intended) with these brackets and I had a couple break after a few months. So I ponied up and called a metalwork shop and had six 1/4" steel brackets made about 4" long  and 6"  wide with holes in the corners to mount to the bed and one hole in the center to mount the leg.  I bought a single 5/16 tap to thread the center hole and then mounted these babies to the bed. It made such a huge difference.  Now, the bed does not move or wobble.  It is rock solid.  All six brackets cost about 30 bucks from my local mom and pop metalwork shop. 

The last tip I'll leave is where to find the headboard brackets. If I hadn't stumbled on these, I wouldn't have even attempted to make the bed. I ordered 3 of the angled headboard brackets from hairpinlegs.com.  The angled back variety are about $27 each.  I wanted to be able to remove the brackets from the headboard, so I added brass threaded inserts in the back like these: 
Of course I had to use a Forstner bit to drill the hole for the inserts. 

Any other questions, email my beautiful bride. 

17 comments:

  1. It's beautiful ... really, really beautiful. The finish is just gorgeous. I've taken a few woodworking classes myself, so I know how much time and effort that takes. Bravo!

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  2. Gasp! It's beautiful! I'm not usually the jealous type, but I'll say it... I'm jealous! :) (in a happy for you kind of way!)

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  3. Wow. Your bed frame is seriously impressive! Congratulations and thanks for sharing B's artwork. (I really do consider it a beautiful piece of art!) What fun you two have together! :)

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  4. I am so beyond impressed! It's just gorgeous, but it's so much more than that because B made it. Love, full circle. Well done you two.

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  5. Dude! The bed looks amazing and beautiful and I love it! I am so impressed, and also secretly excited that you copied the DWR bed.... because maybe I can save my pennies to get one! Not handmade, obvs, but still, that look is awesome.

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  6. This looks beautiful and really sturdy. Great job!

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  7. Your bed is in a whole different class than that other bed. Phenemenal! Gorgeous. Any twinge of smug you guys might feel is well deserved. :)

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  8. No way. This is unbelievable! Beyond gorgeous. You are one lucky lady ;)

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  9. That is absolutely gorgeous!!! Great job husband!!!! The walnut is unbelievably beautiful. I would pet it all day long...

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  10. He did an awesome job! What a wonderful family heirloom he has created!

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  11. That's a great job -

    I found your post as I'm in the middle of my own rip off of the DWR bed and was looking for better pics of the joinery from rails to foot/head crossboards What did your husband use? Did he use a tenon or dowel where the 45's join? Did he use lap joints where the centre support meets the foot/head?

    Looks really really good with that Waterlox. I hope mine turns out as well as yours! Took me forever to convince my wife I could build it so the pressure is on and it looks like you guys set the standard!

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    1. Josh--very cool! I had my doubts too, so I understand where your wife is coming from. :) That being said, he did do a fantastic job.

      tenon or dowel? No idea... I'll get my husband to chime in here and give you some tips. Probably won't be until later today. Feel free to email me at thislittlemiggy at gmail too he could answer you more directly, send some better pics, etc.

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  12. Saw the original version from DWR and mind you, your husband did a pretty replica of it! Way to go! Yours just looks wider than the DWR's.

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  13. Nice job! Could you tell me what thickness the walnut frame was made from? Also, what degree chamfer was used around the underside of the frame? Thanks!

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    1. Hey ic12345, not sure if you'll check back here, but here's my best answer to your question. I bought 8/4 rough wood for the frame which finished out to almost 1 3/4" after planing and everything. The headboard was 4/4 rough and finished out to just over 3/4" after glue-up and planing. I'm not exactly sure what degree the underside chamfer was. I experimented with different angles on a scrap board on my table saw before I cut the final chamfers. Good luck!

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    2. Thanks for the reply! I was also wondering how you joined the frame pieces like someone else on here asked. Lap joint, dowels, etc? Thanks!

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  14. Anonymous1:13 PM

    Inspired by your beautiful job, we are embarking on a similar project ("dumbed down for our limited skilz ;)

    Would you please give me the source of the brackets that attach the headboard to the bed platform? I be so grateful, thank you!

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