Build Your Own Bed
This rustic-style bed is a new piece of furniture I made from some very old materials.
By Matt Weber
My grandmother owns a house built sometime in the 1940s which has been in our family for decades. The house was formerly used as a residence, then as a barn and finally just for storage. It was recently slated for demolition, so I decided to rob it of its usable materials. The interior walls were clad with tongue-and-groove pine that had a rich, distressed quality. This slow-growth pine has tightly spaced rings for a warm, detailed character that enhances its dimensional stability, so the boards stay straighter and the grain is less likely to check than much of the lumber available today.
I pulled the boards off the wall studs using a couple of heavy- duty pry bars, including a Gutster Demo Bar typically used for deck demolition.
I was collecting the boards to make the bed’s headboard for my three-year-old son. Not only did this beautiful wood have that distinct character, but I liked the idea of repurposing a memento of my family’s history in a project for our next generation. I guess I’m sentimental.
Here’s how I built the bed.
I used new lumber for the bed frame, since it would basically be invisible beneath the bedding. Plus, I needed the supporting strength of 2x lumber, and the T&G boards were only 3/4-in.thick.
For my design I cut the bed posts from an 8-ft. 6×6 and notched each one to receive the 2×4 bed rails. You’ll need seven 8-ft. 2x4s; four for the rails and three for the cross-members.
First, carefully cut the 6×6 as square as possible into four equal posts, measuring the height you prefer for the bed frame (minus the thickness of the plywood top). My posts were 11 inches high. A 12-in. sliding miter saw is ideal for cutting the 6×6, but you can get the job done with a circ saw if you finish the cut with a hand saw or recip saw.