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Help me get a tall custom bed frame
January 14, 2014 9:50 PM   Subscribe

I'm living in a tiny space. It's about the size of an RV. I'm looking for a queen-size bed frame I can put my dog's 33" tall crate under. I'd like a platform-style frame with no safety rails. I think the legs will need extra bracing, but I'd like to keep two sides open for storage. Basically, I'm looking for this without the headboard. Should I build it myself? Pay a lot and wait for months for a pre-made one? Design it myself and have someone else build it? Have someone else design and build it?

I have the physical carpentry skills required to build it myself, but I'm not great at bringing my patience and perfectionism to a woodworking project of this scale. I think it's better all around if someone else builds it. I'd like to do it on the cheap, but I'd like it to be it nice enough that I'll want to hold onto it for the next place, so the legs should be removable.

I've thought about buying a loft bed (~$300) and cutting it down. The advantage would be using someone else's engineering. However, I'd be removing the safety rails, and it seems that those are part of what supports the bed, so I'd lose at least part of the engineering advantage. I'd need to add braces for the legs.

Should I try to hire a carpenter to build it? Or to design and build it? I've put together some plans by cannibalizing and miscegenating loft and platform bed plans from anawhite.com. I'm in Oakland, CA, so there is a skilled labor pool. Should I put a request out on Craigslist? In what category? Labor gigs looked most promising.

I've thought about tossing some bookshelves on their sides to support the head and foot of the bed and just building a platform, but that's a lot of weight for bookshelves of unknown strength. The 2x4 Ikea Expedit is just about perfect in size and shape, but it's particleboard and fiberboard.

How much is this going to cost me? The bed in the picture runs around $700, which is high for me, and it take a while to make and require another few hundred to move it 3k miles.

Thanks for reading through my maze of uncertainty. I've been puzzling on this for months. Meanwhile, my space is making me nuts. Ideas and feedback are greatly appreciated.

Aside: in another universe I'd build the crate into the bed's frame. Unfortunately, my dog is smart, persistent and panicky, so as it is I had to get a special escape-resistant crate. If he had a wooden crate, I'd come home to a dog who was dead from digestive indiscretion or rich from redesigning the common screw.
posted by manduca to Home & Garden (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 


I'm in Oakland and know a good carpenter at the journeyman $30/hr level. (He's someone we hired who was referred to me by someone else, not a personal contact.) If you want his name, memail me.

Coincidentally, I'm in Oakland and also want to build a very specific bed, so I half want to say "maybe we could trade work days," but the reality is I have at least two to three months of other DIY work that must happen first.
posted by slidell at 11:22 PM on January 14


I knew someone who had a bed that was closer to the ceiling than your example bed. I'm not sure how it was supported on the floor, but it had a couple of chains that were attached to and supported by the ceiling.
posted by aniola at 11:33 PM on January 14


Looks like this company might be able to sort something out for you - College Bed Lofts - they have a range of products and can do custom ones.
posted by AnnaRat at 11:55 PM on January 14 [1 favorite]


I built about what you want some years ago, with -at the time- minimal carpentry skills. I would encourage you to try to build it yourself for the sense of accomplishment. The one that I built was attached to the wall at one end. I used 1/2 inch plywood, 2x4s, and 4x4s for the legs. It would be easier with a helper.
posted by mareli at 5:43 AM on January 15


Thanks for the ideas.

Rube R. Nekker, the instructables bed is great, although since the maker emphasizes not over-engineering the bed, I have some concerns about the effects of extending the legs 15" or so. But I bet if I added braces on the legs, that would help.

slidell, thanks. I'll memail you.

aniola, Ceiling chains! Love that idea, but rental... I wonder if the user found the swinging annoying.

AnnaRat, College Bed Lofts - I looked at them a while ago, but it hadn't occurred to me to go back and check out the custom offerings. Thanks!

mareli, it's funny, I built one myself years ago, same story.

Here's my plan: give myself a week to build a little shelf. If it doesn't make me crazy, seriously consider building it myself. Thanks again!
posted by manduca at 7:24 PM on January 15


I don't know how it was designed because I only saw it once or twice, but it was pretty solid and didn't swing. Actually I think there were two beds using chains as supports in that house. One was a guest bed over the washer/dryer. That one might have swung down from the wall.
posted by aniola at 11:28 AM on January 16


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