This IS doable, right??
April 20, 2007 11:47 AM   Subscribe

I have a full size platform bed from Ikea, but I want to make the legs a few feet taller...

This is my current bed - Hemnes - and I quite like it. However, I want to turn it into a "high rise bed" like this one: clickyclicky.

I understand a trip or two to Home Depot is in order. How can I elevate the legs approx 40 inches (high enough to fit a mini-fridge and some trunks full of clothes and things) and how can I make sure it's stable and safe? I will have access to a fair amount of tools and things, but I'm a woodworking beginner so obnoxious amounts of details are warmly welcomed!

Feel free to ask any more questions and thank you so much for your help!
posted by infinityjinx to Home & Garden (11 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
posted by HeyAllie at 12:01 PM on April 20, 2007

I'd probably build some sort of platform and then put screws through the bottom of the platform into the bottom of the bed legs so they couldn't slide off.

You could also come up with a way of extending the legs in a stilt like fashion, but you'd want to reinforce them them to avoid them torquing. I wouldn't rely on the structural integrity of the bed to keep them straight and upright.

I'll let someone else provide the design considerations.
posted by Good Brain at 12:16 PM on April 20, 2007

How important are looks to you here?

Any sort of leg extensions you did would likely require significant diagonal bracing in order to prevent severe wobbling/swaying.

Would you consider building what would basically be a conventionally studded wall to put your bed on top of? I am thinking of a raised platform that your bed would fit on with no modification.

You would need a bunch of 2x4's and some sheets of plywood. Build your stud walls (i'm thinking one on each end, one across the back and one in the middle.) Attach the plywood to the top and then place your bed on top of this platform. You could attach some sort of panel material on the outside of the walls to clean things up a bit.

on preview - more or less what good brain said!
posted by davey_darling at 12:21 PM on April 20, 2007

Maybe find a dresser or other piece of furniture high enough, and put one under each leg (attaching each leg securely).
posted by ShooBoo at 1:00 PM on April 20, 2007

If I were you, I'd buy about ten feet of 4" diameter PVC; ten feet of 4.25" diameter PVC, and ten feet of 4.5" PVC. (I made up 4". You'd want it to be just large enough that the legs of your bed would fit into them, but not so large that there'd be a lot of wobble.) Using a hacksaw, cut each ten-foot PVC pipe into four equal lengths. Slip them into one another, so you have four 2.5' lengths of three-pipe-thick PVC. Then stick the legs of the bed into the PVC tube.

The reason for the three-ply-pipe is that it will reinforce the pipe, and will make the whole thing a lot more sturdy.

Obviously, if you want taller legs, get more than ten feet of pipe.
posted by Alt F4 at 1:23 PM on April 20, 2007

The pipe idea was what I thought of too, but be careful - it's very strong if you apply purely longitudinal or lateral pressure but not any sort of torsion. I don't know I'd want to be 4' up in the air on them.
posted by phearlez at 2:24 PM on April 20, 2007

That PVC idea is so bad it is wonderful. It'll work great if you never have sex (or anything else physical) in that bed ... which, if you have your bed up on pvc pipes, may be a guaranteed result. Even leaning against the wall to read a book might get you a big and exciting crash, complete with sharp pvc shards for extra thrills.

The really direct answer is that there is no easy solution that will look clean and neat. With lots of tools and lots of time and some knowledge, you could replace the IKEA legs with longer legs and add a couple of short diagonal braces and that would work. Easiest would be to build an entire platform for the bed to sit on... but that will look like you have a big platform with a bed on it. Better than the pvc idea (especially because it won't collapse) but not by much, and you still need to make sure to attach the bed firmly to the platform or a leg will creep off the platform right in the middle of an intimate act. You could also build a raised structure "inside" the IKEA bed (with taller legs set in from the current legs); how it would attach and support the bed would depend on the details of the bed's construction, but probably you could support it both with bolts horizontally from the legs and all along the side rails. (Imagine a frame, sort of like those scaffolding structures you see next to houses when they are painting them, made just smaller than your bed such that it fits beneath it. But there are a lot of potential problems with this, and it sure won't look pretty.)

Really, your easiest solution will be to build a taller bed from scratch, reusing a few pieces from the IKEA bed as appropriate.

If you don't care about looks at all, and you don't mind hurting the IKEA bed, you could take 8 pieces of 1x6 (by whatever height you want, plus the length of the existing bed legs) and attach two 1x6s at each corner (seen from above, the 1x4s will make an "L" on the outside of the current bed leg). Two 1x6's, glued and screwed together, plus maybe a triangle bracing inside the "L" at the bottom, are strong enough to hold up the bed; gluing and screwing them the length of the existing legs should give a fair bit of strength to resist wobbling, although you might want some diagonal bracing for safety if your carpentry skills aren't topknotch.
posted by Forktine at 4:10 PM on April 20, 2007

I recently purchased a set of 14" legs, which bolted onto my bedframe, next to (not onto) the other set of legs. These are very thick pieces of pipe, each leg has two "feet" on it, it's on carpet, and there's a center bracing.

And the bed still moves a lot more than you'd think. Even with two sides of it up against walls.

Forty inches is, to be honest, out of the question, unless you plan on bolting the frame to, say, the wall, or if the bed might rest directly upon four dressers. Or if you somehow suspended the bed from the ceiling, via chains connected to some bolts set into the beams.
posted by adipocere at 4:22 PM on April 20, 2007

You really think three-plies of PVC would torque out? Honestly, I think they'd be fine. If anyone here wants to front the money for the PVC, I'll build exactly what I described above, and I'll jump up and down on it, videotape it, and put it on YouTube.
posted by Alt F4 at 6:26 AM on April 21, 2007

You really think three-plies of PVC would torque out?

Yes, for three reasons. One, you aren't going to get a snug fit between the sizes of PVC pipe -- you will have three loosely fitting pieces that will rattle if you shake them. Two, the weight of the bed will rest in either one or two spots on the rim of the pvc pipes, rather than being distributed around the entire circumferences, increasing the chance of fractures and splits. Three, there just isn't any rigidity -- the whole thing will sway and wobble if you push it from the side (and assuming you haven't bolted it to the wall).

PVC will hold a lot of weight, but it is not a good structural material for this sort of construction. (You could make it work by using it more like bamboo -- multiple pieces, lashed together, attention to diagonals, etc -- but not in the manner you are suggesting.) People get away with all kinds of crazy things -- I have seen homemade scaffolding made out of skinny pvc pipes, and it didn't fall down; I am not saying that the minute someone sits (or jumps) on the bed it will collapse. But sticking a bed up on 4' pieces of 4" pvc will not provide a satisfactory bed experience in the way the OP is looking for -- something that is safe, secure, and stable.
posted by Forktine at 7:37 AM on April 21, 2007

Hey! Here's another idea:

Can you push the bed right into the corner? If so, you could screw a ledge into the sides of the wall that the bed faces, and place three of the legs on that - the fourth leg could be supported by virtually anything, as there won't be very much (if any) movement of the bed as the other three legs would be solid and secure.
posted by davey_darling at 2:34 PM on April 25, 2007

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