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Platform Bed Plans


Platform beds are having a comeback of sorts with both bedroom furniture shoppers and people who like to build furniture themselves. Perhaps some are attracted to the low cost, especially after seeing more conventional bed frames sell for thousands of dollars. Others might simply be looking for a bed that offers extra-firm support for the back.

Most people are probably doing both. In fact, most people looking for a platform bed are probably now sleeping on a bare mattress on the floor (for one reason or another) and want to find a low-cost alternative. The simplest platform beds don't have a headboard or footboard. They don't use a box spring either, which does a lot to bring down the cost of the complete bed. Instead, the design of a platform bed uses a solid sheet of plywood to support the mattress. This makes for a sturdy, but somewhat flexible, bed cushion. People who sleep on the floor (and like it that way) will enjoy being up off the floor and still have the firmness they're used to.

A popular type of mattress for platform beds is the memory-foam type - first used in hospitals for its extra comfort and health benefits. Memory foam mattresses are the perfect companion to a platform bed, and are easy to find at reasonable prices. However, a traditional mattress will also work fine.

For DIY project builders, the platform bed design is an attractive project, even for newcomers to woodworking. In its most simple form, a platform bed consists of little more than a basic wood frame with four corner posts to hold everything together. You'll find plenty of variations to this design, especially if you want something a little more stylish - like a headboard, footboard, canopy, storage drawers, etc. However, these extras are not necessary if all you want is the basic bed frame.

As you shop around for platform bed plans, be sure to find out what type of joinery the plan uses (some plan descriptions don't readily tell you this). This can make a big difference in whether or not you can build the bed. While the more simple joinery techniques can be done with more simple tools (like circular saws and hand drills), a platform bed plan that mentions things like dadoes, grooves, and mortises, is usually talking about table saws, routers, and drill presses.

If you end up getting a plan than requires lots tools you don't have, all is not lost. Most plan designs can be modified to fit the tools you have. All you really need to be looking for is a basic idea of how the parts go together. Once you start examining any platform bed plan, you'll be able to see how the joinery might be simplified. In fact you'll probably enjoy the bed more if you can find a way to customize the features to fit your particular style.

Platform Bed Plans - PlansNOW.com

For most people, a platform bed is a low-cost, easy-to-build alternative to expensive bedroom furniture. However, the term can also refer to a particular style of of bed design--a simple and sleek look that compliments modern furniture. As a result, the platform bed plans you'll find online are of two varieties: (1) bare-bones, easy-to-build DIY plans for getting your mattress up off the floor, and (2) well-crafted woodworking plans designed to emulate the traditional platform bed style.

The PlansNOW version fits my latter description - well-crafted woodworking plans designed by woodworkers. Certainly there's no problem in that. But it'simportant to know that this plan calls for some fairly sophisticated woodworking techniques--like mortise and tenon joinery and dados and grooves--which call for some fairly sophisticated woodworking tools to pull it off. The suggested tool list for this platform bed plan includes a table saw, band saw, drill press, and router.

Aside from the complexities of the joinery, the look and feel of this bed design holds true to the traditional platform bed style -- simple and sleek. A few added touches, though, put this bed plan into a category of its own. For example, the designers used solid cherry hardwood throughout, even though a less expensive material would have worked fine. Also, the headboard is a fairly complicated assembly of frames and panels that requires several six-foot pipe clamps to glue up. To the designers credit, he/she acknowledges that most people probably don't have a lot of six-foot pipe clamps sitting around the shop, so a footnote offers some suggestions for modifying the clamps you own to get the job done.

2x4 Platform Bed Design

One DIY version of a platform bed plan I've seen can build using simple 2x4 lumber. The designer says he's never been satisfied with his exisiting bed, which apparently gave both him and his wife lower back pain. For the mattress, he uses two separarte layers of foam. The top layer is 2" of high-density Foamex, and the bottom layer is 3" of polyurethane foam from Carpenter Foam. The website goes into a lot (and I mean a lot) of detail about foam mattresses and even foam pillows. If you're interested, you can read more about them at the website.

The designer's main purpose for this project was to design a bed that provides the same kind of comfort you might get from sleeping on the floor. Maybe that sounds humorous, but for people who suffer from chronic back pain, sometimes this is the only relief they can get. A conventional mattress is simply too spongy and saggy to keep their backs from hurting after a long night's sleep.

A nice thing about this platform bed plan is that you can always take it apart, move it to another location, and then set it up again...thanks to the simple carriage bolts that hold everything together. The plan design also includes a fairly hefty head board and a foot board, although these can be modified a bit if you're looking for a more simple bed frame. The designer used a table saw, drill, and a router (the router is optional) to complete the entire bed project.

If you find that the web page photos leave to many unanswered questions about the construction, you can download a set of drawings that the designer offers to visitors free of charge. However, the plans are in DXF format, which is a popular CAD file type CAD programs support.

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