As mentioned in the previous post about building the bulkhead we had to work out our measurements to tie in perfectly with both pieces of furniture. We knew the width and length we were going for and just needed to decide upon the height before we could start.
We started with the main frame, but also made the front section of the pull out part, the third set of legs, as the measurements and wood would be the same. Using 2x2s we measured and cut the three long pieces. We are lucky enough to have a mitre saw which made the cutting an easy task, also removing the risk of wonky cuts. Next we measured and cut 12 shorter pieces which would be the legs – we placed them at each end with two sets in the middle, although not equidistant as we had to account for the larger space needed for the wheel arch at one end.
Securing the wood together was time consuming but easy, using the pocket-hole jig (which we mentioned in the previous post (bit.ly/Bookcase-Bulkhead) we prepared the holes, applied wood glue to the area and then screwed in place. This left us with 3 structures, 2 of which would need to be attached – once again we measured and cut another 2 shorter pieces to connect at each end, at the required depth to match the bulkhead.
This left us with one bench-esque frame and another single piece with 4 legs; this is the third set of legs, the support when the bed is pulled out. The next job was to create the slats; this would be the main support for both seat and bed, as well as keep both parts of the frame together. We had to make sure that we used enough slats for the frame to be strong enough as the bed – this sounds obvious but it would be easy to overlook the fact that the number of slats as a bed would be half that of the seat. Neither of us are huge people, however Callum is a 6ft1 rugby player type and this had to come into our consideration!
After some scribbled maths, trying a few different measurements on paper, we decided on an appropriate gap between each slat, both stowed and pulled out. We were using 2x1s for this section and our next step was to measure and cut these pieces out, once again time consuming but easy and thank goodness for the mitre saw! We ended up with 19 shorter slats – these would be affixed to both sides of the main frame, and 18 slighter longer slats – these would only be attached to the third set of legs but needed the extra length to allow them to rest on the far side of the main frame.
After previously working out the exact gaps, I made my way along the main frame of the bed marking up where each piece was going to be secured, I made it super clear for myself by marking on where the ‘seat’ slats were going as well as where the ‘bed’ slats would be, despite them not being attached to the frame. Before starting to secure them I made sure that each slat had a pilot hole and was counter-sunk, then they were glued and screwed in place. Another easy but time consuming job – trying to make sure the slats remained completely flush with the piece of wood it was being secured to required constant concentration on the job at hand. First the slats for the main frame were affixed and then the slats on the thirds set of legs.
With the main construction of the seat/bed done the only thing that was left was to attach the thin strip of wood to the top of the ‘third set of legs’ slats. This would keep them in line, making the stowing process much easier – we would be lifting/sliding it onto the far side of the main frame as one piece opposed to 18 individual pieces. The strip we bought was pre-cut with rounded edges – it would run down the full length of our bed, right in the middle and we were aware that we didn’t want anything that we would be able to feel through the mattress.
We also decided to use a little of the lino cut-offs (from the floor) to create small sections of padding between the areas of wood which were not going to be secured together. These were glued in place and will hopefully ensure no rattling, or damage to the frame occurs over the years of use! All in all we are really happy with how this turned out – making sure the measurements worked was definitely the hardest part of making the bed, once that bit was done it was just careful and rather meticulous labour putting it all together in the right way to the desired end result.