To make this bed all you need are a few raw materials and time. One of the easiest ways to make a bed is to screw a platform of solid timber slats to rails. Add castors and you can move it around, too. This king single bed uses recycled oregon slats, which are often over 70 years old, straight, strong and largely knot free.
Gather your supplies
Slats (9) 200 x 45 x 1200mm recycled oregon
Long slats (2) 200 x 45x 1500mm recycled oregon
Rails (2) 125 x 75 x 2125mm recycled hardwood
- Step 1: Check length of slats and rails. Trim a 65 x 65mm triangle off underside of rails at foot end to soften look. As this timber is rough sawn, with splinters, sand back with a belt or orbital sander. Don’t smooth it completely, as you want the character of the old timber to remain. Start with 40-grit, then switch to 80-grit.
- Step 2: Lighten timber by applying Liming White using a brush, or seal for a dark timber look. Paint 1 or 2 boards, then wipe off with a rag. The longer you wait before wiping, the paler the timber will look. If you just want a touch of white to show through, use a little turps on a rag to remove even more Liming White. Don’t forget to do visible edges and ends as well. Allow to dry.
- Step 3: Lay slats on a flat surface so they fit together well. Then number them in order on the underside. From each end of short slats and 1 end of long slats, measure in 110mm and 30mm from each edge, for screw hole positions. On other end of long slats, mark 410 and 30mm. Drill a 7mm hole at each mark, then follow with a countersink bit to take heads of batten screws.
- Step 4: To ensure bed will be square, use edges of a bench with square corners, or a sheet of ply, to lay out rails so they’re parallel. Inside edges of rails should be 890mm apart. Check diagonals are equal.
- Step 5: Lay slats on top and align so short slats overhang rails by 80mm on each side (see Slat Bed Diagram, above). Predrill pilot holes with a 5mm bit, as you’re going into tough hardwood, then drive in 75mm stainless-steel (or galvanised) batten screws. Don’t put in all screws, as you’ll need to dismantle bed and reassemble it again in the bedroom.
- Step 6: Remove loose slats, then stand up bed to screw castors to underside of rails, about 100mm in from each end.
You’ll also need
Feast Watson Oil-Based Liming White or sealer; 75mm stainless-steel batten screws; 133mm rubber swivel lock castors (4)