2 Beds 1 Shop…And the Clock is Ticking

My wife is due to deliver our 3rd child any day now and we are one bed short for our current family of 5.  The goal was to have my daughter’s bed completed last month so when the new born comes home my daughter could have her own bed.  Now the clock is ticking and it’s the final countdown.

Months ago I found this photo on Google Images.  My wife and I wanted to keep the furniture in Sabrina Xin’s bedroom to have a Chinese theme to keep up with her heritage so I am using this as inspiration for the design.

Chinese bed

I drew up a sketch with a few details and made a few rough dimensions to get started.  This is not a complete project sketch.


Smash cut back several months: my mother called me and commissioned a bed to be made for my brother.  He has been sleeping on a futon mattress on the floor for 4 years and now he needs an actual bed.  I contacted him to get an idea of what he would like in bed design and he just wanted a simple bed made from construction lumber with an 18″ clearance under the rails for storage.  With those parameters I began designing and I came up with this simple “modern” style.  Again, this is not a complete project design.


Now as I build one bed I might as well build two.  Just as with my Tatami Platform Bed build, these beds start with the feet, then the foot and head rails, the side rails, and finally the headboard.

I glued up the foot blanks of African Mahogany for the Chinese inspired bed (Elm was my first choice but it is impossible to get in CA) and while that was curing I filled the knots in the foot blanks for my brother’s bed with colored epoxy.  Once the glue was set on the Chinese bed I began milling the feet to final dimension.  Then I laid out for the bed rail hardware.  A note about that: I am using the 4″ x 5/8″ heavy duty wrought steel bed rail hardware from Rockler for both of these beds.  The hardware is easy to install and makes for easy bed assembly/dis-assembly.

To keep everything organized and moving at the same pace I milled the rails and all the parts for both beds at the same time one bed at a time so the machines (planer/table saw) didn’t have to be switched constantly to accommodate different widths and thicknesses.

This is where the projects currently sit.  I am working on these bed a little each night and hopefully I will be finished shortly after my wife delivers.


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