Looking to make a sleigh bed for me and my wife

greyloup
2 posts and 2 followers
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I am an novice wood worker and I am looking for advice to build a king size sleigh bed for me and my wife. Most of my creations rarely leave my garage workshop. Muns you we just moved so my workshop has not been set up yet.
I am working on a budget but I have a few styles I like to pull ideas from but I truly want to do a good job.
Looking for advice, places to find plans so on. Any advice will be appreciated.

We are horror movie buffs so I plan to relief carve the bride and frankenstein on the headboard. Also it will be a dark to black stain on the wood. Pine will probably be the choice material.

I believe there are plans you can buy off some furniture plan websites. Google them and see what you like. A king size bed is a big unit. Make sure you have the space to set it up and to make sure it all fits. The hardware can be bought from online places. I have done a few over the years. Just remember to add good support in the bottom cross pieces. They will be supporting your mattress, which will be wide. I make T shaped cross members and use lots of them. I make mine from maple.

Thanks Bob I will do that I would use maple but my budget is limited…. So I figure pine is a good substitute on a limited budget… I was planning on an overly supportive base at this time. I can usually kinda of make a plan from looking at picture of beds I have seen. I will include pics when I have started the project.

Best advice I can give as a furniture maker. Use the best material you can. Save up for the maple. Its not that much more. If you use pine, it will have issues. Kiln dried material is all i use as my work goes all over the country.

Think of it this way. You are making something you want to have last for a long time. Use ther best material you can. Its a small part of the project. Inferior materials just add disappointment down the line. Its one of the biggest lessons I learned years back. Hope it helps. bob

I built a king size sleigh bed about fifteen years ago and I used a trick that you might consider. The bed itself is completely supported by a simple metal bed support frame that the mattress store sold us. It is completely under the box spring and mattress and basically invisible. The sleigh bed, although it looks completely functional, is not in any way supporting the mattresses. It is simply a “corral” that fits closely around the box spring and incorporates the head and foot boards.
I made the joints very strong so there is no racking or movement but as it supports nothing, it gets very little stress and most of the problem areas in bed making are eliminated. To look at it or sleep on it you would never guess.

Just a thought ……

The early bird gets the worm but its the second mouse that gets the cheese.

I attempted a king sized bed frame when I’d just started woodworking…it ended in a lot of wasted wood and frustration. It’s a big project and complicated, not so much because the wood working is more difficult than any other project but because the parts you are dealing with are large and awkward.
My advice is as wisconsin bob suggested; find some online plans that you like and go from there. Pine is beautiful but weak, especially when dealing with the weight of a king sized bed. I’d avoid the standard big box store 3/4" pine for the structural pieces…

Rob, Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

The four sleigh beds that I have built were birch and birds eye maple. The cost of this wood in my area was almost quadruple that of pine but for structure and finish I could not sacrifice the quality. Think of it this way, building furniture should be with the 200 year durable factor in mind. If that means putting it off to save until you have the funds then so be it. Take your time with every step and every cut. Try to enjoy the building process knowing that you are building something with your own hands and will be a cherished accomplishment when done as well as a beautiful piece of furniture.

CHRIS, Charlottetown PEI Canada. Anytime you can repurpose, reuse, or recycle, everyone wins!

If you haven’t started this project yet, I suggest you go to a furniture showroom and study the sleigh beds on display. You may find some ‘inspiration’ from what’s on offer – don’t be afraid to feel around and look underneath to see how they are made.
Part of your design criteria is deciding what you, as a woodworker, can or cannot achieve with your tools and workshop – ie, angles or curves, straight or curved panels/flat or raised and fielded etc. Also take into account what materials are available to you, are you starting from rough sawn or pao timber? White pine is cheap for a reason, red deal (think it’s known as redwood in US) is a much more workable species.
Might also be worth doing a dry run on the carving first to make sure you are happy with the design and comfortable and proficient with the carving tools.
I am sure you will get a lot more advice from members here once you post a design, let us know where you are in the world for hardware/timber advice specific to your location. (I’m betting England).
Not much help I know, but might give you something to think about.
Cheers.

Doing the best I can with what I've got