DIY: King Size Storage Bed Part 2 - Drawers

8:17 AM

Part 2
Building the side drawers. Engineer hubby built one side of drawers first to make sure it worked well and then we documented the other side. These are his words.

We will first build the drawer receiver and will start by cutting out the back frame, bottom, and drawer separators. The bottom piece of the receiver is 1/2" OSB (7/16" OSB in our case, from this moment on I will refer to the OSB as 1/2" but it should be understood that we used 7/16" which made very little difference in overall dimensions). The back frame of the receiver is made of two 2" x 4"'s oriented as shown below. The drawer separators are made of 1/2" plywood (This may get confusing but this plywood was also 7/16" thick, but just like the OSB will continue to refer to it as 1/2" thick.). I would highly recommend that a table saw be used to cut the plywood and USB. It can be done with a circular saw but unless you are extremely gifted with it, chances are the cuts will be far from square or straight. We used a circular saw and, needless to say, I am not gifted with this particular tool.

This is how the back frame, bottom and drawer separators fit together. Remember to use glue in addition to the wood screws at each connection. The 2" x 4"'s that we used were a little warped so I added the short vertical 2" x 4", seen in the center of the picture, to straighten and add a little more support. The drawer separators should be place at about 25- 2/3" measured from the ends. Since I've never seen a measuring tape with a 2/3" measurement on it, I placed the center of each of the two middle drawer separators at 25 - 3/4" from the ends. This left 21 - 1/2" between the two middle drawer separators. The separators should hang over the USB by 2 - 1/4".

Another angle. The piece of plywood seen on the end is there to hold the drawer separator flush with the edge of the bottom piece while the glue dried. I found that since the plywood was so thin, it would wander from its desired position when inserting the wood screws. If I glued the parts together first and let the glue cure, the plywood wouldn't wander when inserting the screws.

The easiest way I found to get the drawer separators straight was to layout their location on the bottom OSB in the form of a straight line across the whole width of the bottom. Then measure approximately 1/4" to either side of the line and screw in a scrap piece of plywood. I put a scrap piece of plywood at the three locations shown in the following picture. Once the scraps were in place, I glued the separators down (the separators should straddle the line drawn earlier across the width of the OSB), and after the glue had cured sufficiently placed wood screws through the bottom of the OSB into the plywood.

The thickness of the plywood and OSB made it difficult to place screws into their edges without splitting the wood or making the wood wander off the desired mark. Since I didn't want to go buy metal angles, to help with this issue I would put scraps of plywood at the locations where screws would go into the end of plywood or OSB (see following picture)...and it seemed to work.

Place three 1" x 2"'s across the top of the drawer separators. These will hold the separators into place relative to one another as well as provide needed clearance for the front/top trim piece.

The front/top trim piece will sit about 1/2" higher than the 1" x 2" that we installed in the previous step. I used a router to put a slight chamfer on the leading edge to dress it up a little. At each end I took two pieces of 1" x 2" and glued/screwed them together in the shape of an "L". The bottom trim piece should also be attached at this time with about 1/2" of overhang, as measured from the face of the trim pieces.

The following picture shows one of the trim pieces in place which covers the front face of the middle drawer separators. The slender pieces of plywood half way up the drawer separators are spacers that will be needed for the drawer slides. These spacers will vary in thickness and height as they are dependent on the drawer slider system you decide to use. I placed these spacers about 5" up from the bottom of the drawer compartment (measured to the center of the spacer.

Attach the drawer slide to the spacer. Make sure the slide clears the vertical trim piece on the from of the drawer separator. I found that instead of placing the slides in exactly level, if you angle the slide slightly toward the back of the drawer compartment, the drawers won't have a tendency to glide open on their own.

Once you have the slides in place, measure between the two to get the width of the drawer.

I tried to take advantage of the whole drawer compartment space and made the drawer as deep as possible. I left about 1" of clearance between the top, bottom and back of the drawer compartment and the drawer sides and back. The drawer sides and back were glued and screwed at 90 degree angles. This butt joint will work for our purposes.

Make sure your drawer sides and back are square, then measure and cut the drawer bottom. I used plywood for the sides and OSB for the bottoms of the drawers (Except for one drawer where I used plywood for the bottom, I just happened to have a piece that was close to the dimension I needed.).

For drawer slides I used two different types. As we mentioned earlier, one type was salvaged from an old filing cabinet, which at first seemed like a really good idea. They work pretty well but I had to grease the ball bearings in the slide and now if we are not careful we will get red grease on our sheets. The other type is just a cheap $8 pair of self closing drawer slides. These are 22" long and have a capacity of 100 lbs. The latter slides are my favorite of the two.

Here are the drawers in action:

For the drawer panels I routed out a 1/4" x 3/4" depth lip on the inside back face of 1" x 3" pine boards. These pine boards were a higher quality as they needed to be straight. The center panel is a 1/4" piece of plywood cut to fit as shown in the following picture.

Another view:

We missed a picture, but to connect the drawer face to the drawer I used a piece of 1/2" plywood cut to the inner dimensions of the drawer. I would recommend first gluing and screwing the plywood into its position at the front of the drawer (now that this piece is in place the drawer has all four sides in place). Then, glide the drawer into the drawer compartment and place the drawer face into its position ( as shown in the following picture). Make sure there is at least a 1/8" gap between all sides of the drawer face and the trim. Holding the drawer face tight against the drawer front piece, place screws through the front plywood piece into the drawer face. The drawer face should have about 1/2" of recess between the side pine boards and the center panel. I made the transition less abrupt with a small decorative trim piece. I used the same decorative trim on the footboard.

Drawer with the filing cabinet drawer slider.

Drawer with the Home Depot drawer slider.

Squirt some wood glue along the 1" x 2" spacers and screw down a plywood cap for the drawer compartment.

Here is the bed with the center compartment and the two side drawer compartments.

The overall dimensions for this compartment are 14 - 3/4" tall, 26 - 1/4" wide, and 77" long (26-3/4" wide measured at the bottom trim piece and 80" long including overhanging cap and trim).

I highly suggest that anyone who may attempt this project sketch out the bed and its components and create your own Cut/materials list. I am providing my list to be used as a "check."

Cut/Materials List:

-Drawer Compartment

2 - 1/2" x 23 - 1/4" x 77" (bottom, OSB)
4 - 2" x 4" x 77" (back, pine board)
8 - 1/2" x 12 - 3/4" x 24" (drawer separators, plywood)
6 - 1" x 2" x 77" (top, pine board)
2 - 1" x 4" x 80" (bottom trim, pine board)

12 - 1" x 2" x 12 - 3/4" (vertical trim, pine board)
2 - 1" x 2" x 80" (top trim, pine board)
2 - 1/2" x 25 - 1/2" x 80" (top cap, plywood)


*These dimensions should be verified once the drawer compartment is complete and you know what draw slide system you will be using. I consider the dimensions provided here to be estimates and not exact as there are many variables that can influence them during the building of the bed.
12 - 1/2" x 11" x 23" (side, plywood)
6 - 1/2" x 11" x 20 - 3/4" (back, plywood)
6 - 1/2" x 10 - 1/2" x 20 - 3/4" (front/panel backing, plywood)
6 - 1/2" x 21 - 3/4" x 23" (bottom, plywood/OSB)
6 - 1/4" x 8" x 20" (drawer face center panel, plywood)
The overall dimensions of the drawer face is about 12" x 24" so,
62" (approx. per drawer) - 1" x 3" (pine board)
52"(approx. per drawer) - 1/4" to 1/2" (decorative trim, any material type)

6 pairs of drawer slides about 21" long
6 drawer knobs, we used 1 -1/2" diameter round metal knobs.

Stephanie & Her Engineer Hubby

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  1. Is there a part 3? I'd like to know how you made the headboard and footboard and also how you finished it.. is it just white paint?

  2. Part 3 will come soon :) Yes it's just white paint.

  3. ROFL!!! I are an engineer. I are way too familiar with engineer-ese. I are laughing as I read the instructions.

    SOOOO like an engineer.
    Especially this:
    "I consider the dimensions provided here to be estimates and not exact as there are many variables that can influence them during the building of the bed."

    My husband's version:
    I ask, "Want to go to the park this weekend?"
    He replies, "There's a 30% chance of rain. Kid 2 is sniffling; he may have a really bad sinus infection {{note: never a mere common cold}} and won't want to go."
    I say, "Yes. And the world may come to an end. Let's say 'yes' and then deal with anything that comes up."

    sigh. We am so much fun.

  4. Can't wait for Part 3. This is by far the best description I found on how to build a bed. Any idea when the next parts will be coming?

  5. Part 3 may be here within the next coupe of weeks. Since it's my hubby who has to write the post, he has to find time for it after work and other responsibilities. It's takes him a long time to write the instructions up. I'll push him a little more ;)

  6. So let me get this straight: it's put together in sections? As in the bed is thus more easily moved from home to home? Any idea on how much this sucker weighs? (Can you tell we're in the military, yet? HA!) Thanks!

  7. Yes in sections and if you are a strong gal, it can be moved from home to home. My neighbor helped us get it from our garage to our bedroom because it was so heavy for me. Honestly, if I would have put my mind to it I could have helped carry that sucker up the stairs. I have no idea what it weighs, but it is a SOLID bed.

  8. I love this bed! I can't wait for part 3!

  9. Is there a total cost for this bed?

  10. Do you have any problems with moisture / condensation from having a flat plywood base to the mattress
    I'm considering using slat base for a new king size bed but wonder whether the box base like this would work just as well

  11. I'm wondering if you can still open the middle part (with the piano hinge) when the headboard and footboard are installed (when the mattress isn't on it, of course!) ?

  12. Queen Size - If you want to make a Queen size bed frame, it needs to be 16" narrower and the length stays the same. Some ideas - you could eliminate the center console or reduce the depth of the drawers 8". You would also have to reduce the headboard and footboard 16".