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Bed Bacics

The hardest part of moving multiple hundred kilometres away to a new place is getting your bedroom all set up.

The bedroom is your happy place, your retreat away from the flatmates or the TV with Shortland Street on every evening. But it can take a lot of time, effort and money to get it feeling like home.

Like myself, most people wouldn’t bother bringing along their furniture when they move to go to university or start a new job - instead, they start from scratch, trolling Facebook buy and sell pages to pick up a bargain. When I moved to Taranaki from Wellington, pretty much all my positions could fit in my car. All I needed to do was to find a mattress when I arrived so I could sleep comfortably. I found one at the salvation army for $25. It was in good nick – no broken springs, no stains or rips. It looked pretty much brand new.

After living in the Naki for a few weeks, it was time to put some time into making my room my happy place, and that meant making the room look like an actual bedroom rather than a place some squatter stayed a few nights.

 Warehouse Queen Bed Frame $300

Warehouse Queen Bed Frame $300

I had a quick look around the Warehouse where I found a decent looking bed base for $300. It wasn’t fancy but had that minimal Scandinavian aesthetic. Quality-wise, it was crap. Made from chipboard, rickety and lightweight. I doubt it would last a few years before being sent to the landfill.

A year or so back, I decided I wouldn’t purchase anything that I truly didn’t like, even if it is only meant to get me by for the time being. A bed base is a necessity and is the main piece of furniture in a bedroom, so I really needed it to be quality, and aesthetically to my liking.

So I decided to build my own.

 Modelling up the bed frame in Fusion 360

Modelling up the bed frame in Fusion 360

My design began with some initial criteria:
- Made from timber
- Minimal aesthetic
- Fit my queen mattress
- Dismantlable and transportable (for when I move again)
- Something that will last
- Use my new power tools (The girl got me some new powertools for christmas)
- Learn something new

Straight off the bat, I took to CAD (Fusion 360) to draw up some plans. Fusion is a new 3D modelling program for me, so the process of drawing up the design and rendering out some visualisations was incredibly rewarding.

 Bed frame render in Fusion 360

Bed frame render in Fusion 360

Once the design was all sussed in CAD, It was time to build. I had heard from some locals that there is a timber mill on the other side of town. They fabricate scaffolding planks from the finest of NZ timber. Although they make for the commercial industry, I tried my luck at getting a hold of some.

Out the back was a stack of seconds that were unusable for the market (due being planned too thin and no longer meet safety standards), for $100 cash, I took four of them to construct my bed. I strapped them onto the roof racks and headed back to the workshop to get stuck into building.

Cutting a drilling all the joints took the better part of a day. All throughout the process, I would triple check my measurements with the digital drawings. The whole bed was fabricated off-site in a flat pack format. Counted all the screws, so when it came to assembling it within my bedroom, there wasn't going to be anything left over nor missing.

The timber surface is finished with a satin brush on polyurethane. Two coats were applied with some sanding in between. The final result maintains the natural pale white/yellow of the timber without discolouring it. I find the satin finish looks less cheap too.

✔ Learn something new - Fusion 360 CAD software
✔ Made from Timber - Sourced locally NZ grown pine
✔ Minimal aesthetic - Clear satin finish on timber, no added aesthetic details
✔ Fit my queen mattress
✔ Dismantlable and transportable - Screws together (no glue)
✔ Something that will last - solid timber
✔ Use my new power tools

Costs:
$100 cash - Timber
$25 - Polyurethane satin finish (only used half the tin)
$25 - Mattress (salvation Army
Total $150

 The bed all set up

The bed all set up

 Four lengths of timber transported on the cars roof racks.

Four lengths of timber transported on the cars roof racks.

 Laying out all the parts in assembly preparation.

Laying out all the parts in assembly preparation.

 Bed frame corner joint.

Bed frame corner joint.