Saturday, March 2, 2013

Building Andy's Bed

I just asked my husband what the title of my blog post about building our son Andy's bed should be.  He answered, "Building Andy's Bed", so that's it.  Simple and to the point.  This post is all about building Andy's bed.

Our oldest son lives and works in San Francisco and just spent a mint on a new mattress.  Just like every other young adult trying to save money while they further their career, he didn't have a lot of extra money to spend on a bed frame for that super comfy mattress.  As he is waiting to save up his hard earned cash before buying a frame, I thought I could put together a simple, pallet style platform base for him  until he could afford what he really wants.  As luck would have it, we were just getting ready to travel to San Francisco to visit him for the long Presidents' Day weekend.  I thought I could build a bed-in-a-box (Ikea Style) that we could take with us in the back of our Honda Pilot.  

Below you see the beginnings of Andy's bed.  The base was made from four pallets custom sized to 31" x 40".  When they were are all put together, the base measured 62" x 80", the perfect size for his mattress.

You  may notice some of the boards have green spray paint at the ends.  The are special treasures found in the culled lumber bin at Home Depot.  They cost $.52/each!  What a find!  Over half of the boards were from this treasure trove of goodies.  I had to purchase all the 2 x 4's; there were six of them in all.  The rest of the board were either 1 x 4's or 1 x 6's.  You can see below the basic boards side by side.  I had Home Depot cut the 2 x 4's to size, but I did the rest of cuts at home with my trusty jigsaw.

Below you can see two of the finished "pallets" side by side, along with our trusty Sears Craftsman drill we've  had for over 20 years!  I love it!  I also have a great little rechargeable drill that I use for small projects, but I bring out the big gun for the big projects.  

I decided to use the pallet style base after researching many wonderful sites online.  Many people use actual pallets and sand and stain them, but I was afraid to use them for a bed.  My son will be sleeping on this and I don't want him exposed to any chemicals that pallets may have been treated with.  Don't get me wrong...I love pallets and have used wood from them to build other projects; mainly ones that will be used outdoors, or for small decorating accessories.  However, I don't think they should be used in applications where constant contact may be made.....that's just my opinion.

I told my son that he would someday tire of the old platform style base, especially when he made his first million and could buy an entire fine furniture store.  So, when he does make that first million, I showed him how the bed could be taken apart and the pallets could be used as shelving or wall decor.  I had one of his Ferragamo shoe boxes in the garage (he has great taste in shoes that his mother certainly can't afford:), so I sat it on one of the base supports to show him how he could turn his bed into display shelves.

Below you can see the final product.  Please ignore how the boards don't completely line up from side to side.  I assure you, the dimensions are consistent, and the base is stronger than Popeye's grip on his can of spinach!

I just had to put a picture of my favorite tools below.  The old drill, you've met before; my very old tape measure and hammer both belonged to my father ~ and the hammer before that belonged to my grandfather.  And, lastly there's my awl.  It's newer and happens to be the fourth one I own.  I absolutely couldn't survive without an awl close by.  An awl can do everything from creating holes to give wood screws their start, to punching paper that will later be bound into a handmade journal.  An awl is one of the most versatile tools one can have.

My husband was inside vacuuming and doing everyday domestics while I was out in the garage building the bed.  We often laugh at how some traditional roles in our marriage are often reversed...he decided to take a break and sneak outside to check my progress..he snapped this quick photo of me decked out in my new tool belt he got me for my birthday.

After a long night's work and only hours away from getting on the road to San Francisco, I loaded the bed, four pieces in all, into the back of the Honda.  Look at how it fit!  I was so excited for Andy to see it.

We traveled all day and got into town just in time for Andy to get home from work and unload his new piece of furniture.

The finishing of the bed was going to be on site in his apartment in San Francisco. His plan was to stain it with a near black stain.  He wanted to let the wood grain show through.  He also plans to either elevate it by either using 4 x 4's as crossbars or possibly finding vintage casters, the really big six-inch ones, to attach to the bottom.  

Below you can catch a glimpse of the stained bed.  It turned out so great.  The pictures just don't do it justice.   

Here's a picture of the full bed.  He's promised to send more pics as soon as his room is complete.  It's still a work in progress as you can see from the rest of the photograph.  I love the paint color he has chosen for his wall. The other walls are white, similar to the amazing baseboard seen here.  He lives in an old Victorian home similar to the Painted Ladies you see in all the great San Francisco travel guides.  He actually has six inch crown molding, a chandelier medallion and a fireplace in his room.  All this, along with the amazing bay window with curved glass, makes for a wonderful retreat.  

I'll be sure to post pictures of the finished bed, casters or no-casters, as soon as he has everything finished.  I'm so happy he can actually put the finishing touches on his new bed.  It will become his own handmade family piece to have forever, whether it remains a bed or turns into shelving on his wall:)

I hope you've enjoyed viewing this post.  Please let me know if you have any questions about any of the photos or the process.  It was definitely a labor of love.  There's nothing better than working with your hands and building something out of simple boards...especially if it is something for someone you love!

Thank you for stopping by!

~ Alison

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