Building a Bed Foundation (Box Springs)

We didn’t buy a box springs with our queen mattress because we had a platform bed which didn’t need one. But the new log bed for the master bedroom requires that the mattress be elevated about 7 1/2″. I could have bought a metal box for about $120 and put it together to lift the mattress into place, but it seemed like a simple project for which I already had all the wood so I decided to build one instead.

My inspiration came from instructables, as well as photos of bed foundations including a nice photo of one for sale on Craigslist.

Full bed frame for sale

Full bed frame for sale

This was similar to one I found that someone put together from a kit on Amazon, but I couldn’t find a wooden kit. And I thought building it would not be too difficult.
Instead of 2 x 6’s, I used a couple of 1 x 8 pine boards that we had from the trim in the house that I knew I wasn’t going to need for the post since I plan to cover the exposed one in rock. The old 1 x 8 pine was actually 7.5 inches wide, the new stuff is only a bit over 7. Maybe 7.20?
I had two newer pieces and two older pieces and several 1 x 4’s from a bed I bought for the logs. I cut them to 78 inches and 58 inches for the new frame and used the nail gun to tack them together.
When I started to use the nail gun, it wouldn’t work. I read the instructions again and noticed that the right light was blinking. That meant a jammed nail. But when I opened the door part, I didn’t see a stray nail. So I put it back together and got the same error. When I took it apart again, I noticed that the punch that pokes the nail into the wood was not back in the gun so I tapped it back into the slide and the jam was repaired. I was worried I would have to take it in for service just when I was getting many projects to use it. But luckily I was able to fix the problem.
I cut 2 x 4 pieces to reinforce the corners and screwed them to both boards with two screws each.

Boards tacked with 2 x 4 corners

Boards tacked with 2 x 4 corners

Then I put in spacers and cut 1 x 4’s to carry the crosspieces and nailed them into the sides. I also used a 2 x 3 as a middle support, screwing it into both boards.

Frame with mid and side supports

Frame with mid and side supports

We brought the whole thing in and it was just about an exact fit. Then I put the cut crosspieces about equidistant across the top and screwed them in.

Crosspieces for mattress support

Crosspieces for mattress support

The bed foundation is sturdy and works well with the queen mattress bringing the mattress right up to the bottom bar on the headboard.

Mattress meets bottom of headboard

Mattress meets bottom of headboard

I had reinforced the headboard because it was put together with plywood keys and some of them fell out as the rounds expanded or cracked. I repaired some and then nailed a 1 x 2 frame around the slices of wood.

Back of headboard

Back of headboard

I had to shim it a bit to account for the varying thinkness of the slices.

Shimmed boards for backing

Shimmed boards for backing

I bought a 4 x 8 piece of 1/4 inch sanded plywood and had a piece cut that was 60 inches by 36 inches, then I shaped it to size with a circular saw when I got home. I stained and polyurethaned the back on the good side and then attached it to the back of the headboard with nails and screws.

Backing stained and polyurethaned

Backing stained and polyurethaned

With the bed made up you can see the wood between the slices of wood that holds them steady. This reinforcement will allow us to lean against the headboard to read etc. without worrying that we are loosening the wood rounds.

Bed made up with head and footboard

Bed made up with head and footboard

Bed with quilt and shams

Bed with quilt and shams

Bed on oriental carpet

Bed on oriental carpet

The bed is a piece of art. It was built by our friends Lewis and Steve Fender, brothers who live on each side of their meat processing shop in Spencer, Indiana. It is made of cross sections of local wood both common and rare. The middle round is a piece of angel grained maple that inspired the construction of the bed. There is also walnut and ironwood and poplar, and oak and several other local tree species. They have made numerous carvings, turned wood, several pieces of furniture, and wood strip canoes. Whatever project they come up with it is a wonder to behold when they are finished. I feel privileged to own this beautiful bed made by them.

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