Though I have added a video below on building a bed frame out of 2x lumber, it’s good to get a little insight into what’s best when it comes to getting started on this project. There are going to be a few choices you need to make, so here is a bit of help on the decisions you will have before you.
First, the materials of the bed. You will see in the video the woodworker uses pine or fir, but the choice in the lumber is going to depend on a few factors. If you follow his plans and go with 2x lumber, then you can use pine, but if you go with 1x stock it’s best to make use of a denser hardwood. Oak, poplar, and anything similar will work best. Because these lumbers have more density, their strength will ensure that even with a good bit of weight on the frame, it will hold up under the pressure.
The craftsman doesn’t give any instruction on the type of screws to use when putting the bed frame together, but here is something to keep in mind. If you follow his instructions then the mortise and tenon joints will be bearing the weight. But he still added in screws at the joints.
It’s best not to use lower grade screws such as drywall screws to put your bed together. Depending on the weight of the mattress, the people sleeping on it, and other variables, the weight can average 500 pounds or even more. Especially with a pillow top mattress, the weight will add up. So for safety, if you aren’t going to bolt the bed together in addition to the joints, then you do well to use a heavy gauge screw, even a deck screw. But I don’t recommend the bed being held together just by the mortise and tenons and screws. Bolting it together at the joints will help prevent the frame from coming apart on you.
Another hardware modification that some will add are corner brackets at the joints. The corner brackets will increase the strength at the joints, so separation won’t be an issue. Either way, when you design and build your bed frame, you will be doing so at your own risk. So be responsible and use the best woodstock you can afford, as well as the beste hardware that you can buy.
Support slats – just one point I would like to note – make sure you have plenty of these like he shows in the video. Don’t skimp on the support under the mattress. Also, if possible, use 2×4’s for the slats. If you go with 1x lumber, again, be sure it is a denser hardwood such as oak, poplar, or a similar material.
The video to building the bed is below. Remember, this is just an example, and you can alter the bed size in order to fit whatever mattress you may have.