Thursday, 6 June 2013

Bed base improvements

When Mick, the builder, built the double bed, he did a good job designing and building the base. It not only serves well as a solid base but also provides plenty of space for storage, the water pump and shower tray pump. However, I have never been happy with the top. He made four ply sheets and laid them in each of the four quarters supported by a sturdy frame. This meant they were not easy to lift and couldn't be left up unless propped up by the mattress. Of greater concern to me was that they created a potential problem of condensation under the mattress. Even with regular and careful airing of the mattress and bedding, this problem never really goes away. So an improvement was needed. Clear the decks!

Once I had removed the mattress and the ply boards I got underway. Space was in limited supply, so organisation was needed.

The ply bases were taken off and will be relegated to the garage at home.
I decided to opt for a slatted base so sourced some 7cm wide timber from B&Q. I did the marking out on the bed base to make sure it fitted exactly. This was not difficult but needed time and careful measuring to make sure the slats would be parallel and evenly spaced. I also had to fit three hinges to enable it to lift up so this had to be factored in.
After fitting the outside edges first (like a jigsaw puzzle), I glued and screwed all the slats in place using more screws around the edges and fewer in the middle. I hoped this would give the bed a bit of... well, 'give'.

I finished around mid afternoon. The work would have taken less time if I had used a power saw to cut the slats and maybe had two power drills (one for drilling, the other for screwing) but I was not bothered. Incidentally, I opted to lay the slats along the length of the bed to reduce the number of cuts to a minimum. Obviously the longer slats have to be supported but there were fewer cuts to be made and fewer screws needed. You can see the waste wood in the bottom right corner of the next photo.

The final piece of work was exactly as planned and I went home feeling satisfied at a good result and completely kn*ckered. I'm really not used to all this hard labour. I didn't even have time to field test the new bed base! That will have to wait for our trip to Peterborough next week.

By the way, Kay hasn't seen it yet but I described it to her like one of those bamboo beds you see in WW2 Japanese Prisoner of War camps. I hope I have reduced her expectations sufficiently.

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