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Prepping the boards to build a DIY bed frame

DIY Bed Frame Tutorial

When The Home Depot challenged me to create something using their 1 x 6 Tongue and Groove Pattern Stock Boards, I couldn’t stop brainstorming and writing down the endless possibilities. The way the boards lock together make them look like one seamless panel, while the groove detail creates the illusion of much thinner individual boards.

Finally I decided to make a DIY bed frame, and went back and forth, even on building day, on whether to orient the “beadboard” horizontally or vertically—both looked amazing. In the end, the simple twin bed frame comes together quickly enough that you’ll have plenty of DIY time leftover to decide on the direction of the detail.

Tools

Materials

Cut List

  • 1 x 6 Tongue and Groove Pattern Board – 10 @ 34½ inches
  • 4 x 4 Leg (Footboard) – 2 @ 29¾ inches
  • 4 x 4 Leg (Headboard) – 2 @ 50¼ inches
  • 1 x 3 Gusset (Footboard) – 2 @ 20¾ inches
  • 1 x 3 Gusset (Headboard) – 3 @ 31¼ inches
  • 1 x 4 Rail – 4 @ 34½ inches
  • 1 x 5 Cap – 2 @ 43½ inches
  • 1 x 6 Side Rail – 2 @ 76 inches
  • 2 x 3 Cleat – 2 @ 76 inches
  • 1 x 6 Support Slat – 10 @ 40 inches

Attaching the top rail to the footboard of a DIY bed frameStep 1 – Prep the Boards

Using the cut list above, cut the posts and boards to length. Using a pocket hole jig, drill two pocket holes at the ends of each 1 x 4 rail. Additionally, drill four pocket holes along the length of the footboard gussets and two of the headboard gussets.

Step 2 – Attach the Top Rail to a Footboard Leg

Lay a footboard leg on the work surface. Apply wood glue to one end of a 1 x 4 rail, and then position against the leg so that it sets flush with the top of the post. Using a drill/driver and 1¼-inch pocket screws, fasten the rail to the leg. I’m using Kreg’s Right Angle Clamp, which nestles into a pocket hole to hold the rail against the leg, but you can just as easily clamp both pieces securely to the work surface to hold them in place.

Step 3 – Attach the Bottom Rail to the Footboard Leg

On the inside of the leg, mark a line 20¾ inches from the top of the post. Apply wood glue to the end of a 1 x 4 rail. Position the rail against the leg so that its bottom edge rests on the line. Secure the board using 1¼-inch pocket screws.

Step 4 – Attach Both Rails to the Second Leg

Mark a line 20¾ inches from the top of the remaining footboard leg. Place the leg alongside the exposed ends of the rails attached in steps 2 and 3. Apply glue to the end of each rail, and then position them against the leg. Screw each rail to the leg.

Attaching the bottom rail to the footboard leg of a DIY bed frameStep 5 – Join the Tongue and Groove Boards

To create the beadboard “panel”, lay two 1 x 6 pattern stock boards side-by-side with their patterned face up. Now slide the boards together so that the tongue of the first board sets into the groove along the edge of the second board. Add two additional tongue and groove boards in the same way for a total of four boards.

Step 6 – Secure the Tongue and Groove Boards

Flip the joined tongue and groove boards over so that their patterned face is down. Adjust the boards lengthwise until their ends set flush. Apply glue to the backside of a footboard gusset. Position the gusset on the assembled boards along one edge, with the pocket holes facing outward. Using a pneumatic nail gun, drive two 1¼-inch finish nails through the gusset and into each tongue and groove board. Repeat on the opposite end to secure the second footboard gusset.

Step 7 – Place the Panel

Apply glue to the backside of the footboard rails and to the ends of the assembled panel. Place the panel face down onto the rails. Position the panel so that it runs flush with the top edge of the upper rail and the bottom edge of the lower rail.

Step 8 – Secure the Panel

Using a drill/driver, drive 1¼-inch pocket screws through the pocket holes in each gusset and into the footboard legs.

Step 9 – Add the Cap

Flip the assembled footboard face up on the work surface. Apply wood glue to the top of each leg and gusset. Position the 1 x 5 cap against the top of the assembly so that it runs flush with its back edge. Adjust the board lengthwise until there is equal overhang at each end. Using a nail gun, shoot 1¼-inch finish nails through the cap and into the legs and gussets. Fill the nail holes with wood filler.

Step 10 – Assemble the Headboard

Repeat Steps 2-9 to assemble the headboard, this time using six 1 x 6 tongue and groove pattern stock boards, and marking the line for the bottom rail at 31¼ inches from the top of the legs. For added stability, nail a third, centered gusset on the backside of the headboard.

Step 11 – Nail the Cleats to Side Rails

Apply a bead of wood glue to the face of a 2 x 3 cleat. Place the cleat onto the face of a 1 x 6 side rail, flush with its bottom edge. Flip the assembly over. Using a scrap block to steady the rail on the cleat, nail through the face of the 1 x 6 rail and into the 2 x 3 cleat to securely join the parts. Repeat to create the second side rail assembly.

Attaching rails to the leg of a DIY bed frame Join the Tongue and Groove Boards Secure the Tongue and Groove Boards Securing the Panel in a DIY Bed Frame Project





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