With the exception of my couch, every piece of furniture in my home is something I built, or heavily modified, myself. This is both a source of personal pride and a bit of a pain, because if I want more furniture for whatever purpose, I’m sort of obliged, at this point, to build instead of buying. My mattress has been on the floor for years, but lately I’ve been thinking it’s time to commit to building a bedframe. Which is why this solid, minimalist, simple-tools design by Instructables user wholman caught my attention. It’s an entry in their ongoing Woodworking Contest.


Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.

  • herbatnic
  • Keith Neufeld

    Even with lag screws, the corner connections screwed into end grain aren’t as strong as one would like them to be in the long term. This bed is probably very sturdy, but there’s a risk of the short pieces of grain between the threads shearing loose and the lag screws stripping out.

    The classic solution is to use bolts instead of lag screws. Where the tip of the bolt ends within the side rail, drill a hole through the side rail and set a nut sideways into the hole. The bolt threads into the nut, the nut is pulled against the edge of the hole, and the bolt threads are much less likely to strip out of the nut than the lag screws are to strip out of softwood endgrain.

    If this technique sounds familiar, it’s because it’s still in use in very modern contexts:

  • Binaebi Akah

    You may be interested in Knock Off Wood, which is this awesome website that provides instructions for wood furniture inspired by Pottery Barn, etc. If I had the tools, I’d be making everything Ana posts.