How to Make a Cabin Bed

How to Make a Cabin Bed
Making furniture for the inside of a log cabin is a realistic alternative to buying new furniture. Not only do you save money, but also you can create a bed or a chair from the same materials from which the cabin was built. The result can be some nicely designed furniture that matches the log interior of the structure.


Difficulty: Challenging

Making the bed frame

Things You’ll Need:
  • Logs 4 inches in diameter (diameter may vary)
  • Lag bolts (1/4 inch shank and 3 inches long)
  • Crosscut hand saw
  • Flat wood chisel
  • 16-ounce hammer
  • Electric drill and drill bits
  • Electric screw gun with clutch
  • Box springs and mattress
  • Pair of sawhorses
  • Electric orbital sander
  • Sandpaper
  • Six-inch flathead wood screws
  • Tape measure
  • Pencil
  • Speed square
Step 1
Measure the size of the mattress. This project is designed for single or twin beds only. Common dimensions for the single box spring are 39 inches by 75 inches, but it is always best to have the mattress on hand before you begin.
Step 2
Make sure all pole material is skinned (the bark removed) and thoroughly dry before you begin.
Step 3
Cut four poles at the same length. This measurement should be between 3 and 4 feet and these pieces will be your upright bed posts. Also cut two cross pieces at the length of 47 inches and two more cross pieces at the length of 83 inches. You can use the crosscut saw to do the cuttings.
Step 4
Measure up from the bottom of one of the uprights and make a mark at 12 inches and another mark at 16 inches. Do this for all four poles. Extend each mark with a pencil until it wraps halfway around each pole. Make sure the marks are perpendicular to the length of the pole. You can even use a speed square to aid in drawing the marks.
Step 5
Notch each pole with the crosscut saw. That means making a cut at both the top and bottom mark with the crosscut saw. It is very important to be certain that each cut goes only half way through the thickness of the upright pole. Once the first two cuts are made, you can add additional cuts that fall between the first two cuts. Make a cut every half inch. That would add up to seven additional cuts and make sure you stop at the center of the pole.
Step 6
Chop out the area between the cuts you made with the crosscut saw. Do this with the hammer and chisel and try to keep the bottom of the cut flat and smooth. Do this to all four upright posts and take your time while doing this.
Step 7
Cut two cross pieces at 47 inches in length and then make a mark 2 inches in from the end and one 6 inches in from the end. Extend your marks like you did in step 4 and then the repeat the cutting with saw and wood chisel like you did in steps 5 and 6. Now you have four pieces ready to be bolted together with the lag bolts. Also be certain that the two cut-out joints on each crosspiece line up and face the same way.
Step 8
Place the cross piece on top of the two uprights until the slots on each piece line up. Then slide the pieces in place.
Step 9
Drill pilot holes with a drill bit into the notched joint from the outside. Then insert the lag bolts with an electric drill or you can hand-turn them with a wrench. Now the bed should stand upright, but it needs two more long cross pieces.
Step 10
Cut the two longer cross pieces at a length of 83 inches and make a mark at 2 inches from the end of each pole. Make another mark at 6 inches in from each end and extend the lines. Now cut and notch each pole as in step 5 and 6, making sure each notch faces in exactly the same way.
Step 11
Have a helper hold the already-assembled uprights in a vertical position. You will have two such uprights. Do one at a time. Now make two marks on the far outside edge of each pole at 18 and 22 inches. Extend these marks as you did before in step 4. Then cut and notch each upright pole as in step 5 and 6.
Step 12
Attach the long upright to each set of uprights by first drilling pilot holes (you should use three to four holes per notch) and then inserting the lag bolts with a wrench or screw gun.
Step 13
Place the box spring in the frame and tack a few wood screws through the bottom of the frame into the log frame if you think it is necessary.
Step 14
Round off each end of every pole (except those that sit against the floor with an orbital sander.

Build a platform

Step 1
Build a platform in place of the box spring. This is done from the same pole material that you constructed the frame. Begin by cutting a pole to the length of 37 inches. Cut as many poles of this length as it takes to fill the space between the uprights. Place the poles next to each to create a platform that is approximately 71 inches long.
Step 2
Drill a hole in the top of each cross pole with a drill bit in two places. Make sure each hole lines up with the long cross piece underneath.
Step 3
Take a 6-inch wood screw and insert it into each hole with a screw gun.

Tips & Warnings

The platform in section 2 is needed only if there is no box spring.
The thickness of the poles will vary a lot.
This project requires on or two helpers
Add a head board and cut the upright poles to a suitable height after the bed is put together.
Always pre-drill a hole for a screw or lag bolt with a drill bit that is slightly smaller than the shaft of the screw or bolt.

Article Written By Henri Bauholz

Henri Bauholz is a professional writer covering a variety of topics, including hiking, camping, foreign travel and nature. He has written travel articles for several online publications and his travels have taken him all over the world, from Mexico to Latin America and across the Atlantic to Europe.

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