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Thread: Create-a-Bed Murphy Bed

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
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    153

    Create-a-Bed Murphy Bed

    Hello, to all who have bought and used this hardware kit to build a murphy bed I was wondering if you could tell me what species of wood did you se for the internal frame of the bed? The instructions say a few different kinds and I am not sure what I should use? I would obvioously prefer to use a cheaper wood for the internal frame and save the more expensive woods for the exterior of the bed. That being said, I do not want to jeopardize the strenth of the bed in an effort to save money.

    Thanks in advance.

    Derek

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Anaheim, California
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    4,910
    I used poplar for the internal "webbing" on the platform and melamine for the sides of the mattress box. Titebond and screws where the poplar joined the plywood platform and Gorilla Glue and screws where the poplar joined the melamine.

    As Norm says, "That's not going anywhere."
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2006
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    Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
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    Thanks Lee, I appreciate the info! Anone else out there that has used this hardware??? What did you use?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Forest Grove, OR
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    My friend used birch ply throughout. It worked ok but was pretty flexible before it was bolted to the wall.

    Make sure you actually find the studs when you attach it to the wall. Even toggle bolts pull out eventually. My friend had to re-plaster his room because the action of the bed evenually pulled the drywall right off the studs.

  5. #5
    I have used whatever was around the shop... poplar, soft maple, even ash one time when I had excess and could use it up. Don't worry about the type of wood... I would feel good with practically any clear wood (no big knots). They even "allow" use of pine (which is softer than I would use). I sometimes get a soft maple with bad color but good strength that is even cheaper than poplar, and works great.

    The instructions specifically say that the mattress rails must be plywood, not solid wood, not melamine, not particle board. When they are that explicit, I wouldn't have made the variance Lee made by using Melamine.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    The instructions specifically say that the mattress rails must be plywood, not solid wood, not melamine, not particle board. When they are that explicit, I wouldn't have made the variance Lee made by using Melamine.
    (shrug) Apparently they've changed the instructions at some point.

    The instructions I have (copyright 1999, which is when I purchased my hardware set), state "Use PLYWOOD or PARTICLE BOARD to construct the wallbed. Solid wood is NOT RECOMMENDED." (capitalization as in original). They do call out solid wood for the 'inner wood bed frame' (what I called "webbing" above), but not for the side rails, foot rail, or head rail (AKA the "mattress box"), where I used melamine. For the life of me, I can't imagine an application where particle board is allowed but melamine is not.

    The really surprising thing is that I still had the instructions and was actually able to find them. In any case, the bed as-constructed has held up to some hard use since mid-2000 when it was completed.
    Last edited by Lee DeRaud; 09-04-2007 at 9:18 PM.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  7. #7
    Lee, I thought they were going a little overkill, but I looked it up in an instruction copyright 2003.

    I can't imagine a failure mode that would hurt anyone... maybe not wear as well as they would like, but ... whatever. Obviously it worked for you. And I agree on the comparable strength of Melamine and particle board

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    Anaheim, California
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    Lee, I thought they were going a little overkill, but I looked it up in an instruction copyright 2003.
    No telling exactly what made them change the instructions somewhere in that 4-year span, but it's also possible that the hardware itself was redesigned, changing how the opening/closing loads from the struts feed into the platform.
    Yoga class makes me feel like a total stud, mostly because I'm about as flexible as a 2x4.
    "Design"? Possibly. "Intelligent"? Sure doesn't look like it from this angle.
    We used to be hunter gatherers. Now we're shopper borrowers.
    The three most important words in the English language: "Front Towards Enemy".
    The world makes a lot more sense when you remember that Butthead was the smart one.
    You can never be too rich, too thin, or have too much ammo.

  9. #9
    I didn't have any instructions or kit and just did my own thing.
    It's very rigid. I sleep on it and have yet to finish the entire project because of that.
    The internal frame I used was just 1x2 fir or pine from HD. The outer skins are ~5/16 exterior ply with luan door skin overlay on the outside (bottom) with some grass cloth inlay. The internal frame and ply are screwed and glued with Liquid Nails. The outer frame is 1x6 fir with ply pads for the hardware. The hardware is from a guy on eBay, ohopbob. I got a couple of sets at about $30 each. One set was 150# and the other 200#. I'm using the 150# which works fine, but wanted to try the 200# which will require some disassembly so I haven't tried it yet. I haven't measured the force required to lift it, but I would guess 10-15#.
    If I were going to do it again, I' use solid oak or oak ply for the frame rails.
    This was an experiment so I was being frugal.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  10. Hate to resurrect such an old thread, but we bought a used murphy bed using the Create-a-Bed mechanism. No instructions, and we had to take it apart to get it into the room. One of the piston arms fell off ... we didn't remember which one ... and initially installed it upside down.

    Bed wants to fold back up into the wall. REALLY wants to fold back up into the wall. I need an anchor. We noticed the upside down piston arm ... but we weren't sure which one was upside down.

    We've tried the pistons in both positions, smaller internal arm up, and then down as shown below. The bed wants to return to the cabinet either way.

    Does anyone have the instructions handy? I can't find any adjustment other than the ones shown in the pics, and it doesn't seem to help any.

    I think we my have been cheated, and are missing some parts. Or there's an adjustment somewhere I can't figure out. Any help is appreciated.
    Attached Images Attached Images
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  11. I was just thinking, maybe if I put some weights on the bed platform, it would stay down. I was trying to estimate the pounds of force the pistons are exerting, and the weight it would take to keep the platform down. I was thinking maybe 75 pounds or so. Now what can I use ... sandbags are out due to lack of room. Lead would work, and maybe I can get some nice weights from the dive supply shop. But how to secure them? You know, the straps for the mattress might work ...

    Then I realized I hadn't tried the bed with the mattress on it. With the mattress, the bed doesn't recoil into the wall. I feel so STOOPID.
    Did you know SMC is user supported? http://www.sawmillcreek.org/donate.php

  12. #12
    You have answered the most important question - you must have a mattress weighing at least 65 pounds as the "counterbalance" and if it is too light, the instructions suggest adding a piece of particle board under the mattress.

    Your picture shows the piston correct - with the fat end up, and the internal rod down. I don't know why it makes any difference, but the instructions are very clear, and emphasize it repeatedly.

    I have made several of the beds, and have the instructions. If you have more questions - drop me an email.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Josiah Bartlett View Post
    My friend had to re-plaster his room because the action of the bed evenually pulled the drywall right off the studs.

    I ain't touchin' that one....LOL

    Oh well..maybe I will.....Action OF the bed or ON the bed??

  14. Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Plesums View Post
    You have answered the most important question - you must have a mattress weighing at least 65 pounds as the "counterbalance" and if it is too light, the instructions suggest adding a piece of particle board under the mattress.

    Your picture shows the piston correct - with the fat end up, and the internal rod down. I don't know why it makes any difference, but the instructions are very clear, and emphasize it repeatedly.

    I have made several of the beds, and have the instructions. If you have more questions - drop me an email.
    Thanks, Charlie. The 65 pounds figure is pretty close to the 75 pounds I was thinking of when trying to over-engineer a solution.

    Do the instructions have an optional way to lock it down? I'm thinking of my grandsons, and the possibility that they may try to raise it up with one of them in it.
    Did you know SMC is user supported? http://www.sawmillcreek.org/donate.php

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Josiah Bartlett View Post
    ....
    Make sure you actually find the studs when you attach it to the wall. Even toggle bolts pull out eventually. My friend had to re-plaster his room because the action of the bed evenually pulled the drywall right off the studs.
    The instructions are very clear that it must be attached to the studs - for a queen size bed, it requires four three inch screws into studs. How anybody could think that a toggle bolt could substitute for that.... well the learned, didn't they!

    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Hagan View Post
    ....
    Do the instructions have an optional way to lock it down? I'm thinking of my grandsons, and the possibility that they may try to raise it up with one of them in it.
    I wouldn't worry... by the time you put even a light kid anywhere on the bed, it would take a pretty strong person to close it - somebody old enough to undo any latch. I installed one in a house with a lot of kids... the youngest who could close it, even with nobody on it, was about 10-12 years old.

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