Late last summer my Dad called me up and told me that they are leveling Remo’s barn. (Each section of the family farm is named after whomever they acquired it from over the years, Lee Halls, Ray’s, Henry’s, Neeley’s, Remo’s, etc that’s how we roll 🙂 ) Remo’s was a sizable area with a little farm yard on it. He had built a big hay barn back in his day, but over the years it had deteriorated and became a hazard structurally. So I talked my Dad into waiting until I could salvage as much wood as possible. Luckily he was good with that. I’m such a sucker for wood, and good barn wood is a limited commodity.
My first project with this reclaimed lumber is this beautiful rustic chevron bed for my son. I love to build with reclaimed lumber/barn wood. For me, it has unmatched character and it’s free, which is the best part! To find free/cheap wood, sometimes on craigslist or local classifieds ads people will give you the wood if you take the building down for them. Or drive around and see if there are old barns in disarray, ask the owner if they are looking to get rid of it. It usually can’t hurt to ask 🙂 Remo’s barn was a beast to bring down nicely, but we got ‘er done. I’ll post the video soon.
Quite often old barns were built using rough cut lumber. So a 2″ x 4″ rough cut lumber board actually is 2″ x 4″. A 2″ x 4″ board that you buy at the lumber yard is 1 1/2″ x 3 1/2″, but we still call it a 2 x 4. So this bed plan is designed using the rough cut lumber dimensions. Adjust the dimensions to your lumber size as needed. To build this bed with standard lumber sizes go here.
Once you gather your reclaimed lumber, wash it off with warm water, dish soap, and a bristle brush. It has probably gathered a lot of dirt and grime over the years. Let the wood dry completely before cutting it.
A few things to consider when using barn wood:
- Does it have a strong smell? If so don’t use it in your house. The barn wood may have soaked up manure or other things, that may never air out. Use pieces of wood that were higher up in the barn.
- Does it have bugs? If it does google how to get rid of them for your case. You don’t want to infest your house, yuck!
Alrighty let’s get building. Twin bed cutlist:
|bed rail support
|cut to fit
To make my lumber manageable I used a chain saw to roughly cut the boards to size. (Leave a little extra in case your saw doesn’t cut straight.) When making the final cuts use a compound miter saw or table saw to get more precise cuts. I used a band saw to do the final cuts on the 6″ x 6″ beams.
The design of the head board and foot board use dado slots for the diagonal boards to slide into. I did this because I thought it would make a cleaner look and be forgiving on the diagonal cuts.
I used my table saw to cut the long dado’s and a router cut out the slots for the rails.
Cut 2 posts that are 6″ x 6″ x 60″. Pick the best side that you’d like showing in the front. On the front side route out a pocket for the bed rail 1″ deep, 3″ wide and 6″ tall according to the diagram.
Next route out similar pockets on one side for the head board rails to fit into the post according to the diagram. I don’t think the pockets are 100% necessary if it will be too difficult to accomplish. Kreg jig pocket holes/screws could probably hold the rails in place. If you do the no pocket route, adjust your rails accordingly. But I suggest doing the long dado down the side for the diagonal panel boards to fit in.
Using a table saw and dado blade, or router make a dado groove down the side of the post as shown in the diagram. Repeat for the other tall post, but remember to do the mirror image of the first post.
Cut 2 posts that are 6″ x 6″ x 36″. Pick the best side that you’d like showing in the front. On the back side route out a pocket for the bed rail 1″ deep, 2″ wide and 6″ tall according to the diagram.
Next route out similar pockets on one side for the foot board rails to fit into the post according to the diagram.
Using a table saw and dado blade, or router make a dado groove down the side of the post as shown in the diagram. Repeat for the
other tall post, but remember to do the mirror image of the first post.
Cut 4 boards that are 2″ x 6″ x 37″. Cut a 1″ x 1″ dado along the center of one long end of each board. These are the head/foot board rails.
Cut a 2″ x 4″ x 20″ and a 2″ x 4″ x 44″ board. Cut a 1″ x 1″ dado along both long ends. Now we need to cut tongues that will fit into the rail dado’s that we just cut.
On each end make cuts to match the diagram. The tongue should fit snuggly into the rail groove, trim as necessary. These are the head/foot board center dividers.
Cut 2 bed rails that are 2″ x 6″ x 77 1/2″. Cut 2 bed rail supports that are 1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″ x 75 1/2″.
I didn’t give any dimensions for the diagonal panels, because I think it’s best to cut those to fit. The plan suggests using 1″ x 6″ wide boards, but you can use whatever width and varying widths will be cool too. Partially assemble the head and foot boards by putting the bottom rails in the corresponding post holes. Place the corresponding divider in the center. Start the diagonal panels with a 45 deg triangle on each lower outside corner. Then measure the length of the diagonal side of the triangle and that is the length of the shorter side of your next diagonal piece. Continue to cut the ends at 45 deg. Once the boards get past the inside corners, the boards will repeat the same length with 45 deg ends, until you reach the top. When doing the top boards, I left them a little long to dry fit, then took a straight edge and marked where they needed to be cut at the top. Trim pieces as necessary to fit together. Disassemble all of the pieces.
Now we’ll add some Kreg Jig® R3* pocket holes to hold the bed together. Add at least 2 pocket holes to the bottom of each headboard/footboard rails. Add 3 pocket holes to the inside face of the bed rail ends, and 2 to each bed rail bottom.
To assemble the headboard and foot board, I found it easiest to lay one post on it’s side. Put in the top and bottom rail, screw into place. Stack the diagonal panels in order starting on one side, install center divider, stack other side diagonal panels, then the other post. Screw the rails into the post. Repeat for the other head/foot board. Tip the head/foot boards over.
Install the bed rails into the post holes and screw into place. Screw the rail supports to the inside face of the bed rails near the bottom. This is for the box spring to sit on.
Alright your bed is ready to go!
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