How to Build a Murphy Bed

Ningthoujam Sandhyarani Sep 30, 2018
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Murphy beds are used in hotels and small apartments where space is a major concern. If you have basic woodworking skills, you can even build one on your own by using the required tools and hardware for construction.
Murphy or fold away beds are a favorite option for those who require extra beds, but have limited space to place them. These adjustable units are incorporated in various cabinets that are designed to suit any room.
They can be neatly folded and tucked in vertical closets, while not in use. A major concern about purchasing such a bed is its high cost. Nevertheless, you can solve this problem by constructing one on your own. Building them can cost about USD 300, thus saving half the cost of buying one.

Building the Bed

The required materials are:
  • Plywood, Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF), wood boards
  • Drill, saw, screws, hinges
  • Glue, paint, level, hammer, and mattress
Apart from these, you should have basic woodworking skills such as accurate measurement and drilling. If you have all these necessities, then installation is very easy. Nowadays, Murphy bed kits and plans are available in the market, which are provided with construction guidelines and video tutorials.
Before starting to build, first decide on its mechanism and size. You can opt for a single or double-sized mattress and select a vertical or horizontal (sideways fold up) mechanism.
You can add more style to it by fixing two similar storage cabinets on either side. The dimensions of the storage cabinets should be such that, they have the same height and are slightly deeper than the bed.
The next step is selecting the wall where it will be fixed. The wall should be large enough to fit the side storage cabinets as well. After you decide the wall on which it will be fixed, measure the box dimensions and mark with a pencil.
Then, place the storage cabinets and mark the points where they mount on the wall. For better leveling, you can cut the baseboards by using a reciprocating saw. Secure the cabinets at the wall studs with wood screws.
Measure and cut the wood boards according to the size of the mattress and the box dimensions. Drill holes at the corners before fixing it to the wall. Apply wood glue and fix the board or frame to the wall, you can nail at random positions for better stability.
The next step is to install the ledger board, that will attach the unit to the wall. Measure and cut the MDF according to the size of the frame. Fix the MDF to the frame with glue and screws at the corners. Affix two large bolts at each corner.
Attach the ledger board to the frame by using hinges. Make sure they are strong enough to hold the weight of the board and mattress. You can also use lag bolts to attach the board to the wall studs. Affix movable casters at the base.
On each side of the cabinet, install sliding bolts by drilling holes through them. Finally, place the mattress as per the constructed mechanism. Add finishing touches to it according to the manufacturer's guidelines.
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