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How to Build a Bamboo Platform Bed

A custom bed is the focal point in a contemporary, Asian-style bedroom.

Tools and Materials:
3/4” bamboo plywood for the platform
3/4” plywood for support base
Brad nailer with 2” Brad nails
wood glue
power drill with 1-1/2” and 1-3/4” wood screws
paint or stain, brushes and a roller
wax and rags
table saw and a miter saw
orbital sander with buffing attachments
router with 3/8” round over bit
12” speed square, tape measure and a 12” level

Steps:
1. On a table saw cut the wood to size for the center base and the bed platform. The base pieces are far enough under the platform that they won’t be seen, so standard plywood can be used. Use the bamboo plywood for the platform. The following cut list will accommodate a standard king-size mattress.

- two pieces of bamboo plywood for the platform at 37-3/4” x 86”
- two front and back base pieces at 51-1/2” x 8”
- two sides base pieces at 63-1/2” x 8”
- one center base support at 62” x 8”
- six cross support pieces at 25-3/8” x 8”
- four right-angle triangular corner plates at 8” x 8”

2. Assemble the perimeter of the base using wood glue and 2” Brad nails. Add the center support and then attach the cross supports (equally spaced). Use a speed square to ensure uniform 90-degree angles for all of your pieces. Add the triangle corner supports flush to the top. These will be used to fasten the platform pieces.

3. Paint the outer sides of the base (we painted ours black).

4. Route all the outside edges of the bamboo plywood platform pieces using a 3/8” round-over bit and sand all surfaces.

5. To make the headboard, use a table saw to cut two pieces of bamboo plywood at 75-1/2” x 7”.

6. Cut the bamboo for bed legs using a table saw. The legs at the head of the bed will be taller to support the headboard, while the legs at the foot of the bed will be shorter.

For the footer legs:
- two pieces at 9-1/2” x 15-1/2”
- four pieces at 8-3/4” x 15-1/2”
- two pieces at 8” x 15-1/2”
- two pieces at 7-1/4” x 8”
- two pieces at 8” x 8”

For the header legs:
- two pieces at 9-1/2” x 29-1/2”
- four pieces at 8-3/4” x 29-1/2”
- two pieces at 8” x 15-1/2”
- two pieces at 7-1/4” x 8”
- two pieces at 8” x 8”

7. Route all the edges of the legs using a 3/8” round-over bit then sand all surfaces.

8. Begin by butt joining the tallest pieces at the sides forming a tall right-angled leg. Keep the side pieces fully revealed in order to keep the seams exposed in the front and back and not on the sides. Adhere the pieces with wood glue and 1-1/4” Brad nails. Take the next two longest pieces and adhere them over the inside faces. Then add the smaller pieces to the inside lower portion of the legs (see above image). These will act as ledgers to help hold up the platform pieces.

9. Using rag, apply a layer of wax to all the bamboo pieces including legs, headboard spans and platform pieces. When the wax has dried use a buffer attachment on an orbital sander to give the bamboo a thorough sheen.

10. Assemble the bed in place by measuring and laying out the location of the legs. Lay the base in the middle of the legs. Lay the bamboo platform pieces on top of the base, Center the platform on the base then use 1-3/4” screws to attach the platform to the corner supports on the base. (Using screws will allow you to disassemble the bed if you ever have to move it.).

11. Slide the legs into place on each corner of the platform to ensure structural support. Attach each leg with 1-3/4” screws.

12. Measure and mark the lines to attach the headboard pieces to the taller legs. The upper span should sit one inch below the top of the leg. Hold it in place and secure through the back with two 1-3/4” screws on each side. Repeat for the lower span.

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