Good night, sleep tight

Materials

7m of 50mm x 50mm x 5mm angle iron

6m of 50mm x 50mm x 1.6mm square tubing

4.5m of 50mm x 5mm flat bar

8m of 12mm square bar

Sheet of chipboard measuring 1 560mm x 1 920mm

400mm of 12mm threaded bar

8 x 12mm nylon nuts

8 x 12mm washers

Project guide

Difficulty: Intermediate

Estimated time: One day

Cost: R1500

Cutting list

2 x 1 560mm lengths of 50mm x 50mm x 5mm angle iron

2 x 1 920mm of 50mm x 50mm x 5mm angle iron

2 x 1 600mm lengths of 50mm x 50mm x 1.6mm square tubing

2 x 500mm lengths of 50mm x 50mm x 1.6mm square tubing

1 x 1 560mm length of 50mm x 50mm x 1.6mm square tubing

3 x 1 460mm lengths of 50mm x 5mm flat bar

1 x 1 560mm length of 12mm square bar

1 x 1 136mm length of 12mm square bar

1 x 712mm length of 12mm square bar

2 x 838mm lengths of 12mm square bar

2 x 626mm lengths of 12mm square bar

2 x 414mm lengths of 12mm square bar

Tools

Welding machine and electrodes

Cut-off saw

Square

Tape measure

Drill and drill bits

Angle grinder

Hammer

Centre punch

After purchasing a new queen-size mattress, we needed a queen-size bed base match. We didn’t want the plain bed base that came with the mattress, so I decided to build our own from metal.

 

By Roelof Strydom

Note

Don’t cut the lengths of square bar and flat bar when you cut the square tubing and angle iron to size. In theory, the flat bar and square bar should be certain lengths, but measurements will always be a little off. Rather be on the safe side and leave the flat bar and square bar and cut them when you can measure the exact distance they need to be.

 

Step-by-step guide

Step 1:

With the four lengths of angle iron cut to the appropriate lengths, use a cut-off saw to mitre all their ends to 45 degrees.

 

Be careful  when doing this as you have to keep track of how the angle iron pieces should go into the cut-off saw to ensure the mitred ends are correct.

 

When the angle iron frame is welded together, the bed mattress should fit inside the angle iron. Therefore mitre all the angle iron ends on their open sides.

 

Step 2:

Lay the four lengths of angle iron on a level surface.

 

Line-up all the mitred ends while making sure the two 1 560mm lengths go on the top and bottom and the two 1 920mm lengths on the sides.

 

Step 3:

Only work on one corner of the frame at a time.

 

Don’t try and square up all four corners at once and then try and weld them.

 

Square up one corner and only when you’re satisfied that it’s square, and tack weld the angle iron lengths together.

 

Move on to the second, third and fourth corners, each time squaring them up and tack welding them together.

 

Once all the corners are tack welded together, check each corner again to make sure they’re square.

 

Metal has a tendency to pull skew from the heat of welding.

 

As a final check, measure diagonally from corner to corner and if you get the same distance with both measurements, you know the frame is square.

 

Then you can properly weld the frame together on the inside and outside of the four corners.

 

Step 4:

Measure the distance between the two 1 920mm sides; it should be 1 460mm. Cut three lengths of flat bar according to this measurement.

 

Next, determine the centre of the two 1 920mm lengths and weld one of the flat bar lengths in place.

 

Get the centre positions of the two rectangles on either side of the flat bar and weld the remaining two pieces of flat bar in place as well.

 

Step 5:

Flip the angle iron frame upside down.

 

On one of the two 1 560mm sides, weld the 500mm pieces of square tubing in each of the corners.

 

Again, make sure the legs are square before you weld them to the frame.

 

Step 6:

To construct the headboard you need to weld the two 1 600mm lengths and one 1 560mm length of square tubing into an H-shape.

 

The two 1 600mm lengths will form the top legs of the headboard and this is where the square bar will go in-between.

 

On each of the 1 600mm lengths, measure 500mm upwards from the end you choose to be the bottom. On these 500mm marks, weld the 1 560mm length of square tubing.

 

The underside of the 1 560mm square tubing should be in line with the 500mm mark to ensure the bed base is level.

 

Step 7:

Then weld the square bar design into the space that will make up the headboard.

 

From the top ends of both the square tubing pillars, measure 200mm downwards. 

 

Weld the 1 560mm length of square bar to the pillars in the centre of the square tubing.

 

Step 8:

Measure 200mm inwards from both sides of the 1 560mm square bar as well as on the square tubing below.

 

Just to be sure, measure the distance between the 1 560mm length of square bar and the square tubing below - it should come to 838mm.

 

Weld the two lengths of 838mm square bar in place on the 200mm marks you determined earlier. Again weld them in the centre of the square tubing below.

 

Step 9:

Measure 200mm downwards on both 838mm lengths to indicate where the 1 136mm length should go.

 

After this, measure 200mm inwards from both sides of the 1 136mm length as well as the square tubing below to get the position for the two 626mm lengths of square bar.

 

Once again, measure 200mm downwards on the two 626mm lengths to get the positions for the 712mm length.

 

Once that’s welded in place, measure 200mm from both sides on the 712mm length as well as the square tubing below to get the position for the two 414mm lengths.

 

Step 10:

Drill 12mm holes in the 1 560mm length of square tubing.

 

These are the holes that will be used to fasten the headboard to the angle iron frame.

 

Four holes will be sufficient and, to make things easier, drill the four holes in line with the two 838mm and two 626mm lengths of square bar.

 

For accuracy, drill these holes with a drill press. This will ensure that the holes in the square tubing line up with each other.

 

Step 11:

Prop up the headboard and frame and line them up, then transfer the 12mm holes in the headboard to the top part of the angle iron frame.

 

Step 12:

Cut four 90mm pieces of 12mm threaded bar as this will be used to fasten the headboard and frame to each other.

 

Once cut, grind away the bur on the ends of the threaded bar to enable the 12mm nuts to screw onto the threaded bar.

 

Step 13:

Use a small angle grinder with a grinding disc attached and grind away all the welds.

 

Step 14:

Wipe down the metal with some turpentine to remove any grease and dirt before applying a metal primer. Once the primer has dried, apply a topcoat in the colour of your choice.

 

Step 15:

After the topcoat has dried, move the headboard and frame into your bedroom, where it can them be assembled.

 

Simply line up the holes in the headboard with the holes in the angle iron frame and push the threaded bar through.

 

Place a 12mm washer over each end and screw on the 12mm nuts.

 

Tighten the nuts on both ends of each of the threaded bar pieces.

 

Step 16:

The final step in this bed base construction is to place the chipboard sheet inside the angle iron. This will support the mattress.