Low platforms are an effective and relatively inexpensive way to define a space within your home or outdoors. Use of standard-dimension timber in common sizes saves the trouble of cutting most of the boards ahead of time, and platforms of this size are small enough to fit through conventional doorways. Combine several such platforms to create larger structures for a versatile modular system you can carpet, tile or paint in a variety of attractive ways.
Things you need
- Measuring tape
- Carpenter’s square
- 1 sheet of 2.5 cm (1 inch) plywood, 1.2 by 2.4 m (4 by 8 foot)
- 2 pieces of timber, 5 by 10 by 232.5 cm (2 by 4 by 93 inch)
- 2 pieces of timber, 5 by 10 by 120 cm (2 by 4 by 48 inch)
- 2 pieces of timber, 5 by 10 by 112.5 cm (2 by 4 by 45 inch)
- 1 box of 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) flathead wood screws, #12 gauge
- 1 box of 3.7 cm (1 1/2 inch) flathead wood screws, #7 gauge
- Stain or paint (optional)
- Safety goggles
Lay the 232.5 cm (93 inch) pieces of lumber, to be used as studs, side by side. Starting at one end, carefully measure and mark both boards at 40 cm (16 inch) intervals. Use a carpenter’s square to draw straight lines across both boards at those marks.
Fasten the two 120 cm (48 inch) end pieces to the ends of the two 232.5 cm (93 inch) studs, using #12 screws, to create a rectangle. The 40 cm (16 inch) marks should face to the inside.
Place the 112.5 cm (45 inch) crosspieces inside the rectangle and centre each across the width of the rectangle at those marks.
Screw both crosspieces in place using #12 wood screws.
Place the sheet of plywood, finished surface facing up, on top of the completed frame and align all the corners. Use #7 wood screws to fasten it in place at 15 to 30 cm (6 to 12 inch) intervals all the way around the perimeter and across the middle above the crosspieces.
Sand any rough edges, then finish as desired.
Tips and warnings
- If you rent and would like the option of taking your platforms with you on your next move, try making platforms half this size. Use bolts to fasten several smaller platforms together and rearrange them in many ways to customise the look from one room or apartment to another.
- Make taller platforms by substituting 5 by 15 cm (2 by 6 inch) or 5 by 20 cm (2 by 8 inch) timber for the 5 by 10 cm (2 by 4 inch) boards. If you want a platform taller than 20 cm (8 inch) standard timber -- which is actually 18.7 cm (7 1/2 inches) wide -- you will need to add a step or a larger platform beneath to act as a wraparound step for all sides.
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