Small apartments and dorm rooms are perfect locations to install a wall bed, also known as a Murphy bed. This space-saving sleeping solution folds up into the wall when not in use, allowing you to use the space for other activities. A closed Murphy bed may look like a wardrobe, shelf display or a closet. You can build your own Murphy bed or install a pre-made kit with simple tools.
Wood preparation requires a tape measure to measure the piece to size and a pencil or marker to mark the measurement. You may find a machinist square especially helpful when measuring and marking.
You may use several saws to cut the wood (plywood, medium density fiberboard or particle board work but you can opt for a more expensive type) for your Murphy bed including a table saw, a circular saw and compound mitre saw. Alternatively, you could take your wood to a home improvement store and have a professional cut it to size if you do not feel comfortable cutting it yourself.
Before installing your Murphy bed against the wall, you can use a level to ensure the frame and side units are straight.
Protective gear including goggles, ear plugs or safety ear muffs and work gloves are essential when cutting.
You can purchase a pocket hole jig to install hidden screws into the frame more efficiently. The jib allows you to drill holes for wood screws which secure the Murphy frame.
Clamps, such as a C-clamp or bar clamp, help hold together your Murphy bed frame when attaching screws or nails.
A hammer and drill enable you to install nails and screws, respectively.
If you choose to build side units, you can use glue, a hammer and finishing nails to secure shelves into place.
Metal L-brackets and angle brackets help to secure the corners your Murphy bed frame.
Murphy beds kits include hinges; although, you may purchase basic hinges (such as 6-inch gate hinges) when building a bed from scratch.
You can purchase casters (mounted wheels) to attach to the bottom of your bed.
A stud finder can help you find a wall stud, if you plan to permanently attach your bed.
You can stain or paint your Murphy bed after filling nail and screw holes with wood putty. Use sandpaper or an electric sander to lightly sand the surface of the bed and prime with a wood primer. Use wood paint to finish your Murphy bed or coat it in a wood stain of your choice, instead.
Purchase sliding door bolts to secure your Murphy bed when not in use.
Some Murphy bed kits or instructions require (or include) additional hardware including piston lifts, elastic straps for securing the mattress, decorative handles, springs, various metal brackets, metal or plastic washers, gate latches (o secure the bed when not in use or a door chain lock.
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