Author Topic: building a murphy bed  (Read 2188 times)

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Offline mikeyr

  • Posts: 64
building a murphy bed
« on: January 28, 2019, 06:24 PM »
 Ok, next weekend's project is to build a murphy bed :) I bought a kit from Rockler for all the hardware and their plans call for 3/4 plywood for the sides and frame.   Problem is I have 11 sheets of 1/2" Oak plywood left over from a previous project. 

 The frame sides are more cosmetic than anything, they just go up the wall and are screwed to the wall at the top, there may be some parts of the frame where having 3/4" is a good idea for strength but looking over the free plans they have on the website, it would appear that as long as I do my math right and remember that I am using thinner plywood when making the cuts, it should be ok.

Anyone done this before ? and can tell me to go buy proper 3/4" ply or as long as I use some common sense (I am old enough that I have some) around the critical parts like around the hinge and hydraulic areas and reinforce those areas can I use the 1/2" ?

 I have the plans already, assuming the download plans are the same as the ones that come with the hardware, I may start cutting some pieces this week so when the hardware arrives on Friday I can build over the weekend.
ex-cabinet maker, now I just play with wood

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Offline duburban

  • Posts: 1041
Re: building a murphy bed
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2019, 07:43 PM »
I did design and shops for one that was built by someone else. Hardware location seems to be the trick of it all. Post the kit you sourced so we can see what youre into.
helper: i used a festool "circular saw" to do something simple and it made it really hard

me: exactly, it makes simple cuts complicated and complicated cuts simple

Offline ktb153

  • Posts: 35
Re: building a murphy bed
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2019, 08:28 PM »
I built this one
https://www.rockler.com/deluxe-murphy-bed-kits-vertical-mount

All the hardware is sized for 3/4" sides so there would be no way to use 1/2". if you're making side cabinets for it you could use up the 1/2" there. Just follow the instructions and measure 3 times for hardware locations you'll have no problem.

Offline Bob Wolfe

  • Posts: 92
Re: building a murphy bed
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2019, 10:38 PM »
glue two pieces together for the sides, cut a strip to trim out the exposed edge.

Offline Joe Felchlin

  • Posts: 179
  • Just another day in paradise - Livin’ the dream!
Re: building a murphy bed
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2019, 11:09 PM »
“Ditto” Bob Wolfe/Reply #3.
And... It’ll also make for some really solid cabinets.
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Offline ktb153

  • Posts: 35
Re: building a murphy bed
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2019, 02:10 AM »
i built the bed, the hardware only works on 3/4” material, not 1/2” and not 1”. There’s bolts that get attached from the outside. You only need 1 sheet of plywood for the sides anyways. Also the plans on rocklers website are not nearly as detailed as what you get with the kit, it was probably around 30 pages.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2019, 02:13 AM by ktb153 »

Offline ctfeet

  • Posts: 36
Re: building a murphy bed
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2019, 07:51 AM »
Ok, next weekend's project is to build a murphy bed :) I bought a kit from Rockler for all the hardware and their plans call for 3/4 plywood for the sides and frame.   Problem is I have 11 sheets of 1/2" Oak plywood left over from a previous project. 

 The frame sides are more cosmetic than anything, they just go up the wall and are screwed to the wall at the top, there may be some parts of the frame where having 3/4" is a good idea for strength but looking over the free plans they have on the website, it would appear that as long as I do my math right and remember that I am using thinner plywood when making the cuts, it should be ok.

Anyone done this before ? and can tell me to go buy proper 3/4" ply or as long as I use some common sense (I am old enough that I have some) around the critical parts like around the hinge and hydraulic areas and reinforce those areas can I use the 1/2" ?

 I have the plans already, assuming the download plans are the same as the ones that come with the hardware, I may start cutting some pieces this week so when the hardware arrives on Friday I can build over the weekend.

I'm in the process of doing a murphy bed myself. Except for the fact that the hardware is sized for 3/4" material (you could probably shim that if necessary), you should be fine with 1/2" for everything EXCEPT the actual bed side rails. My kit stresses 3/4" plywood for the bed side rails and has big bold print explaining how plywood is stronger than solid wood (even oak). I could probably build the rest of the bed with MDF and it would be fine, but I wouldn't want to skimp on the side rails - I don't want the bed to go bump in the night!

Offline mikeyr

  • Posts: 64
Re: building a murphy bed
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2019, 12:01 PM »
 Thanks for the reply's.  I guess I will go buy some 3/4 and still have the 1/2 left over taking space in my small shop.  I fully agree with ctfeet who said that you don't want to stress the bed rails, I had planned on using 3/4" there but thought the vertical mostly cosmetic part could be done with 1/2", my wife said she will find a use for the 1/2" stuff after I finish this so we will get 3/4" (I was hoping to do this on a budget, save some cash AND use up the stuff taking space).
 
 I am sure there will be cabinets built to the side of the bed that I can use the 1/2" on.
ex-cabinet maker, now I just play with wood

Offline cgrutt

  • Posts: 70
Re: building a murphy bed
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2019, 11:00 AM »
My buddy built one at his lake house he used 3/4 ply it came out pretty nice.  My wife and I use that bet when we visit and don't think 1/2 would work that well.  Suggest using 3/4 at least for the structural parts.