Building a Queen Slat Bed

Lead Image
  • 8-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 100-300
What You'll Need
Two 2x8 lumber pieces - 8 feet Long
Four 2x8 lumber pieces - 5 feet Long
Four 4x4 posts
Twelve 1x4 lumber pieces - 5 feet Long
Table saw
Wood glue
Straight bit for router

Building a queen size slat bed is a great project for someone who wants to learn basic woodworking skills, or needs an extra bed in their home. This type of bed is perfect for a spare bedroom, a camp, or just having a new bed without having to buy one. With some very basic woodworking tools, and beginner knowledge, a do it yourselfer can easily build a queen slat bed in a day.

Step 1 - Cut Lumber to Size

Your queen bed will be eight feet long by five feet wide. This means that you will need to use your table saw, or a skill saw, to cut the wood to the appropriate size. The two by eight stringers should be eight feet long, with four pieces of two by eights that are five feet long. The four by four posts should be cut to a size 36 inches for two and 48 inches for the other two. The larger will be on the front end, with the smaller at the foot.

Step 2 - Chisel Out Notch in Post

wood chisels and shavings of wood

In order to make your queen slat bed strong and durable you will need to cut out a notch in the posts to accept each of the stringers. Measure up eight inches from the floor and make a mark in the middle of the post. Measure up another 7 3/4 inches and make another mark. Using a square draw the lines for a 1 3/4 inch wide by 7 3/4 rectangle. Use your router to cut out as much of the material as you can. It should go to a depth of two inches. Follow this procedure with the adjacent side so the notches meet in the middle. Use a chisel if your straight bit does not reach the full two inches.

Step 3 - Create Notch for Slats

Lay the stringer pieces on their sides. You will need to use your router and a straight bit to route a notch that is one inch wide and 1/2 inch deep. This is for the slats to rest for a firm foundation for your mattress. The notches should be 1 1/2 inch from the bottom. Use a chalk line to mark out a level line from one end to the other.

Step 4 - Build Bed Frame

carving out a rabbit joint

Stand one of the front posts in a vertical position and slide one of the side stringers into the notch. Stand one of the footer posts up and slide the end of the stringer into the notch. Do the same with the other side. Slide a five-foot two by eight into the corner notch of the head and footer posts. Then complete the assembly of the frame by sliding the other posts into the five-foot lumber. Use two-inch carriage bolts at each intersection to secure the bed frame together.

Step 5 - Insert Slats

The slats are easily slid into the notch you routed out into the bottom of each side stringer. Lay them out and slide them into the notch for a semi loose fit. They should be able to move a little and have some space in between them. Place your mattress on them and you're ready for a restful sleep.