Tips for Building a Captains Bed Tips for Building a Captains Bed

A captain’s bed, with storage underneath, is a very useful piece of furniture, especially in a room where there’s not much room for closet space. It looks grand, even imposing in the bedroom. Making a captain’s bed is a fairly complex procedure, one that requires good carpentry skills. There are things you can do that will make the job proceed more easily.

Tip #1 - Joints

Know how to make several kinds of joints. You’ll be using mortise and tenon joints extensively and these will need to fit snugly for the bed to be secure. Take time to practise on scrap wood until you’re comfortable making these. It might seem like an extra step but the results will be worthwhile and save you ruining some of the wood you’ve bought for the bed.

Tip #2 - Squaring the Corners

You’ll be using both lumber and sheets of plywood. Before you begin the job go around with a carpenter’s square and be certain the corners of all the pieces of wood are square. If they’re not, trim them to square. This is the only way you can be certain that all the parts will fit properly as you build the bed.

Tip #3 - Measuring

When you measure the wood prior to cutting, always measure several times. If pieces have to fit in a frame, as will be the case later in the process, measure the frame twice, then measure the wood twice before you cut. That way you can be certain there will be no mistake.

Tip #4 - Hinges

You’ll be using hinges on the storage doors underneath the bed. You’ll achieve the best results if you use piano hinges for this. They’ll give the best support and attach easily. Follow the instructions properly.

Tip #5 - Tools

Making a captain’s bed is a job that needs plenty of tools. You need to be comfortable using all of them before trying to build a captain’s bed. This means experience. It can’t be stressed too strongly that this is not a job for novices. If you’re not sure of your ability, take a woodworking course first. Make sure you have a fully equipped workshop before you begin, or access to the tools you’ll need.

Tip #6 - Lumber

Buy the best wood you can you for the job. Inspect each piece at the lumber yard and make sure it’s straight and level. Remember that this is an item that will be on display and that you’ll be sleeping on every night. You want it to be comfortable and also to look good.

Tip #7 - Finishing

To put a finish on the captain’s bed you can stain the wood if you wish or just finish it. Make sure that you use several coats of polyurethane to protect the wood. Allow 24 hours between coats for each one to dry fully-don’t try to rush this stage. Only after you’ve finished putting polyurethane on the wood should you add the hardware for the drawers, making that the very last job for making the captain’s bed.

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