build a cedar bed

How to Build a Cedar Bed; 1 Awesome Project

Build a Cedar Bed

In all our years of construction on our own house and property, we kept neglecting our own bed! So, while there was a lull (albeit small) in construction, I decided to get my husband to build a cedar bed. We already had a considerable amount of cedar trees — down, stacked and drying — for some other projects. Between those and the leftover wood that we have from parts of our construction, we had exactly what we needed to get going. …well, I had to work on the willing husband for a while.

The cedar trees, of course, had to be stripped and sanded first. Kris did a fantastic job of that! Its hard work as it is, but in the heat of the Southern Oklahoma summer, it is much worse! Once the trees were stripped and ready, we were able to begin the process to build a cedar bed.

Build a Cedar Bed – Constructing the Frame

We used repurposed 2×8 lumber to construct the frame of our queen size bed, basically just making a box. Then, kris used some scrap lumber as temporary ‘legs’ to hold the frame in the air as it would be, making sure that it was square and level. This was an important step because we would need to be able to mark the posts for the headboard and footboard in order to notch the area where they will attach.

Build a Cedar Bed – Marking and Cutting the Posts

Kris first marked and cut the base of the posts flat with the chainsaw. Chainsaws aren’t exactly precision tools but he wields it well! Once the posts had flat bottoms, I held each one up in place so that he could mark for the notch. We wanted the square base to be able to fit into the notch snugly and this step helped with that process. He used the chainsaw as well as a chisel to form the notch and snug the fit. We ran the posts about five and a half feet tall because we knew we would still need to do some trimming from the top in the finish stage.

Build a Cedar Bed – Attaching Posts to Frame and Creating the Headboard

We attached the frame into the notches of cedar posts with 5 inch screws and washers. With the posts attached to the base, the next step was to create the headboard by attaching post to post. We chose 2 cedar branches, smaller in diameter and marked where we wanted them. We decided to go with the mortise and tenon technique.

Kris used a forstner bit to create the holes in the posts where the horizontal members would attach. At that point, it was necessary to whittle down the ends of the horizontal pieces to fit snugly into that hole. He used a hole saw bit to start the cut in the correct dimensions. He used a circular saw at that time to cut off chunks of wood to make the process a little easier; a handsaw was needed to finish those cuts off. Finally, to smooth it up, he used the belt sander and grinder.

Build a Cedar Bed – Completing the Framing of the Headboard

Once the horizontal pieces of the headboard were ready, they were installed very snugly and screwed in from behind. At this point, we tested the sturdiness by doing a little shaking and what not ….and it passed the test very well!

Build a Cedar Bed – Adding Elements to the Headboard

I chose some smaller cedar branches and played with placement in the headboard. I didn’t really want anything overdone or busy as I’m doing a very mellow, relaxing farmhouse style decor in our new master bedroom. When I decided placement, we screwed them in from behind and I used a Kukri to do a little basic shaving in a few random spots. I love how it turned out. Meanwhile, Kris cut a slant on the top of the post and used the grinder to smooth them out.

Build a Cedar Bed – Completing the Cedar Bed Project

When the pieces were constructed, we disassembled them partially in order to get them into our new room and I began the painting process. I painted the frame with a slightly off-white latex paint but without full coverage. When that was dry, I went back over with stain. It is my FAVORITE look! When dry, we reassembled the bed and added framing inside the frame to hold our bed up.

NOTE: You may also notice the footboard posts. They are the exact same as the headboard posts, just short and individual. I do truly love the way this project turned out!


For more posts about farm building, check out Awe Inspiring Skills You Need to Love! Be sure to check out Two Oaks Farmtalk and A life on the Farm for more down home info! And you don’t want to miss Two Oaks Farmstead YouTube Channel where everything collides! But make sure you subscribe to everything so that you always have the latest information!!

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