Self Built Wall Bed Makes a Come Back

Twenty years ago I signed up for a woodworking class through Rio Salado so that I could build a Murphy bed. I had just purchased a house in central Phoenix, and I just had to have a wall bed. However, I didn’t want to pay thousands of dollars to buy one, so I was going to build one and I did. I found plans online and purchased the wall bed hardware that helps the bed fold up and down. It was surprisingly simple to build. The hardest part I remember was trying to keep all the wood pieces together each week, as the class was only one night a week at Sunnyslope HS for 3 hours, and you couldn’t store anything in the shop. So I had to haul all the pieces back and forth each week. I remember at one point I lost my side rails and spent an hour of class time looking through all the woods scraps. Luckily I found them.

The bed was pretty sturdy and worked as planned for three years until I moved out of my house and didn’t have room for it in the new one. So my mom decided to keep the bed for me in one of her rooms. And 17 years later I finally have a place for my handmade wall bed. She’s going to the Happy Jack cabin. But before she can go to her new home, she needs a facelift to bring her into the 21st century. As you can see in the image to the left, I used a pretty dated molding on the front and stained it a pretty boring brown. I’d also lost a few pieces on the top when I moved it into my current garage, so I had to repair those.

In the featured image at the top of the page, you can see I removed the old moldings and added more modern wide rails. When we moved in to this current house, the wall bed couldn’t fit in the spare room because of the angle to get in the room, so we bought a Murphy bed that I had to assemble, not build, and we’ve been very happy with it. Although I felt like I was cheating on my original wall bed. I really like the look of this new, more modern bed (see below), and I’m trying to model my facelift after this bed. The white color and stainless pulls add to the modern look.

I haven’t decided what kind of pulls to use yet, but the two I left on my built bed are actually part of the legs that the bed rests on when it’s pulled out, so I need to keep the wood blocks. I may or may not add additional stainless steel pulls in the middle. I’ve only gotten as far as adding the rails and painting a primer coat. I’ll finish it up with a nice coat of white this week, and she’ll be ready for the ride up the mountain this weekend.

I’m almost certain it will fit in the room we want to use as an office, but if it doesn’t she still gets to stay as the second bedroom is a straight shot down the hall and the bed will easily make it into this room. So my bed will be home at last.

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