513 Platform Bed Build No. 2 “A Box”

November 3, 2013

platform bed box drawing

The next component of the platform bed build to tackle is the box encasing the undercarriage assembly. It has three purposes:

First, it’s a means to support the undercarriage assembly for when it’s attached to the platform proper.

Second, it’ll act as part of the support and reinforcement system for when we attach the legs in an upcoming episode.

Third, it just looks cool and is an opportunity to cut some beautiful thru-dovetails and show off my mad joinery skills (of which you’ll learn more about the truth behind this last point).

The main focus of this episode is on the cutting of the dovetails themselves. I chose to do it completely by hand for one simple reason, I don’t own a dovetail jig. There’s an entire list of reasons why I prefer to hand cut my dovetails and I’ll share them at a point further down the road, but suffice to say, they may take me a little longer to do it but I enjoy the process.

A full set of detailed plans are available, thanks to Brian Benham of Benham Design Concepts.

You can find them by visiting our new “Digital Downloads Store” by clicking here.

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Comments (12)

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  1. Vic Hubbard says:

    Aiden’s going to really enjoy this bed. Nice work, Matt!

  2. Gary Prott says:

    This is a good project for me to consider doing. Need a bed in the spare bedroom for company. Thanks. Gary

  3. Wooden Shoe says:

    Can you engineer in a squeak to be used as a midnight fridge raid alarm system?

  4. Nice work Matt. BTW the “other technique” was used by Alan Breed on Rough Cut. I tried this a few time as well to see what it was about. I had a similar reaction as your own but I kept after it until I was able to cut a dovetail joint that way. It has merit especially if a long board joint comes up like this. If anyone is curious you can learn more about it with my video, The Alan Breed Project.

  5. Steve Bennett says:

    Hi Matt,
    Hello from across the pond, I’m in the UK and am really enjoying your podcasts which I’ve been following for a few months now. I’ve picked up some great tips and my workshop is in a basement too, albeit a lot smaller than yours.
    I was following the platform bed build where you ended up wth the through dovetails and had hand cut them. Did you want to specifically use a handsaw, because that method just yelled out, Bandsaw!, for some of those cuts.
    Also great tip on starting the chop out just inside the shoulder, did you have much problem with tear out?, I’d been advised to chop each side first, leaving a wedge in the middle to take out last. That will keep your outside shoulders of the joint crisper apparently, but maybe it’s down to the wood, I use that approach for the softwoods.
    Anyway, great show and appreciate the effort you make to share your experience and knowledge.
    Steve B,

    • Matt says:

      Steve this is my first real experience with maple and I’ve quickly discovered how well it machines (hand and power tool). I don’t have much experience with dovetails on a band saw, but I will admit I did consider it at one point LOL. Still, I love hand cutting my joinery whenever possible. I’m getting comfortable enough with it, that I imagine in the near future my time doing it by hand will rival that by machine (when you combine setup and actual cutting).

      As far as tearout when chopping with my chisels, again…the maple was a dream compared to other species. I doubt my chisels were super sharp as I hadn’t touched them up prior to chopping, but the maple is so dense it left nice crisp lines, no noticeable compression of fibers or anything (at least that I recognize).

      I’ve done a very similar action with species like pine and or cherry and not had nearly as nice of results as these.

  6. Josh Wixom says:


    I just got around to watching this video, it was great! The dovetails look really nice by the way.


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