Designing the Van Part 8 – Building the Bed Frame

My grand design was taking shape and with the frame for the seating area in place I needed to get the bed frame under way so that I could see how it was all going to fit.

Making plans on paper is one thing but my experience has always proven that the reality is a different matter altogether. Once the Bed frame was built I’d be able to see how much space would be left for the kitchen, clothing drawers and the safe so I was keen to progress.

For this part I cheated a little bit, or you could call it ingenuity. I sourced an old pine bed, a double, and decided to keep the outer frame and the slats which would save me a lot of hacking things about. All I needed to do was chop the legs off and remove the whatever those things are called on the top (ball shaped things which serve no purpose other than to bruise knees on hangover mornings).

I took the bed apart and on a rare, dry English day laid all the pieces out on the lawn. The headboard was the first part to be hacked to pieces, the hard pine offering little resistance to the almighty jigsaw and in no time all I had left was a plank with a ledge and some holes for the retaining screws to fit through.

The foot end swiftly followed and in a matter of an hour, with the help of my dad, we had a sturdy bed frame taking shape. Once all four parts had been trimmed down we put it together and then screwed the slats firmly in place to make the frame completely rigid.

I realised that for something of this weight we’d need strong hinges so I bought three fire door hinges which we fitted to the bed frame immediately. The logistics of fitting them to the frame inside the van and then fixing them to the bed were too much to consider. I wanted an easy life.

We then tried the bed frame inside the van and were happy with the overall size and placement. I had the makings of an extremely comfortable bed which would remain folded away during the day with its clothes on. No bed nudity in our van, oh no sir.

With that the frame was stowed in the shed (one of my many sheds in fact) while I measured up the next step – the kitchen.

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