Advice on a Murphy Bed project...

16 years ago

My woodworking skills are similar to my sewing skills: Marginal, but I'm usually unafraid to experiment and generally pleasantly surprised with the outcome. After pricing Murphy beds both online and in a few custom furniture shops, I was alarmed: $2,300 - $6,500 for what I want... that's a used car!

I want one in the finished portion of our basement. It'd be for only occasional use, and I'd like it to be a nice table area with some plush upholstered chairs around it the rest of the time. I'm thinking of buying this mechanism and trying to emulate this design on the integral table. The mechanism allows a standard (queen) mattress. I'd do most of the build in plywood with a furniture quality cherry veneer on one side, and trim it out in ash. I'm thinking of using a stationary shelf (see photo) to serve as legs rather than those cheesy little flippy deals. I'd probably follow the plans that come with the mechanism to build shelves on either side. Plus, I'd want some lighting built in (for both the table and the bed).

I have a basement workshop with a fair amount of tools. My next door neighbor has every tool known to man and has expressed an interest in helping me, and even a willingness to wheel his big saws over to my basement. There's an awesome high quality wood shop in town.

I figure I can knock this whole thing out for about $1,000, which is very do-able for us... but I keep getting cold feet because I've never attempted anything on this scale and part of me is worried about screwing up. My husband is unqualified to serve as my assistant. (All he does when he tries is point out my mistakes until I get mad at him an tell him where to go.)

So... my question for those of you who have done things of this scale before is: Any advice? Pointers? Cautions? I think I can whip this out during my upcoming work hiatus. If this is done right, it will be beautiful. If not, it will be some mighty pricey kindling! I'm seeking a little wisdom and courage before I put that bed mechanism in my online shopping cart.

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