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I'm building a 30"x80" daybed with a simple rectangular structure for the frame. I plan to use 2x6 pine cut to length for the frame. Please do not try to talk me out of the pine, I already have it and know there are better wood options :) The boards on the frame will lay flat and be joined at the four intersections by glued and screwed half-laps. The slats between the boards will be Ikea slats cut to size.

Does my design seem sound? What's the best method for joining the slats to the frame? I plan to order steel legs online for the legs.

Frame plan

  • Welcome to WSE. Laying the 2x6 boards flat will not span very far without sagging under loads. How will the frame be supported? You may want to provide a sketch of your design to get more input. BTW wood glue alone should be more than adequate to secure your lap joint connections. – Ashlar Jul 23 at 17:21
  • Thank you for the welcome! I was going to use steel legs ordered online. So I'm better off having the boards span the distance upright? Wouldn't that mean less surface area for the contact between the half-joints? (1.5 inches to 1.5 inches) – Ryan W Jul 23 at 17:48
  • "So I'm better off having the boards span the distance upright?" Oh yes, much. You're essentially tripling the resistance to sagging by orienting the boards that way (the normal way) compared to using them flat. "Wouldn't that mean less surface area for the contact between the half-joints?" You wouldn't then join them using half-laps, you'd choose another option, e.g. internal glue blocks, gussets, bolts that go in the flat of the short ones into the ends of the long ones... or simply go with 'bed bolts' or another fastening system specifically intended for bed construction. – Graphus Jul 23 at 17:56
  • Was hoping to have a bit more woodworking involved than bed bolts, but it seems like that might be the easiest option. I was hoping to get a look similar to the Herman Miller Nelson Daybed. – Ryan W Jul 23 at 18:16
  • There is no project, large or small, that would not benefit from a quick hand-drawn isometric drawing. Without an image showing dimensions, we'll have a hard time understanding why you are asking what you are asking. – jdv Jul 23 at 18:50
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An edit with a sketch image was added after i wrote the answer below. As designed in the sketch i would add legs under the half lap joints in the middle. One leg under each joint.

Using 2x6 boards laid flat is not a sound plan. They will be much to flexy and will sag significantly.

Typically a slat bed has a box frame with a cleat on the inside that the slats sit on, they may or may not be secured to the cleat. You will need a center support for the slats that is the same height as the cleat.

You have options for the joinery at the corners, you can use a leg to help strengthen that joint. There are many options and some research will help you decide on something within you abilities.

Many times the slats are connected together with web strapping. Such as these.

If you do a web search for slat bed frame you find many different ways or designs to accomplish your goal.

Here is an illustration from tutorial on Ana-White.com

enter image description here

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  • I was hoping to get something with more of the look of the Herman Miller Nelson Daybed (p1.liveauctioneers.com/429/34732/14244040_1_x.jpg). Does that use a steel frame to avoid the sagging? I can't figure it out. I was hoping for something a bit more modern, but perhaps that is too much to ask for my first project. – Ryan W Jul 23 at 18:08
  • That is interesting. A few thoughts; that span is shorter then a bed frame would be and the wood appears to be a hardwood like maple. (Much stronger then pine) The inset legs help. How much of that cool design will be visible with mattress on it? Maybe some angle iron under the flat boards to add support. – Alaska Man Jul 23 at 18:23
  • Ah good call, they use white ash or walnut. Twice the bending strength of pine. It's fairly close to my design though. Herman Miller's is 32"x75" and mine is 30"x84". Would I want L brackets for the inside corners? Sorry, I don't know much about working with steel (and would rather not cut into steel myself). – Ryan W Jul 23 at 18:37
  • Wouldn't slats only be required if he is NOT using a box spring. – Programmer66 Jul 23 at 19:50
  • I'm not using a box spring. The primary purpose of it is to be sat on like a chaise, but with enough space to sleep on for guests. – Ryan W Jul 23 at 19:56

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