The Captain’s Bed

I’ve wanted a captain’s bed ((also known as storage beds, chest beds, or cabin beds)) for a while now, but never bothered because I had a perfectly good futon and no money. New ones go for hundreds to over a thousand and the ones I found cool take up a lot of space.

So cool. Look at all that storage!

I had never thought about it, but my parents’ bed is a captains bed – my dad had built it and they had moved it with them from Ohio to California and through three house’s there. (It comes apart into three pieces, so that helps).

Once I moved back in with my parents, I was using their futon which has free floating drawers underneath. But the cats loved to sleep in the drawers and I was afraid to let my rats run around in my room because I wouldn’t be able to get to them behind the bed. Mom was also getting frustrated with the cats always sleeping in the drawers where we couldn’t find them, so finally she said she’d buy me a new bed at Ikea.

Space to shove stuff you never need to see! Bookcase!

I started looking for Ikea Hacks to make a storage bed, then figured, if I’m looking, let’s take a look at Craigslist. Which is where I lucked out!

I don’t have a pic of the ad, sorry. The pictures were awful. It was shoved into a corner, with two much stuff so you couldn’t really see much. But it was a captain’s bed, for 80 bucks, that could go from a full-size to a queen, ((I have no plans of ever having anything but a full-size bed, but, y’know, features!)) so why not go take a look? So me and my dad went off in his truck.

It was beat up, but made of real wood and the guy accepted my offer of 60 bucks. Score!

I figured I’d fix it and repaint it and be good. Yeah…

When I started taking a look, it turned into a bigger project than I figured. Some of the drawer fronts were beat to hell. The hinges were all either busted or frozen. Worse than that though, was the body of it, which seems to be made of the cheapest, splintery-ist, knottiest pine plywood the builder could find, held together with staples, half of which missed their mark. And I didn’t want my dad to help, because he’d take over and end up doing all of it.

The two pieces of the body of the bed. Already did some sanding on the one.
Quality manufacturing!
Quality manufacturing!

I removed all the hardware and decided I would try it without any handles so it’d be lower profile. So I started filling holes. And sanding. And patching. And sanding. And patching. And sanding.

Two weekends in, I’m still sanding. (Part of this is getting started late in the days and taking breaks, but still).

Did I mention the quality craftsmanship? Because look at this:

Yeah, that’s a place the wood split from one of the staples.

And a ton of the staples on the body stick out a half inch from the wood (as seen in the two pictures above). Which means anything put in the center space – which closes with a door (sorry about no real before pics) – would snag. So I cut those off with wire cutters, then used my rotary tool to smooth them, then covered them with wood filler.

Better no? I also filled in big knot holes, cracks, and all the places the even longer staples split the wood.
Better no? I also filled in big knot holes, cracks, and all the places the even longer staples split the wood.

But mostly I’ve been working on the drawers and doors. I have most of them done now. There’s three drawers left to do, all of which have been puttied and sanded to some extent, and then the two body pieces.

Making progress!

But look at this poor wood!

Sorry about the crappy picture. I was really tired and in pain by the time I was taking pics. This is the worst of the drawers.

I’ve still got plenty to do (finish sanding, prime, paint, put hardware back, figure out how I’m handling the mattress surface), and Mom wants me done by Saturday so she can have her garage back, but as long as my bosses don’t expect me to work five days this week, like last week, I should be able to get it done!