Bed Frame Made of Galvanized Pipe

If you're partial to industrial-looking furniture, you can make an inexpensive and sturdy bed using old galvanized steel plumbing pipes.
Galvanized steel pipes make a sturdy and inexpensive bed.Galvanized steel pipes make a sturdy and inexpensive bed.
The key to doing it easily, without having all the pipes rethreaded so you can join them with conventional fittings, is to use clamp fittings that you secure with hex screws. If you use fittings of this type, you only need to cut the pipes to length, and you can do that yourself with a hacksaw or reciprocating saw. Galvanized pipes are strong, but to make sure your bed doesn't collapse, use pipe that is 1 inch or greater in diameter.

Step 1

Measure the dimensions of the mattress you plan to use on the bed with a tape measure. Cut three pieces of 1-inch galvanized pipe 2 inches longer than the mattress, using a hacksaw or reciprocating saw with a metal-cutting blade. Cut six crosspieces with lengths 1 inch greater than the width of the mattress, two pieces about 36 inches long for the legs at the foot of the bed and two pieces about 48 inches long for the legs at the head.

Step 2

Slide clamp tees onto two of the crosspieces. Slide each tee to the middle of the pipe and secure it by tightening the screw with a hex wrench. Install a slide outlet tee on the end of each pipe with the side outlet facing in the same direction as the tee in the middle of the pipe. Besides the side outlet, the tee also has vertical outlets for the legs.

Step 3

Connect the two crosspieces with the three long pieces of pipe to form the bed platform. Insert the ends of the pipes into the tees and tighten the connecting nuts with a hex wrench.

Step 4

Insert a 36-inch leg into each of the vertical outlets of the slide tees at the foot of the bed. Slide the leg through until the bottom end is 18 inches from the bottom of the tee, then secure the tee with a wrench. Repeat the operation at the head of the bed using the 48-inch legs. The bottoms of those legs should also be 18 inches from the bottoms of the tees.

Step 5

Install flanges on the bottoms of the legs to act as feet. The flanges are round plates with screw holes usually used to secure galvanized pipe to a surface.

Step 6

Slide a 1-inch clamp tee halfway down the length of each pipe that forms the head and connect the tees with a crosspiece. Do the same thing at the foot of the bed.

Step 7

Install clamp elbows onto the tops of the two pipes that form the head and secure them with a wrench. Join them with one of the remaining two crosspieces. Repeat the procedure at the foot of the bed.

Step 8

Cut lengths of one-by-four lumber with a circular saw to fit crossways across the bed and lay them on the pipes that form the sides of the bed with a 1-inch gap between them.

Step 9

Drill holes through both ends of each piece of wood, and through the pipe underneath, with a 1/4-inch drill bit, then secure the wood to the pipe with a 1/4-inch carriage bolt. Tighten a nut onto each bolt from underneath the pipe with a wrench.

Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • 1-inch galvanized steel pipe
  • Hacksaw
  • Reciprocating saw
  • Metal-cutting blade
  • Six 1-inch clamp tees
  • Hex wrench
  • Four 1-inch slide outlet tees
  • Four 1-inch galvanized pipe flanges
  • Four 1-inch clamp elbows
  • One-by-four lumber
  • Circular saw
  • Drill
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • 1/4-inch carriage bolts with nuts and washers
  • Wrench

Tips

  • If your bed needs extra support, cut two more long pieces of pipe and two more crosspieces and attach them to the legs with slide outlet tees.
  • You can paint the pipes by spraying them with metal paint to match the decor in your bedroom. Be sure to prime them with metal primer first.

Warning

  • Put padding on the bottoms of the feet before you use the bed on an uncarpeted floor, or you'll scratch the floor.

About the Author

Chris Deziel has a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in humanities. Besides having an abiding interest in popular science, Deziel has been active in the building and home design trades since 1975. As a landscape builder, he helped establish two gardening companies.