Thursday, April 23, 2009

Bed Building

For as long as I have been with Paul, we haven't had a proper bed. We sleep on a queen sized piece of high density foam as a mattress on the floor. As one can expect with two dogs and a dustbowl for a yard, it gets pretty dirty...

I am now officially sick of having a dirty bed as of...two months ago. As a uni student, I was entitled to one of the Centrelink education bonuses and while all my uni friends were out spending it on laptops, ipods and getting pissed, I was down in a Lonsdale scrap metal yard with Paul, measuring and cutting up suitable lengths of metal for a bed frame. Fifty bucks later, I have the materials for the making of a bed frame in the back of the Commodore.

Now Paul's brother has his own welder, and for a labour fee [of two pizzas and corresponding bottles of soft drinks] offered to weld up the bed for us. He did a really good job of the welding, and ground back the welds so they were smooth.

Using right angle magnets to get the legs straight and at a perfect right angle

Grinding back the welds

Phase 1: Complete.

The plan wasnt as fool proof as we first thought. First thing that went wrong was the fact we forgot to get a third long piece to run length wise down the centre of the bed for support. Two, we forgot about what we were going to do about slats. After much debate, we went with the idea of welded in metal slats. And three [it always seems to happen in threes!], we needed a way to stop the corners of the mattress squashing down under the frame.

Beacuse the shed has two cars parked in it usually, the bed ended up in our bedroom for the night because we couldn't leave it in the shed or outside. It was put in place and then had the mattress dropped inside it. Spot thought it was a marvellous idea and proceeded to set himself up in what looked like a giant dog bed!!

The next day dawned and it was off to the scrap metal place for me again, this time by myself...

I got many strange looks from the guys at the scrap metal yard, might have had something to do with me being a chick and looking like I knew what I was doing. Which amazingly I did! Sometimes there is an advantage of being a woman...the guy who served me gave me the second lot of metal [which we'd calculated to cost me another $50] for only twenty-five bucks!

So phase two could finally start...

We solved the corner problem by welding small pieces at a 45 degree angle in each of the four corners. This will also support the corners of the MDF sheets we are putting down to help support the foam mattress.

The second lot of welding involved a lot of smaller pieces, so heaps of measuring, checking and double checking measurements and heaps more welds...not that it was a bad thing, until we ran out of welding wire!! We only had two more welds to do before it was complete!!

Paul checking the measurements for the cross slats

I trundled down the next day to a gas welding store and with more strange looks from guys, [Seriously, why is it so weird when a chick goes into a welding store and buys something??] bought more welding wire... And that evening the welding of the bed was finally finished!

Phase 2: Complete

Off to the powder coaters was the next step. My darling grandfather helped me take it down on Friday [17th] in his trailer and then helped me pick it up the following Wednesday [22nd]. We had it sprayed a nice matte black which came out really nicely. He also helped me to get it into the room today so it wouldn't get too wet in the rain.

I decided to see what it looked like with the mattress and bedding on it, so I put the dog beds under it and made up the bed. Because the bed frame is so high [it sits at 50cm from floor to top of frame, the dog beds are going under the bed to save the dogs like it under there!!

Bed with the dog beds underneath [Peggie exiting her's on the left]

Phase 3: Almost Complete

All I am waiting for now is the MDF sheets and I will have a proper bed finally!!

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