DIY Network

How to Build a Footboard

DIY Network experts show how to assemble the pieces of a footboard for a Murphy bed.

More in Remodeling

hideaway guest bed made with shelf units

Step 1: Measure the Area

Place a level on the side rails of the bed box, and add some shims until the box is raised up just enough to be level. Once the bed box is level, measure the distance between the floor and the bottom of the bed box. Be sure to press the measuring tape to the floor surface (especially if on carpet) to be as accurate as possible.

Step 2: Cut the MDF

Use the saw to rip the MDF to the correct measurement for the width. Cut the front and bottom pieces according to the measurements needed.

Step 3: Cut the End Pieces

For the two end pieces, cut the profile of the footboard using a circular saw for the long cuts and a jigsaw to finish. Use the jigsaw to cut out a notch where the trim at the top of the moving wall will rest. Use the first piece as a template for the other end.

cut the end pieces

Step 4: Add the Support Block

To assemble the footboard, start with the board that will be the back of the box. Add a support block to help hold the board to the bottom. Glue and brad-nail the support in place.

assemble the footboard

Step 5: Attach the Casters

Attach casters to the underside of the bottom board. At this point, only put screws in two of the holes.

attach casters to underside of bottom board

Step 6: Attach the Back Board

Attach the back board with the support block to the bottom. Use clamps to secure the two boards together, and pre-drill the remaining holes in the casters. Use 2-1/2" screws through the casters to draw the support block tight. Pre-drill and add screws along the edge between the casters for additional strength.

Step 7: Hold All the Pieces Together

Lay the front piece down and use bar clamps to hold all three pieces together. Add long screws through the caster holes and in between. A three-sided structure has been created.

Step 8: Place a Decorative Panel

Attach the end panels. Place a decorative panel over the end and hold it in place with wood glue and brad nails. Use a countersinking bit to pre-drill holes. The holes will be countersunk to be hidden from view.

Step 9: Secure the Panel

Secure the panel with 2" wood screws. Measure up 1-3/4" from the bottom of the end boards to make sure the screws are precise. Turn the unit around and repeat the steps.

secure panel with wood screws

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