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How to Build a Kid-Friendly Bed (page 2 of 3)

Follow these step-by-step instructions to learn how to build a platform bed with built-in storage in the headboard and swing-out drawers underneath.

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Step 4: Cut the Wood for the Lazy Susan

Lay out a piece of 3/4" plywood that will serve as the bottom of the rotating toy drawer. The rotating drawer for the project bed measured 38" in diameter and 7" deep.

Find or cut a piece of scrap wood at least half as long as the diameter of the rotating drawer. This will become a jig for drawing the rounded side of the drawer.

Measure 6 inches from the edge of the plywood and use a nail to temporarily secure one end of the scrap wood to the plywood. This will be the center of the rotating drawer.

Measure and mark a point half the diameter of the drawer on the scrap wood. Hold a pencil against the scrap wood at this point, and use it to draw a giant half-circle. This will be the rounded side of the rotating drawer.

Remove the jig and cut out the arch with the jigsaw. Trim the flat side of the plywood at the jig mark to leave a perfect half-circle of plywood.

Measure and mark the locations for the compartment dividers in the rotating drawer. Remember, the dividers will come out from the center of the flat side of the drawer like spokes on a wheel, extending out to the curved edge.

Cut pieces of 1" pine to the right size for compartment dividers. Make sure the boards also are the correct width -- the width of the boards will equal the depth/height of the drawer. Don't forget a long, float piece to form the flat side of the drawer; this is the side that will face outward when the drawer rotates closed.

Step 5: Secure the Lazy Susan Boards

Glue and nail the 1" pine boards into place (Image 1), then flip the drawer over and nail the boards from the bottom of the plywood.

The rounded side of the drawer is made from 1/4" plywood. To form the rounded surface, cut the plywood to the right width (matching the depth/height of the drawer) and wet it with water. The plywood will bend more easily if wet.

Use glue and a power screwdriver (or drill with a screwdriver bit) to secure one end of the plywood in place. Line the plywood up flush with the bottom and side of the drawer.

Gently bend the wet plywood around the curve, using glue and nails to secure it in place. Karl nailed the plywood at 1-inch intervals.

Tip: Don't rush or force this part of the project. Take your time, and ease the plywood into place. You may need to re-wet the plywood to help it bend more easily.

Once the plywood is bent and in place, secure the end of the plywood with screws and glue (Image 2).

Step 6: Install the Lazy Susan Hardware

The lazy Susan hardware consists of two metal disks sandwiched together with ball bearings in the middle. To install, position the hardware first on the rotating drawer, then on the bed frame, marking and pre-drilling holes through the wood. Attach the hardware with wood screws, attaching the hardware to the drawer first then to the bed frame.