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Lumber & Composites

Building the Tokyo Floating Bed with Lights



I just bought a house and have found I am needing to buy everything at once.  So I am trying to learn how to do things myself as much as I can for items that have a 300-500% markup like the bed I love (probably more of a percentage than that actually).  So I want to build the bed in the picture (don't care about the orange pillows) but I have no clue where to start, please oh please help me build this bed :).


To clarify I am a beginner so explain the things you would think I would know already because I probably don't (I do know what a hammer is though ha ha).



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Posted 2012-07-10T20:51:35+0000  by Artemis88 Artemis88

I'll start working on this write up this week. Hopefully, if all goes well, I should have a post about the construction by next weekend.

Posted 2012-07-22T19:44:58+0000  by Paul

Here is what I have so far, which should help you start thinking about the construction and materials.


Unless you have the ability to glue up board to form panels, you're probably going to use sheet goods for the large pieces, like the headboard and side table tops. You're also going to have to think about how you're going to finish the bed; paint or stain. If you decide to go the paint route, you can use either sanded plywood or MDF. If you want to go the stain route, think about oak, birch, maple plywood for the panels. With the minor exception of the 2x4 blocks, the entire rest of the bed could be constructed out of sheet goods.


Whichever direction you decide to take, finishing of the edges of the sheet goods is going to come into play. If you paint and use MDF, you're going to have to prime the boards, especially the edges. This will seal the edge so it will look the same as the broad flat surfaces. Otherwise the paint soaks in at the edges and will look duller than the rest of the piece. Staining will teach you how to use edge banding. Edge banding is used to hide the plys of the plywood, making it look like a solid piece of wood. It is glued in place. The front side of the banding is real wood and on the back is some hot melt glue. You'll use an iron to "press" the banding in place. You would probably want to use banding if you're going to plywood and paint as well. You could also use wood filler, but that's a lot of work with smoothing out the filler and sanding.


Most of the construction is just screwing through pieces and using a countersinking bit and plugs to hide the holes when necessary. If you have something like a Kreg Jig for pocket holes, a lot of the screw holes you'd  end up plugging because they're visible can be hidden. Using pocket holes would also be a way to avoid using banding. The Kreg Jig sold by THD is about $100. If that is in the budget or you have one, let me know, because that will change a few things.


Now onto the parts and pieces.


TFB - No Mattress.jpg

TFB - No Platform.jpg

TFB - No Side Tables.jpg

TFB - Sides.jpg

If you didn't want to build the headboard and place the bed up against the wall, you'd need to add an end piece as shown above, or another end section.

TFB - Sides Detail Outside.jpg

TFB - Sides Detail Inside.jpg

These two pictures show one of the sides, you'd build a mirrored pair of these.

TFB - Foot End.jpg

As mentioned above, you could skip the headboard and side tables and make two of these sections if you wanted a skirt area all the way around.

TFB - Platform Support.jpg

This is the support for the two pieces of plywood.

TFB - Headboard.jpg

This is half the headboard, you'd build a mirrored pair.

TFB - Side Table.jpg

This is just one of the side tables, you'd want to build a mirrored pair of these as well.


TFB - Full.jpg


That's all the main components. I will edit this post later on with the details of the construction.

Posted 2012-07-28T22:28:17+0000  by Paul

This is great, thank you!

I am planning on staining the wood instead of painting. Then with the Kreg Jig I personally do not have one and it is not apart of the budget but I do have neighbors that should have one so I will find one! 

Posted 2012-07-31T04:42:48+0000  by samantha

Let me make a few tweaks to the design to accomodate pocket holes and we'll get started on a construction write up.


If you do a simple search here on the main page for Kreg Jig, you'll find some examples of what you can do with it. There are also all kinds of videos on YouTube. It will be well worth finding one.

Posted 2012-07-31T09:09:15+0000  by Paul

was just about done with the write up when the site gave me an authentication error. back to the drawing board. I will have to write this up offline and copy/paste. sorry for the delay.

Posted 2012-08-05T16:22:48+0000  by Paul

No it is okay. Thank you for doing this!

Posted 2012-08-07T05:45:40+0000  by samantha

Building the Tokyo Floating Bed


First off, let's talk about materials. The Home Depot typically carries 1x stock and plywood in a few species: white wood (or pine), red oak, poplar and radiata pine (sometimes called select pine). Others are available by special order via the Pro Desk. For staining, your best bet would be either the radiata pine or the red oak. While you can stain poplar, it's wide color variation makes consistent color nearly impossible. White wood, while inexpensive, the attractive price carries with it a vast difference in quality between boards.


When I mention a 1x4 as an example, that is the nominal size. It's actual size is ¾"x3½”. This size difference is accounted for in the plans. When I give a length, that is the size you should cut.


As for plywood, you'll typically see sanded plywood, birch, red oak and possibly maple. The latter three being the most expensive. In this case, we're not depending on the thickness of the plywood for measurements, so it's been generically measured at ¾". Your plywood might be listed at ¾" or 23/32" or possibly in millimeters in the case of some birch or sanded ply. You're going to look for 18mm if that's the case. It's a little bit thinner than ¾", but as I mentioned, we're not worried too much about the thickness of the plywood.


In all cases, measure twice and cut once. When building each section, dry fit all components to mark screw locations and check measurements. If you happen to cut your boards for the foot section, say an 3/16" shorter or longer, you'll have to account for that in the headboard.



Your pocket hole screws are going to be 1¼". The Kreg pocket hole screws are probably going to be your best bet of those sold by THD. Coarse thread for your soft woods like the pine and fine threads for your hardwoods like the oak. Whatever piece is going to have the majority of the thread, that will determine which type thread you'll use. For plywood, you'll want to use coarse thread. The rest of the screws are going to be standard wood screws or drywall screws. The wood screws are going to be stronger, the drywall scews are going to be much cheaper. Either will work.

This site may prove helpful before you begin the actual construction of your bed. Visit your local THD and find the cull lumber cart. Pick up some cheap boards to practice on.


Your pocket hole screws, beyond the hole drilled out with the jig, do not need to be pre-drilled. The rest of your screws will need to have a pilot hole drilled, preferably with a countersinking bit of the appropriate size. You'll need 1¼” or 1-5/8" screws and 2½" screws in a #8 size.


You're going to have to experiment a bit with some scrap pieces to determine what pocket hole size screw you're going to need for attaching two different thickness pieces of wood.


From another site, someone wrote this:

  • When you are working with two different thicknesses you will want to set everything up and use the screw length for the thinner thickness of the two. For example if you are drilling your holes in a 2X4 and attaching it to a 3/4" piece you will want to set the jig and the depth collar for the 3/4" setting and use a 1 1/4" screws. If you are going the opposite way and drilling your holes into the 3/4" piece and joining it to the 2X4 you would set everything up the same, but you can use a little bit longer screw to give you some more strength.

Now when you are choosing which thread you will need to use, it will be determined by the piece you are joining to. For example: if you drilled your holes into a piece of plywood but you are attaching an oak piece you will want to use a fine threaded screw since the majority of the threads will be in the oak piece.


You're also going to need at least 8 corner braces. These will hold the side sections to the foot section and headboard or optional back spacer. Four of these will be 1" and the others will be 2 or 3".



Circular saw, jig saw, pocket hole jig (Kreg K3 or K4 recommended), screw driver, straight edge, clamps, miter box or compound miter saw, countersinking bit, drill, sander and sanding block, sandpaper, pencil, safety glasses and dust mask.



Let's look at the whole piece for a minute. Inspect your wood. Look for imperfections. The best side is the one you're going to want to be visible. Take your pencil and make an 'X' on the other side. The headboard, sides and side table sections are made in pairs and mirrored, meaning you're going to have a left and right side. Take this into account when laying out your best sides and making your cuts, espeically any notches you'll need to cut.


Side Sections:

We'll start with the side sections. The process you'll use to build these will be replicated with the foot end section.



(4) 1x6x80

(2) 1x4x80

(4) 1x4x4

(14) 2x4x4

(28) 1x2x3½ 


Lay your top board down and dry fit everything upside down. Mark your screw holes in the 1x stock 2x stock and drill your pocket holes. Once this is done, you're going to attach the four inch long pieces to the 1x4x80 piece. Next attach this to the top piece.

TFBPH - side construction 1.jpg


TFBPH - Sides Outside.jpg

On the back side of the inside rail, you’re going to attach the 1x2x3½ . They are spaced ¾” apart. Every other one will have screws going through to the 2x4 top support blocks. You should be using the 2½” screws for this.

TFBPH - Sides Inside.jpg


Foot End Section

The foot end section is constructed the same way as the sides.



(2) 1x6x87

(1) 1x4x87

(7) 2x4x4

(2) 1x4x4


This time, though, you’re going to notch each end of the 1x6. This should be 4¾” end from the end of the board and 2” from the bottom. Do this on each end.


Dry fit all the components upside down. Mark your screw holes, both pocket hole and standard. Drill your pocket holes and pilot holes and construct in the same order as you did for the side sections.

TFBPH - Foot End.jpg


Headboard Sections


(12) 1x4x29¼

(2) 1x4x60

(2) 1x2x60

(4) 1x2x30

(2) 57x28½x¾ plywood

(4) 2x4x4


TFBPH - Headboard.jpg

Miter your 1x2s to make the edge band around your plywood. Lay your plywood down on the ground and dry fit your mitered 1x2 around the three sides. Next lay out your 1x4s on top of the plywood and 1x2s. Mark all your pocket hole locations on the plywood (for the 1x2 banding) and on the 1x4s (to each other and the plywood). Assemble your panels first. Next assemble your 1x4s. Now attach the panels to the 1x4 frame. Finally through screw the 2x4 blocks into place.


The blocks are used to give something a bit more solid to attach the side rails to on the front side. Do this a second time for the other headboard section. When you have both sections completed, through screw the two sections together to form the whole.


Side Tables:

I haven't included the tables due to lack of time in writing the detail up. I've started a second job that takes time away from doing stuff like this. From the pictures I'm including, you should be able to figure out most of it.

TFBPH - Side Table.jpg

Similar to the headboard, you could edgeband the top of the side tables to hide the plys. Again, you'd do this with 1x2's and pocket holes.


Hope this gives you enough detail to get started. I'll try to check back a bit more often to see if you have questions.

Posted 2012-08-26T16:28:08+0000  by Paul
Do you have anymore detailed measurements to provide? What is the overall length of the mattress support? 
Posted 2016-06-08T18:49:35+0000  by Brandomac46
I'm new here but glad to have come by this tutorial with plans to make a floating bed. Most online examples of floating beds only appear to be levitating off the floor. Why isn't anyone promoting a floating bed fram thay actually doesn't rest on the floor at all? Or, at least minimize any contact with the floor.

It seems most plans/examples for DIY floating bed frames only give the elusive appearance of floating. And platform beds with an over-hang do this quite well, & they have ben around for years.

OK, I've stumbled on a couple floating bed examples online that can be jusitifiably deemed as "floating".

One example achieves it's floating capability using some sort of magnetic force, and it shows this large piece of a liqquid like metal object on the floor underneath. That is probably what is generating the magnetic force that repells the bed so it hovers. There are other similar product examples around the web boasting the same technology and engineering, including chairs & hammocks. Provbably expensive. Probably not a good idea for a DIY unless the technology is available to DIYers & @ a reasonable price.

A second example, which is the only example I feel can be deemed a floating bed, period! The Levitas floating bed. Due to the high selling price for what I see in the photos and videos, I think this floating bed is over-priced but it might be the only one I would ever consider since it does not make contact with the floor at all. Using only the wall, it can sustain alot of weight and does so without losing stability. And I just want to know what it is actually doing. How it is doing it. Nowhere online can I find photos with a detailed look at how it connects to the wall and how the bottom is constructed. Very little information is shared but it DOES have the 1 key ingredient to justifies calling it a true "floating bed". It does not touch floor

To me, a real floating bed should not touch the floor. I wish I could get some plans for a floating bed like the Levitas. Or, since the Levitas floating bed seems to accomplish a floating bed without the frame actually touching the floor, it'd be nice to get some info explaining  how they pulled it off.
So, I inserted photos of the Levitas to show how it looks. it's not merely an illusive method to mimic floating. It really does not touch the floor. It has no wires or chains suspended from the ceiling either. As Austin Powers once said.........., "IT'S A FLOATER"

What type of materials could be used to accomplish what Levitas is doing here? (type of steel, nut's, bolts, sizes, connections, etc..). I am curious to see how it is connected to the wall and how it is supported without making contact with the floor
Image result for floating bed levitasRelated image

Posted 2017-01-09T14:12:47+0000  by NunYaBiziness
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