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King sized platform bed. For disabled person.0

Must build bed frame for king sized bed. Already have plywood, 2 x 10s and heavy duty casters.
The twist is this. Has to be designed to allow hoyer lift to roll under it at various angles. The outriggers are aporox. 40" long and 7" tall.
Must be sturdy enough for 2 - 250 # + people. We have the split foundations.
I've thought of a simple I frame but the foot end MUST BE CLEAR of obstruction.
Another option would be to run the 2 x 10 all the way across the head. Then build a box about half as wide as the bed and secure it to head piece. But would that be enough support on sides and foot end ???
Another option I've considered is building triangle boxes approx. 18" for the foot corners. Still incorporating the solid head piece. I am a little leary of this although I think it would be best desigh. I am not sure enough of my math skills to get angles right. I would still need the center box.
Any expert opinions are welcome.
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Posted 2011-12-15T13:24:29+0000  by Avotts Avotts

Recently, I was the primary caregiver for my husband, he was suddenly paralyzed from chest down.

  THe challenges are many, I wish you well, 

  •  Perhaps you could do what we ended up doing, Edd hated hospital beds, so we got variable sidereails that went from top to bottom and adjusted from twin to king.
  • We ended up using a queen sleep number bed that had the head and bottom lifting, etc. (like a hospital bed, but he controlled air, to decrease bed sore pressure problems. (Not medically proved but in our case, it is what he wanted and liked it better than all the other beds that medicare had us use for 30-60 days.
  • Ironically, we ended up putting it on a platform bed, took wheels off, however, we had to make small legs on platform so we could get lift cones in.
  • We used three  four by 2's across the top, middle and lower portion of the bed and put legs on them, attached to to thebottom of the platform. (Please not responsible for any liability with my answers... just an idea to think about.
  •  Did the same thing with top of platform to attach sleep number to the top of the platform. THought it would give more support and safer.
    • First we set it all up and had a similar sized person in the hoyer to see about moving safely. (We had to take the carpet out of room, to thick: hoyer way to hard to manipulate.)
    • It would seem your bed would be like any other bed.
    • If you used wheels on legs or legs able to fit the furniture lift cones.

THe angle needed for the Hoyer leg clearnance and manipulation opernin, closing etc. So we  spent time going through everything and decided the appropriate positions, etc.. 

  • Lower side rail down and top at 45%. 
  • The whole process took alot of trial and error.
  •  (I believe they sell them at Home Deport).  Your bed seems like it could be a standard bed, just use the lifts. 

 When I figured out the right way, so to speak the  right angles for the hoyers legs, I actually had someone put tape on the floor reflecting angle to follow.  When tape opened up, that is when the person had to open the legs, when narrowed, is when it would be closed.  We left the tape on the floor and it  became the guides for anyone using the hoyer, then we had no problem.  Couple inches off, sometimes just enough, and would lhave catching, jerky etc. so the tape became critical and rides smooth. (most of the time...)

 WE used an electric hoyer at one home and manual at another, that is why we had two set ups, But doing the same thing at both houses helped us adapt for NORMALACY! (well , we tried!)


  1.   Our solution was to purchase those 4-6 inch leg height adjusters for furniture and put an extra stip of legs in the center of the platform bed for distribution of weight and stability.  So we were told by builders!!!
  2.  I also found the exact locatioin and angle for the hoyer with the side rails, and the adjustable sleep number bed (head goes up and legs go up). 
  3. then when had to add a trapeze that went at the head of the bed.   again causing problems with the hoyer and widening base now with extra legs.


Well, that was how we solved our challenges, I know after the tape was put down, others could do it, without me always being the one, to exhausting, trying to teach others to help out when they visited. (people wanted to do something) having them help with hoyer, made them feel better too... not everyone, !)



the extra 1*4' full width cut after. ancored to the platform base, (we put legs on the boards first then attached them to the bed. It worked for us, but I am not a contractor, so use the width and depth you need for weight, ,height, mattresss, etc. Also electric vs. manual was a big difference, hospital beds many of them had to be left up high, to use hoyer, and at home (we comprimised... he got his bed... I got side rails...) so  just try it out first with non paralyzed person in hoyer.  Remember hoyers can tip due to pt. weight and distribution (leaning, size of upper body, etc.) so it allows you to get the reight balancing and leg openings for the hoyer. 



Well I hope it helps. take care and have a great holiday season.!

Posted 2011-12-15T23:14:22+0000  by maryannlearning


Hi Votts, this is Mike the Home Depot Answer Man, Welcome to the community.


This sounds like quite a project; I have teamed up with Coach Dave on this project. Let’s see if we can give you some ideas.


To start I would build the foundation in a grid style, with the base recessed from the edges.


This is basically a grid on the bottom constructed of 2” x 10” lumber with three standing on end (for clearance of the Hoyer lift) and four attached flat on top of them laying flat.


The grid would be 80 inches wide and 84 inches long. This would accommodate a regular king size bed which is 76 x 80 inches, which will allow the Hoyer lift to side in between the 2” x 10” lumber.


For the bottom of the grid, attach a piece of plywood approximately 64 inches x 60 inches. This will accommodate the casters and add strength.


Once the plywood and casters are attached, flip over the base and cover the entire top surface with plywood leaving 1 ½ “of each 2 x 10’s exposed all around the edges. This exposed edge will be the base for the 2” x 4” frame to retain the two foundations.


Then add the perimeter frame to retain the foundations using 2” x 4” lumber possibly redwood or another nice wood to act as a frame for the foundations. This is like a picture frame style with the 2” x 4” lumber standing on edge.


You could attach the base to the headboard if necessary with common hardware and paint or stain to your specific taste.


We have included some drawings below to help you with your project.


Best of luck!


Mike, The Home Depot Answer Man and Coach Dave.



Bed1 (640x491).jpg

Bedd2 (640x468).jpg

Bed3 (640x532).jpgBed4 (640x520).jpg



Posted 2011-12-16T01:47:26+0000  by Mike_HD_OC

Not including the mattress, how tall does the bed need to be? That is to say, from the floor to the top of the mattress platform, what is the measurement you desire to have? Do we need to accomodate any storage under the bed?


The easiest way to accomplish what you need, given the weight requirements and the need to use the Hoyer Lift is what is called a torsion box. A torsion box is a frame made up of a series of small box areas and a skin on each side. Think of a honeycomb that has a layer on the top and a layer on the bottom. Just to give you an idea of the strength of this design, here is a torsion box built out of 1/8" thick hardboard (Masonite) used for the skins (top and bottom), while even weaker pegboard was used for the internal structure. The load being placed on this is 300 pounds of bricks.


Yes you see some deflection, but keep in mind the load is dead center and the distance between sawhorses is almost 8ft. The deflection, or bend, is only 1/2" !! Incredibly stong. Just the type of thing you need for your mattress platform. Using a torsion box for the platform and some framing underneath to support it, there should be no problem accomodating the hoyer lift.


This example is from a woodworker in North Carolina by the name of Alan Schaffter. He goes on to point out:

  1. The top skin's ability to resist compression along its surface (not perpendicular to it). Thickness doesn't matter. The skin can be thin like the aluminum skin of an airplane wing
  2. The bottom skin's ability to resist tension along its surface. (same notes as top skin)
  3. The ability of the web to keep the skins apart. The web can also be really thin as long as it doesn't compress or buckle, hence the cardboard web inside many hollow core doors.
  4. Finally, the depth of the web. Depth of the web matters! Up to a practical limit and within the limits of the materials, if you increase the web depth by only 25% e.g. from 2" to 2.5", you increase the strength and reduce deflection by nearly 100% (double it). If you double the web depth e.g. from 2" to 4", you increase the strength 8 times!!! (the cube of the web depth) So here is where you really make your money!!



Give us some idea of the dimesions of the bed you have in mind and we can easily accomodate the need for strength and the hoyer lift issue. Also, are you going to need a headboard? Any stipulations there?


I will put together an idea I have for your bed this afternoon when I get home from work.


Posted 2011-12-16T10:04:36+0000  by Paul

Paul I have to say that it quite impressive. All that weight on 1/4" and 1/8" masonite.


That is a good technique to keep in mind for anything that you need the sturdy platform for.


I am also in AWWW of the shop that it's in. I would love to have all of those Bessey clamps in my shop. My opinion they are the best clamps out there. Not to mention the router table, shaper and the disc / belt sander. Oh and to have a big enough shop to have that big of a layout / workbench. It's really nice.


Maybe when I grow up I can have a shop like that. :smileywink:


Thanks for sharing.

Posted 2011-12-16T18:45:28+0000  by Christine_HD_OC

After doing some research on the hoyer lift, I have some questions that are going to effect the design of the bed.


In this particular example, the base is approximately 40"+. Is that true for your particular lift? You mention that the foot end of the bed has to be free of obstructions, I'm guessing to be able to position the lift there? What about from the sides?


hoyer lift.jpg


Next, what about access to the room? A king size bed is going to be pretty big, the mattress alone is 76"x80". Is the platform portion going to be able to be moved into position in one piece, or are we going to have to join halves together once in the room? I'm not so much worried about a doorway as I am, say, about a hallway. The platform portion, unlike a mattress, isn't going to bend around a corner.


Does the base of the platform have to be built out of wood, or would you consider a steel frame? Unless you weld, a steel frame for a torsion box plaform (similar to what I've shown above, but not made out of Masonite and pegboard :smileywink: ) could easily be fabricated by a welding shop and be bolted together in the room. This could potentially eliminate some of the under the bed obstructions, giving better positioning for the lift. Maybe if I can design you a nice platform and top portion, we can get the resident blacksmith, TheHammer, to weigh in on coming up with a design for a steel frame for the bed?

Posted 2011-12-16T22:08:41+0000  by Paul

I had an epiphany: instead of having to have a steel frame fabricated (which is still an option), why not borrow some construction techniques of barn and deck builders? Post and Beam construction...


We construct a simple post and beam frame to set the torsion box platform on.



King Platform.jpg


King Platform2.jpg

Notice the clearance under the frame to be able to move the hoyer lifts around.


King Platform3.jpg

Shown here without the top of the torsion box to give you an idea of the structure of the platform.


King Platform4.jpg

 The platform is constructed of two independent torsion boxes, bolted together. This will allow you to easily build the structure in one place and move it into place when ready to assemble.


King Platform1.jpg


There you have it. A king sized plaform bed, able to accomodate use of a hoyer lift on all four sides. Post and beam construction for the frame and a torsion box for the platform.


Don't let the construction of either part scare you. Both can easily be constructed with hand tools and commonly owned power tools, such as a drill, circular saw or jig saw. If you have access to a table saw, it will just make the job that much easier.


There are some modifications that can be made to make the frame portion a bit more attractive. Currently, I have it using 6x6 posts for the legs. These are typically pressure treated and not always the most pleasant things to look at. There are ways we can use the same idea of a post, but have it built up from a 4x4 post clad with finish grade 1x material.

King Platform - Alternative.jpg

I drew a quick example on top of the bed to give you an idea of what I'm talking about. While we lose 1/2" in depth and width, we gain a nicer appearance. The downside being it does involve more accurate and precise work to get the mitered corners.


Now, this is a big, heavy bed. If you have carpet on that floor, moving it around, even on casters is not going to be the easiest thing in the world. I do have some ideas that we can use to allow you to move the bed around should that be necessary.


The model can be downloaded from the Sketchup 3D Warehouse here.

Posted 2011-12-17T17:49:57+0000  by Paul

Paul, I am very sure Avotts will appreciate all of your ideas and design effort. A terrific job!


Thanks for being such an outstanding member of the community.


Mike, The Home Depot Answer Man

Posted 2011-12-19T17:44:58+0000  by Mike_HD_OC

That's a really appreciative work done by you, thanks for being such a caring member of the society, these beds would not only going to help the disabled persons but of course they'll the symbol of beauty.

Posted 2012-09-27T09:28:31+0000  by nathan01
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