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Murphy Bed Build (1): Hafele Hardware

March 29, 2017

Wall beds are a great way to add utility to a spare room. The hardware is the heart of the system

This video is part of a series on Making a Murphy bed. the series landing page is here.

Official Transcript:

Hi, I'm Gary Striegler and today I wanna share with you one of my favorite projects; that's building a wall bed, which is kind of generically known as a Murphy Bed. We're gonna be working today in the garage of a house I'm building for our local parade of homes. When I do a parade home, I love to put something in there that really catches people's attention. For me, the wall bed is gonna be that.

People are absolutely fascinated by them and they love them. Over the years I've used three or four different types of hardware to make my wall beds, but the one that I've come to like the most by far is the one that I get from Hafele. And it's about four different parts that you put together, but one of the most important parts is this, the instructions. And when you get these instructions, you probably wanna go through and convert some of the metric—unless you're going to use a metric tape measure—some of the metric measurements into feet and inches, and you can look and see that I've done some of that already here.

The full-size template keeps drilling accurate

But along with having all the measurements, one of the other things that's great about these instructions, it's a full-size template for some of the drilling that I need to do to install the hardware. The good part is there are enough pictures that even if you don't understand any of the German, you can look at the pictures, which is pretty much what I do, and you'll be just fine.

There are a couple of places where I kinda skip past using the template. The one that you absolutely need to save and use is when you're drilling the box to recede the bracket that's gonna mount the bracket to the box, that one is absolutely critical. So make sure you keep these instructions.

The next thing, and this is a really, really important part, is this pivot bracket. And it's what connects the bed frame to the cabinet that the frame fits up in, and it's really a very simple setup, that's why I like the Hafele hardware so much.

This part mounts actually to my platform of the bed frame and this part mounts to the box.

Hydraulic cylinders do the heavy lifting

These cylinders attach between the two of them, and that's what gives you the extra strength to raise the bed up and down without having to do a tremendous lifting job. Now, these come in several different strengths, I think there are about four options. And so you have to kind of calculate what you think your bed's gonna weigh, and including the weight of the mattress, you don't wanna forget the mattress. And then decide which of these cylinders you're gonna order.

Now one thing that you wanna make sure you do, this metal band that wraps around the cylinder, save that somewhere. Even if you don't think you're ever gonna have to do anything to your Murphy bed again, you wanna save that because if you ever end up needing to do anything, whether you're maybe re-carpeting the bedroom or something and you need to get the platform out of there, you want that metal band so that you can get it back around this cylinder and keep it in this position, 'cause this is exactly the length you need to install that piston, and if you don't have this metal band you're really gonna have a challenge ever getting this piston to work.

So save that metal band no matter what.

A bracket holds the bed to the wall and a foot sets it on the floor

Here's another important part. This is a bracket that they send, and it mounts to the top of the cabinet that you're gonna do, and then through here you would attach it to the wall, to a stud in the wall. There's quite a bit of torque that you develop when you're raising and lowering that bed, so you wanna have it really strongly mounted to the wall.

In my design I use a piece of 3/4 plywood across the back and that also gives me another really strong way to attach the cabinet to the wall.

The final part of the hardware is this, and this is a great design. It's one of the places I think that Hafele hardware really, really shines. It's the foot. And you're able to fold the foot down when you lower the bed down, then when you get ready to raise the bed back up, it actually stores up and out of sight.

It's a really stout, strong foot, but you don't see it until you're ready to lower the bed down. And I really, really like that feature about this hardware.

The next segment will be on 2/ Using Story Poles to begin the construction process.

See the whole series here: A Wall Bed That Even Murphy Can Make

—A recovering production trim carpenter, Gary Streigler is a partner in Craftsman Builders in Northwest Arkansas.

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