king size bed with `reclaimed' headboard

It was time for a new mattress - as it so happened, the store had a sale on: any size for the price of a single. So I couldn't resist and got the king rather than the queen size. Rather than buying the the bottom of the ensemble as well I decided to try and build a bed.
Would have loved a farmhouse bed, but the bedroom is tiny, the king only just fits in, so no foot end or chunky posts. Mom's fine farmhouse bed was the initial choice - but I like my timber `natural' and couldn't get pine mouldings. So ended up building the reclaimed headboard - out of cypress pine fence pickets: these come in 65x19mm (i.e. close to a 1x3 pine board) and up to 1800mm long, but used pine for the bits which are not visible (easier to work with & lighter). I wanted a bed where my feet touch the ground when I sit on the edge and which don't need to climb up to, so shortened everything to make the top of the mattress at 550mm from the floor.
The bed itself is from Mom's farmhouse bed plans, modified for a King (72 inches wide) with a middle rail. The sides are made from two length of cypress tongue and groove floorboards each, joined together with pocket hole screws and with the top tongues ripped off. The slats are fence pickets as well - managed to find enough of the nominally 1800mm ones which were just long enough to fit across after squaring off the ends, the most economical option. To hold them in place, I glued on spacer blocks cut from a 1x2 length of pine - the slats sit between them snugly & making the slats removable makes it much easier to move the bed.
I sealed the timber with a base coat of oil-based polyurethane and the applied furniture wax (carnauba) and buffed it to a soft glow.
This was a big project, it took me the best part of 4 weekends - lack of space & winter weather didn't help (ended up assembling the bed in the lounge room). It cost me almost $300 all up, about $220 for timber, the rest for screws, nails, sandpaper, glue, varnish, woodfiller and wax - half the price of what the commercial base alone would have been.

Estimated Cost
Estimated Time Investment
Week Long Project (20 Hours or More)
Type of Wood
Cypress pine and radiata pine
Finish Used
one coat oil-based clear polyurethane (satin), followed by carnauba wax
Recommended Skill Level

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