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making murphy bed w/sliding bookshelves

Posted by loves2read (My Page) on
Fri, Nov 14, 08 at 1:47

Saw photo in Southern Living web site for a bookcase wall that hides a murphy bed...we are considering doing it for guest room in house so that it can be used mainly as my study and give us some bookshelves--master does not really have space for them...

the limited amount of information on the photos says a track and wheel assembly is what the two center bookshelves are attached to --they are pulled apart to reveal the back/bottom of the murphy bed platform which can then be pulled down

the type of wall-bed mechanism is not mentioned--I have been all over the Internet tonight looking for better instructions--there are several companies that make a system similar to buy but frankly they are either too tacky or way too expensive...

I was wondering if it would be possible to buy some unfinished bookshelves (real wood) and get local carpenter to construct the system...
we would like to match the finish to nice wooden computer armoire that we would put in there as well...

I found some of the sites for the barn-door type of track to hang the bookcases on...how heavy can these bookcases be? should the bottoms have casters? or would some of the furniture glides glued to the bottoms work as well and not snag in carpet?

our bedroom has carpet and the one in the photo looks like maybe tile--difficult to tell...

should the two end bookcases be attached to the wall?
what system for the wall (murphy) bed itself--
I understand the piston system is attached to the sides of the frame around the bed...and the balancing springs has to be floor mounted--difficult to remove w/o leaving slab damage...won't be in daily use--only a guest bed
you can see how the bed looks with bookcases open on second photo click
any help appreciated...

Here is a link that might be useful: handy hidden bed


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: making murphy bed w/sliding bookshelves

I haven't actually built one of these, but my guess is that few bookshelves designed to be stationary will stand up to the stresses of being used this way. They would, at the very least, require significant modification.

Each section of a shelving unit that size might hold 300-400 pounds of books. Add in the weight of the shelves themselves and you need some serious hardware to carry them. No, furniture glides on carpet won't work. Large casters might work, but even they wouldn't roll easily over thick carpeting.

My biggest concern would be your comment about the priceyness of murphy bed hardware. No matter how you slice it, this is a sizable job and will not be cheap.


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RE: making murphy bed w/sliding bookshelves

I unerstand this can't be done with Ikea type bookcases--but we have some unfinished furniture stores in this area where the product is locally made--not shipped from China and they might have product that could be adapted...

since the track system would not be used that often--certainly not even once a month on avg probably--barn door track systems that you see in some newer construction/design would certainly be strong enough to hold something like that I would think (not the kind that sliding closet doors use)

the bookcases would be more stationery than rolling...but I take your point about need for proper construction due to weight of books themselves if nothing else...

the point is that I would not order something like this that costs 3K for a wall/bed system on-line when --even if you spend that much to have it built on-site-- you can get a true "custom" construction and better control over materials

they build these by their standard dimensions--we can't really see how well constructed they are or the actual quality of the wood/materials used...
I would not spend that kind of money to order something w/o seeing at least a sample of the work--and there are none of the companies I found last night that have any product showroom in our area--DFW--

we have friend who is builder and he has some awesome trim carpenters...they could probably build this for us if they had a good blueprint with materials--but their deal is anything unfamiliar gets the price increased just because it is new--not necessarily any more difficult--just different--have a set of plans and material list would make it that much easier to get rational price from them...

we just saw it last night--have to measure wall it would go on and determine some factors like closet door swing and window on that wall to see if it could be done with balance...
although the house it would go in has two other bedrooms beside this one available for guests (we are empty nesters) there are some people who would prefer to sleep downstairs--and it would just make that room more flexible for me to use as my study/computer room...

the master in this house is smaller than I would have really liked (owners made other design choices to limit its size) but there are other factors that we like--just looking for way to maximize potential...


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