California King

California King Size Folding Bed #098


Bed in a Box

California King Size Folding Bed

Standard King Size Bed Now AvailablePlan # 150

This Box-bed was created and designed by Robert MacPherson to fit a rather strange niche.

From the Fine Woodworking Article 

Medieval re-enactor MacPherson designed this knockdown bed to be used during his extended trips to Pennsic, an annual event that gathers more than 10,000 re-enactors and medieval enthusiasts for two weeks of life in the Middle Ages. It is typical for campers at the event to construct elaborate campsites, knockdown beds and furniture that are easy transport.

The majority of the project is made of select pine; the panels are birch plywood. The finish is semi-gloss polyurethane.

The lock and most of the hinges were hand made out of necessity, as the dimensions MacPherson needed were unavailable. He used 16 gauge steel to form each piece, applying a blue-grey oxide finish with a torch and finishing with polyurethane to prevent corrosion.

“I did use screws to make things easier on myself,” MacPherson admits. While the use of threaded fasteners wasn’t feasible until the late 15th century, he “never intended this to be a pure project. Broadly speaking, this bed-box is to medieval as steam-punk is to Victorian.”

According to MacPherson, the most difficult and rewarding part of the build was ensuring that all of the unfolding, interlocking, and movable pieces worked in conjunction. “I have pages of notes, sketches, and a 1/6 scale model,” exclaims MacPherson. “Most of them represent dead ends, but it’s all part and parcel to a prototype.”

MacPherson’s work resulted in a stow-able unit that weighs about 100 pounds and can be brought to a medieval camping event, equipped with a futon mattress and unfolded to become a full-sized bed fit for medieval royalty.

Unfortunately, Mr. MacPherson is not looking to sell plans or furnish us here at Fine Woodworking with them, but he states that anyone wishing to recreate or re-engineer this bed may do so.

Overall Dimensions when collapsed: 18″W x 20″H x 72 1/4″ Long

So…. here it is my version of the original! …..

Looking for a smaller bed: Double can be found HERE  or HERE, Queen HERE or HERE Single HERE or Compact Single HERE

King Bed-in-a-Box PDF Plan #098      Just $6.95

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King Bed-in-a-Box Sketchup File #SU098      Just $7.95

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Bundled King Bed-in-a-Box PDF & Sketchup Files

#PDSU098 >>>>> SAVE 30%     Only $10.43

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18 thoughts on “California King Size Folding Bed #098”

  1. I would love this bed.. however I have never made anything except a pig cutting board.. is there a site that would sell them complete??


    1. Hi Susana8806
      I’m sorry I don’t know anyone who is building these commercially. Possibly one of the SCA members may have a contact for you. I would be interested in building it for you, however I’m in southern Ontario and to build it and ship it would be costly. Bruce

      1. Thank you Bruce.. I bet that would cost.. But its almost worth it..

        I love camping but my back really hurts after one night on the ground..LOL

        Have a wonderful !! 🙂

  2. my son recently purchase bed in box V-II. there seems to be missing part # f-1 in the parts breakdown and parts list (joiner board (2)). I think I figured it out. Also, what size dovetail do you use. d.carlson

    1. Mr. Carlson: You are absolutely right I did miss the detailed description of that part on the drawing and the material list. The joiner board (#F1) is 3/4″ x 9″ x 16 3/4″ with a 3/8″ 14 degree x 7″ long dovetail on each end. I have corrected the plan and added the detail drawing to the miscellaneous page and to the material list. Thank you very much for making me aware of this oversight. I will contact everyone that has purchased this plan with the correction. Thanks again Bruce

      This comment actually refers to plan 099 Bed In A Box Version II

  3. WoodChuck, I need to find a way to retrieve my copy of the bed in a box I paid for. being not aware of how your site worked I was not at home and did not have a working printer. I need a Queen size bed for my mountain man


    1. @kit
      As stated in my last reply I have re-sent you the plan to your email address. Check your junk email folder in case it was marked as spam.
      Let me know when you receive it. Thanks WC

  4. when I opened my print of the Bed-in-a-box I was not where I had a working printer . I now would like to retrieve my copy so if you could let me know how I can do so I would like that very much.

  5. I love it!!! question what would it take to make this fit a california king?? im willing to pay extra for the plans if you can tool one up for a king size..

    1. Marchande
      The original plan #098 is designed around a California King or are you thing making the version II plan to fit a California King?

      1. nope… the orginal.. I wasnt sure it was big enough for my california king… so… good to know.. here … take my money!!!!

  6. Jay
    The hinges on the headboard supports are mounted down by 3/4″ which will allow it to fold in below the height of the leg posts. As far as the swing on the headboard you either need hinges that will only open 180 degrees of put a screw through the headboard into the headboard shelf. The center brace is actually a bridle joint and running vertically so the weight should be distributed well and have plenty of strength. I haven’t built the bed yet so nothing is proven at his point. Hope this helps. Bruce

  7. Wood Chuck,

    Plan purchased. Thanks for taking the time to put the plan together. I’ll build and post pictures after the weather warms up. Looking forward to this project.


    1. Thank you I look forward to seeing the project. Kent I have no idea where you live but I know I have about 3 feet of snow in my area. Spring is coming soon 🙂

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