Materials: 1 King size MALM bed frame, 1 4’x8’x3/4″ sheet of birch plywood, 1 2’x4’x1/4″ sheet of birch luan plywood, approximately 20′ of doorstop material, 8 L brackets, various screws, etc
Description: 1) Determined how far away from the wall I wanted the top shelf to be. In our case, we felt that 11″-12″ would be good.
2) I measured the width on the 3/4″ plywood and cut it out using my table saw.
3) Since the MALM bed is 82 1/2″ wide, I knew I needed to account for the face frames on each end since I wanted everything to be flush with the MALM headboard that came with the bed. So I cut the shelf to a length of 81 3/4″. My face frame material (the doorstop mentioned in the materials) is 3/8″ thick.
4) I wanted the shelves on the sides to be the same height as the bed once the top was sitting on them. So I cut 4 sides out of the 3/4″ plywood that were 12″ deep by 29 7/8″ high.
5) I then cut 4 shelves for the sides out of the 3/4″ plywood that were 12″ deep and 9 3/4″ wide.
6) I assembled the bookcases for each end by nailing the shelves into place through the sides. 4 2″ brad nails along each side is more than sufficient.
7) I cut the back pieces out of the 1/4″ birch luan and attached with small finish nails, making sure that the pieces were square.
8) I measured the exposed edges of plywood and cut all of the face frame material to the appropriate lengths.
9) Nail on the vertical pieces first, then the horizontal pieces. To get that look like real furniture, I made sure to rip the face frame material so that it was about 1/4″ wider than the plywood so there would be a little overhang.
10) After I gave everything a really thorough sanding with 220 grit sandpaper (pay special attention to the transitions between the plywood and face frame to make it perfectly smooth), I applied one coat of clear satin polyurethane to everything. I had previously tested different finishes to see which ones matched the birch veneer closest.
11) I let the poly dry overnight before sanding it one more time with 000 grit steel wool to make it really smooth.
12) Installation was pretty straightforward. I attached the 2 L brackets to the side of the shelf that would be against the MALM headboard, and then crawled behind the bed and attached them to the bed. While under there I attached 2 more L brackets to the shelf and the wall making sure to secure them with heavy duty wall anchors.
13) The book shelves were slid in place, making sure they were flush with the outside of the MALM headboard, and fastened to the top shelf with 2 L brackets each.
14) You can see from the pics that I left a gap in the back of the top shelf. This is so that cords have a place to go behind the shelf.
~ Jeff, Pittsburgh