The first piece of 2x4 furniture that I created was a 4 post bed built out of 2x4's and 2x6's. This was my first time ever building a piece of furniture, in fact up until this point I had only built a fence under direction.
This gave me a good opportunity to buy a tool that I had always wanted, a planer.
I found a decent deal on a Dewalt portable planer at Sears and we started planing down the pile of construction lumber that was just purchased from the home depot.
Some lessons I learned.
-Don't try and shave a piece of 2" lumber down to one inch with a thickness planer.
-Filled the shop vac more times than I can count. I bet we took 4 glad bags of sawdust on just this project
-This is really really hard on the blades.
-Just take the boards down enough to get them smooth with no inconsistencies
-Inspect the lumber for staples
-Brand new planer, brand new blades, after 2 boards I already have to avoid one spot or I get a very nice ridge.
Rough wood can look really really nice after a couple of trips through the planer.
Laminating 2 2x4's
I looked all around and could not find any 4x4 posts for the corners, so I built some that turned out really nice out of 2 2x4's. First I planed the two boards, then glued and screwed them together. I have since learned that you don't need to screw them together, glue and a good set of clamps will work better without the screw holes. This worked really really well. Just keep in mind how the end grains go together, I have 2 posts that curve away from each other and 2 that curve towards each other.
For the side rails, I laminated a 2x4 to the inside of a 2x8, which is what the actual box spring and mattress rests on. I did not do the corners as well as I would of liked in hindsight. What I did was slot out a place for the 2x4 to slid into the corner post, and then screwed that in. I have since had to put L brackets on each of these corners to keep them straight. I should of just purchased the bed rail mount kit from the hardware store. If I ever take this bed apart again I will change that.
All in all a fun project for a couple of weekends worth of work. Plus I bought a new tool that I have used over and over again and will every time I decide to build some new furniture.