The Ultimate Sleeper

My inner kid loves the idea of sleeping in a car bed. I’m a little old for that, but when my son turned two I decided to make sure my dream became his reality.

I hadn’t even intended on building a bed. I searched high an low for a good looking car bed for my son, but I was unsatisfied with any of the alternatives available. Being a bit of a perfectionist about certain things I decided to build something myself. I had (finally) finished building the kitchen island so I figured I had the time to build it.


I planned this using a sketchpad, then moving to Illustrator to fine tune the dimensions. I knew I was going to use MDF for the construction of most of it so I also built cut guides to maximize the material I was going to buy.

I made extensive use of guides and a few jigs. With a flush trim bit I could clamp a guide to my material and make replicas of parts. I was able to build both sized to be almost identical with the flush trim bit.

I looked online for large wheels that I could use for the project, but I couldn’t find anything that would work. I decide to build my own. Originally I was going to use the bandsaw to cut circles, but instead I mounted my router to a scrap board with a bolt on one end and made very exact circles. Once I had one set of wheels cut I could duplicate them with my flush trim bit.

Lessons Learned

MDF is messy (and dangerous). I’ve used it several times in the past, and it’s a convenient medium to work with. I bought a workshop air filter before this project (knowing that I’d be cutting a lot of MDF), but everything in the workshop had a coating of MDF when I was done. I did many rough cuts outside, but I should have done all of the cutting outside.

Designed and built by Jonathan Sweet in Berlin, CT