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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Like it says I'm designing my bed platform. I've been looking at birch ply having done the interior panels of my van in it but for 12mm thick I've been quoted £35.80 (inc vat) for an 8 x 4 sheet. And I'll need 2 for my design. :(

So thought about using OSB which, OK it isn't the prettiest stuff around, but it's much cheaper. Like £10 for a Has anyone used it to sleep on? Am I right in thinking that 11mm would be OK? I've done my garage roof in it just a bit thinner and that's stayed up OK.
 

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You're right OSB is not the prettiest of stuff. One potential problem with any solid bed base is that it doesn't let the foam / mattress breath. Spent the weekend in Devon in our part (well just started) converted van on these funny fold out foam beds. Every morning the laminate floor under mine was wet, even my wife's (who is tiny so its not just me being a red blooded male) was wet.
It really does need air flow under the foam. You could cut holes in the board but it may weaken it.
Ikea (god no, not going in there again) do pre cut pine bed (futon) slates for about £15 for two single beds' worth. It is easy to create a frame to sit them on.
Cheers Will
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi Evilwil,

You sound like you have the same mattresses as us - Tchibo £32 a pop jobs and yes, we took them tent camping and they had exactly the same problem. Seems it's a feature of foam.

But yes, went to Ikea yesterday and checked out their bed slats but they were either too thick but flat or, bent to an arc but nicely thin. I gave up on the idea of bodging.

I reckon we'll try OSB before going for ply (which we may cut to slats) just to get a general idea if our design will work OK. I'd really rather have slats but to be honest, unless I make them all myself I don't think it's going to be worth it.

Have a date with a metal fabricator next week though - may try to get a couple of 80 x 130cm frames made up to place slats upon. That would probably be the ideal solution, if indeed there is an ideal solution.

Incidentally, it was the same story with our pumpy up mattress in our tent so it seems like condensation is just one of those things. :(
 

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Sterling board starts getting flaky after a while . I use it a lot in my job and i woudnt make a bed out of it . If ply to expensive why not try 18mm MDF . Edges can be routered and shaped up very strong and stable.
 

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neither osb or chipboard are really suitable. Both can fail suddenly if 11mm (or 12mm chip):eek:.Unles they are very well supported at narrow centres. Neither are suitable for loadbearing applications at this kinda thickness, be careful T: For non loadbearing work, then fine, but both will absorb moisture. It's not the glue that fails it's the particles or chips of timber which soften as they dampen.
If you can adapt and are going to cover what you are using for a bed base, try asking if your merchant has 12mm C grade ( maybe a bit knotty, but still constructed the same way) birch plywood in a 1525 x 1525mm sheet. If so I would expect it to cost you maybe £16 a sheet.
Have to say I agree with supachip, mdf will be better, but then, at 18mm (or even15mm) it's heavy. Two sheets of 18mm mdf will weigh about the same as Mr. Average.Mdf seems to be generally frowned upon in the camper conversion trade because of its weight, but I've had a 12mm mdf floor in my van for two and a half years now with no problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks Supachip and Bigcat.

Oh darn, I just wanted to try out a prototype of my design before forking out money big time on the preferred ply.

I'd thought of getting the outside grade OSB, which is apparently used in humid conditions, thinking that that would do me for a bit. But I can appreciate the sudden failing business.

No, MDF is really far too heavy for us. We need to be able to remove the whole thing easily and neither of us are spring chickens with youthful backs!

So... I shall endeavour to track down C grade birch ply which seems a very good suggestion at the smaller sheet size as a compromise. Surely there must be someone who deals with this stuff in London? Read Jewson carry birch ply and there's a big one up the way so I'll visit them.

May also put 3 reovable 50cm high legs on my design...

I'd love to do slats from the ventilation point of view but it just seems nigh on impossible to do this without some kind of major metal frame upon which to mount them (probably mild steel hence more weight).

Thanks again guys.
 

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Hi

I used to run a timber merchants and now sell timber across the south (not london though) I would suggest trying the link below as these guys supply panel products to the trade if they won't deal direct they can tell you where to go in london who they sell to, as to the weight problem What I did in our bay window and my old caravan was to take an 18mm sheet of mdf and cut sections out of it so that you were retaining the outer timber and removing slat sized sections from within, keeps the weight down gives air flow and retains the strength. if you have access to a router you can make a very nice looking thing with a bullnose I would go for moisture resistant too as many merchants these days are only stocking this and not charging a premium and it will last longer


http://www.premierforest.co.uk/
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi multivanman,

Success in the end. I have 2 large 8 x 4 sheets of 12 mm longfibre B grade birch ply arriving tomorrow morning £27 a piece from CF Anderson including delivery (to my pal's workshop). Can't see it being any cheaper anywhere else and I did get some excellent thinner birch ply from them before with which I did the cladding of the inside. Makes a great finish though I appreciate that on a bed base, that's not going to show quite so much.

Thanks for the link though. Building up a good database of useful contacts for later.

:)
 

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I used to work for Premier Forest Products; brilliant business, real good guys :ILU:. It's just that they are more geared to volume than a few sheets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yes, the quantity thing again. When I found the 2 part nylon screw rivets from skiffy.com I was overjoyed and decided I'd go for 500, twice their minimum... just in case! But didn't regret it and managed to pass some on to other converters.

But I don't think I could do the same with sheets of timber!

Always good to know who the good guys are though.

:)
 

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New to the board and thanking everyone who contributes.

We are building a platform bed - Many people recommend LURÖY slats with Skorva support beams - or something similar. We have been thinking of using plywood sheet - Is the breath-ability with plywood as a platform an issue? We are new to this and welcome your thoughts
 

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Hi Mia 👋, we have a bed made from 12mm ply with no holes in and have had no problem with it over the last 6 years of use .
We built it without a thought about 'breathability' and if/when we do it again i would possibly add some holes for ventilation next time if only for comparisons sake .
 
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