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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I'm sure this info is in the forums somewhere if I dug around enough, but I'm not immediately finding it. I'm trying to think through the details of how to make a bifold sofa bed. I'm not wanting to buy one of the prefab ones -- I just want a metal frame that can lie flat or fold up to make a seat. Is there hardware I can buy for this purpose? Also, what's the best way to do a seatbelt for it?

And a related question, which I'm hoping you'll be up for brainstorming about with me: The bed is on top of a set of steel drawers, which means that it's pretty high for a sofa. We'll need something to rest our feet on for it to be comfortable. It occurred to me that the second drawer from the bottom was actually at a fairly reasonable height, if we put a cover on it. But it would need to rest on something to be strong enough to bear weight -- I think we'd inevitably end up using it as a step up to the bed. Any ideas for a slick, simple way of bracing a drawer?
 

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Try looking on eBay and Amazon for futon frames or futon hinges. Not exactly a sofa, but you get more hits that way. This sort of hardware can be elusive. Murphy bed hardware is especially tough to find, because everyone wants to sell you their overpriced kits. You have to get creative. Good Luck.
 

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The description for those is pretty decent. They sound a lot like a futon I had and it worked really well.


"Color : Black Sold in Pair.These hinges have 2 positions functions: Couch and Bed. The difference between these hinges and the Standard Hinges is that they operate from the front. When you lift the seat the hinges click and then release. When the frame is in a bed, you lift the seat and it clicks once and locks, and then you tip the seat down, and the back comes up at the same time and makes a lounge position. If from the bed, you lift the seat until it clicks twice, when you tip it forward, it is in the sofa position. They are also known as Futon Transmissions and are used on Metal Futon Frames or Futon Frames with Wooden Arms and a metal seat and back deck. You can also order a standard set of hardware for a metal frame. Although there is no guarantee that these hinges or hardware will work for your frame, they are very common and work in most cases. With these adjustable hinges you can converse your sofa to bed. Dimension is showed in the picture.Thickness: 3mm. Screws are not included (you may use bolts, machine screws, wood screws or whatever you feel necessary for your particular project).No instruction is included. Package included: 2 Adjustable sofa bed hinges."
 

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A queen size futon fits. It will need some modification but may be what you're looking for. I have a pulley system tied to the back to pull in up and slide back.

When I do my next one I'll just do a queen bed only because I use the underneath part for storage anyway and the kids would rather lay down than sit up when traveling.
 

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i used 2- 3/4" sheet of plywood with a piano hinge in the middle a couple 2x2's for extra support wraped it with inexpensive carpet and used 2 spring pin latches to hold the back up. The picture is way early in the build i can get more pictures if you need them. oh and i just used a matress from a pop up camper that i cut in half and had the covers re fitted so it can fold in the middle.
 

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Thanks. This an example of one of those overpriced kits I was talking about.

Basically all the hardware you need for a Murphy bed is a pivot, some readily available gas cylinders and some sort of support for the far end.

The pivot is the hardest part. You can use boat/chair swivels like this guy.

https://youtu.be/Y6T1xPC-Iek

Or you can use a door hinge pivot like this


Or...?

Back to the OP, however. I think the best you can do is find hardware and search reviews or forums for examples of use of that part. Even then you have to take a chance and buy something and play with it. Amazon is helpful, because you can often return stuff to them.
 

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Supporting the drawer is a similar problem to the fold-down support on the end of a Murphy bed.

Solutions I've seen for Murphy beds range from fold-down or rotate-over legs, an existing or movable "stop" on the floor or built into the bed, chains, cables or diagonal braces as MsNomer suggests or avoiding the problem altogether with faux Murphy-bed solutions.

How far is the drawer from the floor? Is there another drawer or anything else below it?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I don't think a chain would work, because the only thing over it is the ceiling, and that would be inconvenient. Fold-down legs are an option, and one I've been contemplating. The only issue there is that they'd have to be pretty darn thin, so that they could slide in with the drawer. There is another drawer below the second drawer that would form the step, and the bottom of the drawer is something like 6-8" off the ground -- I'd have to go measure.
 

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@julie rehmeyer - Did you come up with a solution yet?

I've been eyeing a hybrid solution (read as something I have to build myself) that incorporates a murphy bed with a sofa in front.
Not sure that this could work with the 18" clearance needed for the wheel well. I'm slowly forming the plan.

Reference points below:
[ame]https://www.amazon.com/Twin-Size-Deluxe-Murphy-Bed-Horizontal/dp/B00CYQ1K5W/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1515967458&sr=8-3&keywords=horizontal+murphy+bed+twin[/ame]

https://bredabeds.com/murphy-beds/shop-inline-collection/horizontal-inline-murphy-bed-and-sofa.html


This may be what you are looking for:
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/35/a8/5c/35a85c2b16ab496422ee4e66a03b39f8--vw-t-forum-vw-t.jpg
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/bd/0f/18/bd0f18ba54f8121e291435b91c935429.jpg

It's called a rock and roll van bed. Only saw it on Pinterest, but there might be instructions for it somewhere. Seems to use a similar hinge to the one you saw on Amazon.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey, sorry, I just saw this. We're in the middle of this. We ended up buying a metal futon frame and modifying it. It was just a smidge too long, so our wonderful metalworker handyman shortened it for us. We determined that the hardware definitely wouldn't work, though honestly, I can't quite remember why. We're still not quite sure how we're going to hold the frame up in couch mode -- we'll be figuring that out in the next week or two. But the cool thing is that it'll be able to lift on both sides, so it can be a couch facing forward or one facing backward, out the rear doors.
 

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Hey, sorry, I just saw this. We're in the middle of this. We ended up buying a metal futon frame and modifying it. It was just a smidge too long, so our wonderful metalworker handyman shortened it for us. We determined that the hardware definitely wouldn't work, though honestly, I can't quite remember why. We're still not quite sure how we're going to hold the frame up in couch mode -- we'll be figuring that out in the next week or two. But the cool thing is that it'll be able to lift on both sides, so it can be a couch facing forward or one facing backward, out the rear doors.
Did you work this out? It sounds like a sweet plan.
 
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