Building A Waterbed Pedestal

A waterbed pedestal supports a waterbed and raises it above floor level. Pedestals can also provide storage space under the bed by using built-in drawers or open shelf spaces.


To build a basic waterbed pedestal, you will need some 1-inch timber, cut and finished to size:

  • 2 pieces (69 inches x 10 inches)
  • 5 pieces (47 inches x 10 inches)
  • 10 pieces (16 inches x 10 inches)

You will also need:

  • 1 piece of 7-ply wood (69 inches x 49 inches)
  • Hammer
  • Several 2 1/2-inch oval headless nails
  • Pencil
  • Square
  • Punch
  • Plastic wood or other filler

Step 1 – Mark the Sides

The sides are the pieces 69 inches long. Mark these across their width with a pencil at 1/2 inch, 17 inches, 34 inches, 51 inches and 68 1/2 inches. Use the square to carry these marks across the width at 90 degrees.

Step 2 – Lay the Basic Frame

Lay the two 69-inch pieces and two 47-inch pieces on the floor so that they form a rectangle.

Step 3 – Nail the Frame Together

The 47-inch pieces will fit between the 69-inch pieces. Nail them together along the lines that are 1/2 inch from the ends of the 69-inch pieces. Make sure the edges are even and the face of the 49-inch piece is level with the end of the 69-inch piece. You will finish with a simple rectangular frame that will be 69 inches x 49 inches. Use the punch to drive the nails below the surface of the wood.

Step 4 – Insert Braces

Insert the other three 47-inch pieces into the frame and nail them in place using the lines you marked on the sides as a guide. These pieces will sit 16 inches apart. Make sure all edges are level and the nails are punched below the surface.

Step 5 – Fit Cross Braces

Fit the 16-inch pieces at 90 degrees to the 47-inch pieces. If you are building with hangers, you can place them so that there are three evenly spaced pieces in the first and second sections and two each in the third and fourth sections. If you are not using hangers, simply nail them to the 47-inch pieces and ensure that the edges are always in line and the angles are all 90 degrees.

Step 6 – Fix the Base

Place the piece of 7-ply wood on top of the frame and secure it in place with oval nails. Punch the heads slightly below the surface. Make sure the plywood is properly aligned with the edges of the frame.

Step 7 – Cover Nails

Each of the nails can now be covered by filling the slight depression above each one with plastic wood or other suitable filler.

Step 8 – Finish

After the filler dries fully, smooth it down to the surface of the wood with very fine glass paper.

Step 9 – Sand the Base

Carefully sand the plywood to remove any roughness.

You now have a basic but strong pedestal on which to place your waterbed. A standard queen bed will have an overhang of 5 1/2 inches all around.