Bed Storage Project

Storage on narrowboats, irrespective of their length, is always valuable. Our double bed, which is 4 ft wide and therefore technically a "small double", sat on a fixed base. Originally the storage under the bed consisted of a box stretching across half the bed and accessible via two drop down flaps, and two modest drawers strategically positioned  at the end of the bed (where there is a small alcove adjacent to the Alde heating and one of our two wardrobes).

The bed base on Albert was originally constructed from wooden slats. Soon after purchasing Albert I discovered that half the area under the bed base was unused and the space wasted. Getting access to this area was simple - I just cut the slats in half and lifted them out position whenever I needed access. Thus was born Albert's deep storage.

However, the physical effort to gain access was considerable because it required lifting and removing the heavy mattress. Over the years this deep storage has become invaluable, particularly for bedding and duvets, but the effort involved became a chore. Recently, with the change from summer to autumn boating, and the need to accommodate some extra bedding for our grandchildren, we accessed the deep storage on several occasions and it became irksome, so I began to contemplate improving access to the whole of the under bed area.

My concept was for a lifting solid base using gas struts that would allow for easy access to both sides of the bed. I chose 18 mm thick plywood sheeting for the base and used the cutting service at B & Q to get it accurately cut to the bed aperture. The next stage was to provide suitable ventilation via a series 48 x 70 mm holes cut by hole-saw. It took most of an afternoon to carry this out tedious task but I was pleased with the result.

Ventilated Bed Base

To provide lift (and support) I chose two locking gas struts hinges from SGS. The weight to be lifted is required for specifying the struts. In this case the mattress weight was not easy to obtain. We purchased our mattress in 2016 from John Lewis but strangely the don't regularly provide mattress weights. It took some phone calls and a couple of days before I eventually got hold of a furniture specialist who provided the data. Our mattress weighs in at 24 kg and the base 18 kg.

Fitting the hinges required some physical effort because of the size and weight of the board and aligning the hinges was not simple but I achieved it using the instructions from SGS. Once in place the hinges worked well, so now we can get to deep storage without great effort.

("normal" left & what was "deep" to the right)

SGS Locking Gas Strut Hinge