Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Folly

Over the course of several years I have improvised a comfortable, amazingly convenient four-poster bed based on a system of galvanized couplings from a commercial gardening catalogue. They're designed to join lengths of galvanized electrical conduit and work like securable versions of the Tinkertoy. Originally designed to support potted and hanging plants, the system is ideal for my purposes. 

Altogether, the makings cost a little less than the stylish but rickety $400 four-poster that was being marketed when I read the catalogue. The hangings and mattress support added another hundred, and later additions a hundred more. I designed the structure around an existing custom mattress. Next time I'd go for a standard size that is modular with self-inflating foam mattresses from The Great Big Hiking Co-op, memory foam toppers, and with standard lengths of display industry epoxy-coated wire grid.

The in-house handy person cut the conduit with a reciprocating saw, being careful not to deform it. The frame went together in about half an hour. Had I known what I was doing, the rest of the composition could have been completed in an hour or two. We cut and stained with watered-down ceiling paint a piece of construction-grade plywood that was on hand, drilled holes, and zip-tied the ply to the top of the frame in imitation of an Elizabethan four-poster). 

Cedar garden lattice supports the mattress. It too is zip-tied in place. I'd try display grid if I built another unit. Hangings are hot-glued lengths of low thread-count putty-colored cotton drop cloths. One narrow end of the frame is fitted with a grid panel as a headboard. It's a convenient spot to suspend a reading light, water bottle, messenger bag, and fused multi-tap extension cord. Luxury hiking amenities  work every day in this arrangement. Lengths of hook and loop tape hold back the hangings, and magical sliding castors protect the floor from the galvanized feet that came with the order. Next time, I'd try locking industrial wheels.

The bed is a room within a room that offers a silent retreat from the entertaining urban bustle of Bezos' Amazonia. The hangings offer variable seclusion, from full sulk to sociable interaction -30-



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