Converting Sleep sofa to sofa using plywood as seat foundation

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by Boyblue, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Boyblue

    Boyblue Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    I would like to convert some sleep sofas into regular sofas by removing the bed mechanism and framing inside the perimeter with 2 x 3. I'm thinking 1 x 3 doesn't have enough girth and those are the only options available to me. Should I use one or two members front to back? The plan is to deck with 1/4" or 3/8" plywood, covered with batting and then lining. My upholstery guy says the thicker the plywood or the more firm the foundation, the quicker the cushions will wear out. Is 1/4" plywood sturdy enough? The opening is 36" x 68"
     
  2. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    1/4" plywood is not sufficient for a sofa base.
    Use 1/2" plywood over 2x3 - 16" on center.
     
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  4. Boyblue

    Boyblue Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    I'm sure you're right about the 1/4" but I stopped by another upholsterer this morning (he owes me some work so he didn't mind sharing his trade secret) and he is suggesting I use 3/8" and frame the perimeter with 1 x 3" - no cross members necessary. I realize that furniture construction is different but I can't imagine not putting in one or probably two cross members.

    His thing is the plywood and 1 x 3 will be anchored by the many staples used to attach the 1 x 3 to the inside of the sofa. I like the idea of cross members not necessarily for support but to prevent spreading but if the plywood is nailed off properly spreading should not be an issue.
     
  5. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Upholsterers are more interested in their bottom line, which means skimping on lumber.

    1/4" is too thin.
    3/8" is too thin, unless you have lots of cross lumber.
    If I'm not mistaken, 1x3 is more expensive than 2x3.
    That's why I think that skimping is foolish, when you are building your own sofa.
     
  6. Boyblue

    Boyblue Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2014
    Location:
    Nassau, Bahamas
    I'm turning a regular sofa into a sleep sofa. The upholsterer I spoke with suggested a plywood thickness that would have some give because he explained the the cushions would ware out quickly otherwise. He suggested 1/4" but I'm afraid that's too thin, so "I'm thinking 3/8" would be a good compromise.
     
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