Building the stairs With the main bunk bed complete, it was time to turn my attention to the stairs. For safety reasons, mom insisted the bunk bed have stairs instead of a ladder. The original design featured drawers on the end and paneled sides. Upon further reflection (and measuring) it was clear that this placement wouldn’t work – there simply wouldn’t be enough room to access them. Many commercial beds feature drawers under each step, so I figured this could work here...
In the last few weeks since my latest post, I’ve made significant progress on the bed. I applied the finish to the poplar parts and glued up the head and foot ends of the bed. At this point I was able to test-assemble the bed and give the kids a chance to take it for a test…er…rest? The boys give it a test run Back “X” The “X” across the back of the piece is very similar to the “X” logos in the ends, minus the top and bottom arcs....
Over the last couple weeks I’ve completed the construction of the side and end rails and cut the slats for supporting the mattresses. I also settled on somewhat novel connection hardware for the rails. Woodcraft sells a very inexpensive bed rail set bracket set that are nonetheless very sturdy and heavy duty. I’ve augmented the connection with a single 10×50mm domino in each rail for added security and support. I cut the slots to exact width in both the rail and the post, so ...
Fits and Starts The last couple weeks have been crowded with both personal and professional activities. I’ve had to work in found time, an hour here, an hour there. My next task was to fit the upper and lower bouts of the “X”s with their panels. Finishing the Wedges The pie wedges are cut from 1/2” cherry plywood, stained to match the poplar hardwood used elsewhere. Though it seems a shame to stain cherry, the cheaper plywood readily available to me was pretty...
Laying out the Ends Typically I find a detailed SketchUp drawing to be sufficient for my builds. For this project, however, I felt the need to do a full-size drawing to lay the components out on. After drafting an end on a 4×8 sheet of MDF, I started ripping down another MDF sheet to 6” wide strips. After much thought, the easiest way to build the edge-beveled, circle-inscribed Xs would be to cut the strips, bevel the edges on the table saw, and then cut the compound joints to ...
UPDATE Based on some excellent feedback, I’ve made some changes to the design. The front rail was a bit troublesome from both a design and stability perspective. I’ve replaced it with 1-1/4” tube steel posts extending from the head and foot of the top bunk, with angles that mimic the back “X”. UPDATED DESIGN - The updated safety rail UPDATED DESIGN - front view What do you think of the changes? original post… Nightcrawler With four kids...
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