Toddler's bed

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Project by Justus posted 03-11-2009 02:58 PM 1909 views 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Big box stores in Germany usually don’t stock hardwoods and one of the few exceptions to the rule that you only get spruce is douglas fir for use in verandas. You can buy posts 70×45 mm, battens 48×28 mm and riffled boards 120×28 mm, length up to 2.5 m. So that was the material to chose from.

Like in most of my projects, the joinery was again chosen to be 3D-puzzle-like, i.e. all boards are shaped and then only plugged together. The force necessary to keep everything connected and rock solid is provided by two straps wrapped around the bed, providing on the same time a strip of colour. The web clamp locks are hidden behind the front piece / visible from the back only.

Since I don’t own a lathe and precut cylindrical rods are pretty expensive around here, the rods are 12 mm copper plumbing pipes. In my opinion they make a nice contrast to the douglas fir. They are just inserted into the holes drilled into the bed rails and squeak when turned – quite to the joy of the toddler, a bit to our annoyance when he is awake and playing at night.

The oblique-angle joinery used to connect the top rails was chosen to be easily cut – but proved to be difficult to get exact enough. I wouldn’t do it that way again. The straight angle joinery on the bottom proved to be more apt in the end. In the end there are few examples of oblique angle joineries known – it dawns on me why.

When I carried it home rom my studio I appreciated the wisdom to make it a knock-down bed – it it quite heavy and would have never fitted a small Euro-sized car.

Again, a beginner’s project. Detailled plans (sketchup) available.

Cheers, Justus

6 comments so far

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3920 days

#1 posted 03-11-2009 04:23 PM

Nice but are you sure the spacing between pickets and bottom slats meet code?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Justus's profile


30 posts in 3502 days

#2 posted 03-11-2009 04:52 PM

Roman, I am a German and have no access to a specialized dictionary: can you state in more simple words what you mean by pickets and bottom slats? And no, I have no idea whether any spacing meets code. All I know is that the spacing between the rods is close to what the ikea beds have. And my toddler has not found a fault yet (and he is inspecting thoroughly – watch out for that generation of engineers!).

Cheers, Justus

View jeh412's profile


129 posts in 3402 days

#3 posted 03-11-2009 05:00 PM

Nice job, Justus. Good work on the workbench, too.

I’m almost finished with a crib for my first grandchild, working from a plan that was published in Wood Magazine.

Regulations in the U.S. state that the spacing between slats (in your case the copper pipes) can be no more than 2 3/8 inches. There are also regulations for the amount a corner post may stick up above the sides, among many other regs.

-- John, co-owner Sawdust 'n Stitches

View Moron's profile


5032 posts in 3920 days

#4 posted 03-11-2009 05:03 PM

Justus….............its been a long time since I had todlers as my children are now young adults.

In Canada and I assume the USA, there are laws that state how far apart spindles can be (maximum), be it stairs, railings and or cribs. Guessing some child accidently got hung, mfg was sued,........and the rest is history.

I’m sure a “Google” will find legal specifications in what ever country !!!!!


-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Blake's profile


3443 posts in 3901 days

#5 posted 03-11-2009 07:35 PM

Very clever. I’ve never seen anything like this with a “Knockdown” design that is held together with a strap. Nice job.

-- Happy woodworking!

View jm82435's profile


1285 posts in 3768 days

#6 posted 03-11-2009 07:38 PM

You have an interesting design style. It is a joke around here when things are held together with bailing twine (string). You seem to make it work though. You have nice projects and interesting solutions.

-- A thing of beauty is a joy forever...

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