Full Sized Loft Bed

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Project by Sawdust and Steel posted 09-21-2010 05:20 AM 113736 views 20 times favorited 13 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I made this bed for my 9 year old son. We wanted something that would maximize the floor space in his room which is 12’ x 12’. I used Google Sketchup to draw the concept and to figure out how to actually build the thing. It took about 10 renditions to get to the drawing that is shown here.

I used 8 sheets of 3/4” Birch Plywood to build the bed and the stairs. The plywood was cut into pieces and laminated to make all of the parts for the bed. The bed is attached to two walls using 1/4” x 3” lag bolts into the studs and a 3” x 3” laminated post supporting the exposed corner. There are 10 bolts total (yeah maybe a bit overkill). The main support rails are 1 1/2” x 8”. The 3 support rails under the bed are 2 1/4” x 3”. The stingers and treads are 1 1/2” thick and the stringer that is not on the wall is bolted to the bottom of the post to add stability. The safety rails are 1” wooden dowels painted with black spray on bed liner. I was going to use steel tube but decided to go with wood due to expense and weight.

On the bed I used my newly acquired Earlex HVLP system to apply CrystaLac semi-gloss water based poly. This was my first attempt at spraying and was definitely a learning experience. I did not like the way the CrystaLac laid down. I could not get it smooth no matter what I tried. After applying 4 coats with 320 sanding in between I ended up using 800 grit wet/dry paper to take the edge off the final coat and then used a coat of wax to put a sheen back on.

On the stairs I was in a pinch and picked up a gallon of Varathane water based semi-gloss poly and it was much easier to apply. I was able to lay down a relatively smooth coat using the HVLP even though the directions on the can only addressed brushing it on. I still hit the final coat with synthetic wool and a coat of wax.

I appreciate any feedback that is given.

-- Rex Roberson, Southern California

13 comments so far

View becka's profile


7 posts in 2833 days

#1 posted 09-21-2010 05:22 AM

This is great! I have a 7 and 6 year-old so I may have to steal this idea from you! Great job!

View 559dustdesigns's profile


633 posts in 3196 days

#2 posted 09-21-2010 08:23 AM

Looks great, I like the way you attached it to the walls. When I was a young boy I had one of those red metal bunk beds that was not as sturdy and took up a lot of room. Good job and thanks for giving us a look.

-- Aaron - central California "If you haven't got the time to do it right, when will you find the time to do it over?"

View Skylark53's profile


2671 posts in 3089 days

#3 posted 09-21-2010 08:34 AM

Cool. Lucky 9 year old!

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View 1yeldud1's profile


301 posts in 3071 days

#4 posted 09-21-2010 12:16 PM

Nice Job !!!!! – Wish my dad would have built me one of these when I was a kid.

View nuzzo's profile


64 posts in 3145 days

#5 posted 09-21-2010 02:46 PM

Very nice job. Great way of adding a twin bed to a room and not taking up any floor space. Even the stairs were made into shelving. I had the same dilemma with my son’s room. It’s 9×12, so I ended up making him a loft bed to try and maximize the floor space. Curious as to what type of hardware you used (if any) to secure the rails to the main outer rails and post.

View workerinwood's profile


2717 posts in 3096 days

#6 posted 09-21-2010 02:50 PM

Very nice, great job!!

-- Jack, Albuquerque

View Ken90712's profile


17563 posts in 3217 days

#7 posted 09-21-2010 03:40 PM

Very cool and nice work!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View BTKS's profile


1986 posts in 3493 days

#8 posted 09-21-2010 06:01 PM

My wife has been asking about something similar for our oldest. I like this one, Thanks for posting. BTKS

-- "Man's ingenuity has outrun his intelligence" (Joseph Wood Krutch)

View Sawdust and Steel's profile

Sawdust and Steel

15 posts in 2873 days

#9 posted 09-21-2010 06:53 PM

@nuzzo – It is actually a full sized bed and the frame is 12” longer than the mattress. I did that so the stairs would not be wider than 30”. I wanted to make sure he could grow into the bed. The safety posts actually sandwich the main rail and sit on two 3/8” steel rod dowels that run vertically out of the top of the main rail and into the bottom of the safety post.. I used a threaded insert on the outside leg of safety post and then used bolts to go from the inside leg, through the main rail and into the insert.

Here are two of the safety posts. You can see how they sandwich the main rail. Unfortunately I don’t have any pictures of the steel dowels.

-- Rex Roberson, Southern California

View RexMcKinnon's profile


2593 posts in 3224 days

#10 posted 09-21-2010 07:37 PM

Nice practical design. How far apart is the spacing on the rails? The look a little big but that might be just the picture.

-- If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail!

View Sawdust and Steel's profile

Sawdust and Steel

15 posts in 2873 days

#11 posted 09-21-2010 07:55 PM

The safety post and support rails on the bottom of the bed are about 30” apart. I used 3/4” plywood for the bottom of the bed so there should be plenty of support there.

-- Rex Roberson, Southern California

View NormG's profile


6156 posts in 3032 days

#12 posted 09-23-2010 03:08 AM

Great project

-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

View OsoTek's profile


1 post in 1042 days

#13 posted 08-17-2015 06:30 PM

This is awesome..

Otto R.

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