|Project by linjay||posted 03-25-2011 05:40 PM||10436 views||32 times favorited||19 comments|
This bed design is one my wife found searching the internet—see picture of stained bed. It was $1000 and 1000 miles away so i decided to make it. I designed it using SolidWorks 3-D software – see concept picture. I had the bed pretty much built before I designed the ladder. The intent of the curved ladder is to help the climber make the transition from vertical to horizontal and this works very well. In retrospect I wish I had built the frame with a matching curve.
Our home is on a lake and has a bit of a cottage theme with lots of pine so pine would have been a reasonable choice for the spare bedroom. But I was tired of working with pine—too soft, too dusty, darkens quickly with time in sunlight, etc. I had made some windows for a playhouse for my grandchildren out of scrap spruce 2×4’s and I was very impressed with how nicely it planed up to a nice smooth surface requiring little if any sanding. And when you sanded there was practically no dust. So I decided to make the bed out of spruce. This decision turned out to be absolutely the best idea. Everything except the cedar slats in the ends is made from 2×6 spruce studs from Home Depot. The material HD stocks is nicely/properly kiln dried and moisture content is pretty low compared to the local lumber yard here. And they don’t mind if you sort through the pile to find the pieces that are the straightest and with minimum twist. The end frames finish 1-3/8 thick. And 2×6 spruce is only about $0.50 / ft. It does involve a lot of planing but the end result is worth it.
My wife does most of the finishing and she discovered a new trick when doing this bed. She’s gone through gallons of Varathane Satin interior waterbased urethane and that was the choice for this bed. It goes on very thin and requires 5 to 6 coats minimum to look good but it dries fast and you can put on 2 or 3 coats a day. By the time you’ve done one coat on evrything you can pretty much start over. But it’s still very hard not to leave brush marks and she doesn’t like the results with foam brushes. The trick she discovered was that she would let the finish get dry to the touch but not completely dry. She would then rub/burnish the finish with a soft cloth and this would cause the marks to flow and flatten and essentialy erase them. It’s not perfect finish that some of you might want at this stage but a tremendous improvement. In fact, for this bed, after some initial mnor sanding for the first couple of coats, the as-brushed and rubbed finish is the final finish.
The bed’s been a big success and the grandchildren love it. The ladder hooks on to 2 stainless steel dowels on the top and bottom rail. The dowels on the right are slightly longer than the ones on the left so you can line thes up first and then complete the install.
I hope somebody likes the spruce idea. It’s my pine substitute forever.
-- It's easy when you know how - but that's the hard part. Ontario, Canada