Kody's Bed #4: Project Complete

  • Advertise with us
Blog entry by Randy Klein posted 11-12-2007 01:32 AM 933 reads 0 times favorited 9 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 3: Head/Foot board Part 4 of Kody's Bed series no next part

I finally completed my very first project. A twin bed for my son made out of maple and cherry with poplar mattress support slats. The finish is BLO, blonde shellac, and paste wax.

It took just under 6 months to do. A lot of that time was spent on researching what tool or technique was needed for the next step. Almost every tool and/or technique used, I did for the very first time.

The plans were largely based on the bunk bed plans available at Rockler. I did make some noticeable changes that I will illustrate in the photos.

The most noticeable are the posts. The plans called for laminating 2 boards together, but I didn’t want the glue line visible. So after some experimenting I ended up with the one shown in Figure 3. It’s 4 boards that have 1/2”x1/2” rabbett on 1 side. Butted up and dominoed to each other. It leaves a nice 1/4”x1/4” rabbett reveal that seemed interesting. There was an added advantage that it left a hollow down the middle. I’ll be making another bed for my other son in the spring, and these are designed to be bunked. So the hollow will serve to connect the two.

The second change was the mattress support. The plans called for a simple plywood bottom. But I went with poplar slats – 4” wide spaced 1” apart. I attached the slats to the cleat with dominoes. In fact, I used dominoes for every joint in the project, except the bed bolts.

The third change was the bed bolts. The plans called for the metal bracket, mortised type hardware, but I wanted something that would take the abuse my boys can dish out. So I opted for a bolt through the post and into a captured rectangular nut.

The final picture is the completed bed after mom did her part.

Please provide any comments, criticisms, or suggestions you may have. You won’t hurt my feelings and it’s the only way I can get better.

9 comments so far

View cckeele's profile


76 posts in 3871 days

#1 posted 11-12-2007 01:38 AM

Outstanding job. Very clean work, it shows pride. Good Job

-- All donations should be made out to me and in the form of wood or tools ~Chris

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14172 posts in 3981 days

#2 posted 11-12-2007 02:30 AM

Terrific job. excellent construction. should last 250 years without a tuneup !

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Dorje's profile


1763 posts in 3995 days

#3 posted 11-12-2007 03:18 AM

I love it! You did a great job! I’m in the middle of a simple bed project and it was great seeing this today!


-- Dorje (pronounced "door-jay"), Seattle, WA

View rpmurphy509's profile


288 posts in 3853 days

#4 posted 11-12-2007 06:16 AM

Great project. Love the post joinery too!

The dominoes used for the polar slats, are they pared down at all or do they fit a little loose
to help with placing the slats?

-- Still learning everything

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 3960 days

#5 posted 11-12-2007 06:27 AM

I think for a first project you did a great job. Not only on the construction but on the learning process as well. Most people start off with bird houses or such but you started off tough. I really like the posts and will use them on a future project. Also a great idea of using the domino to hold the slats. It will be fun to watch your progress in the coming months. Keep up the process.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View Karson's profile


35120 posts in 4399 days

#6 posted 11-12-2007 06:50 AM

A very nice bed. I’m still waiting for my son-in-law to finish designing the bed for his son. He wants a loft bed that allows then to use the space under the bed for other things.

It’s going on 1 year, but still waiting.

A great bed. The sides have some great grain.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Randy Klein's profile

Randy Klein

17 posts in 3926 days

#7 posted 11-12-2007 01:27 PM

rpmurphy509, the domino mortise on the cleat for the poplar slats was done on the first wide setting and I wiggled the domino a little back and forth while plunging to make it ever so thicker. The mortise on the slats was done on the tight setting.

But you’ll notice that each slat has a number on it; each one was fit for their specific spot. There’s not much play in the domino to have it otherwise. I wanted the fit to be tight to help with racking.

When I make the next bed for my other son, I’m going to document it much better, now that I know what I’m doing. I’ll show the process I went through with the slats, how to register the domino is important.

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4159 days

#8 posted 11-12-2007 01:39 PM

the “hollow” sounds like a great plan for connecting to beds! It also looks like a nice place to store garbage…not that I would ever do that.. no…

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View Randy Klein's profile

Randy Klein

17 posts in 3926 days

#9 posted 11-12-2007 01:52 PM

MsDebbieP, the kids haven’t discovered that storage area yet…. But they do find it convenient to put their sippy cups there. And they like to yell down the “hole”.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics