|Forum topic by NateR||posted 04-26-2010 05:53 AM||1693 views||1 time favorited||5 replies|
04-26-2010 05:53 AM
I’m planning a bunk bed for my two daughters and am looking for any advice you all are willing to share. Here’s a picture of the Sketchup model my wife and I put together in our spare time over the last few weeks:
Here’s how the beds will look when separated:
The design is based on this bed at Pottery Barn. Here are a few questions I’m hoping to get some insight on:
1. Any comments on the overall design? I’m planning on through tenons to join the top and bottom rails to the legs on the headboards and footboards. The slats will all be joined to the rails with tenons. The side rails will have a stub tenon at each end and will be secured with barrel nut bed bolts. I’m planning on using sliding dovetails for the ladder rungs. The safety rails will straddle the side rails and will be screwed to the inside of the side rails. When the beds are detached the headboard and footboard from the top bunk become the footboards for the separate beds and the bottom bunk becomes the headboards. I decided to include safety rails on the bottom bunk because our youngest daughter is going to go straight from a crib to the bed when she’s about two years old so she’ll definitely need something to help keep her in place. The bed is going to be in the middle of the room (headboards will be against a wall) and I have some small steps that will go at the side opposite the ladder for her to use to climb up to the lower bunk.
2. What type of wood would you use? Right now I’m leaning towards alder – it seems decent looking and, more important, it’s cheap (though still a step up from pine or poplar). Any concerns about using alder? I’d love to use cherry but it’ll cost about $250 more.
3. Any ideas on how to connect the caps (the very top, horizontal pieces of the headboard and footboard)? I was considering a very short 1/8”–1/4” stub tenon at the top of each post to help align the caps and add a bit of mechanical strength. Then hopefully the glue along the length of the upper rails and in the mortise will be enough to hold each cap in place without any screws or other fasteners. Anyone have any better ideas?
Please feel free to share any other thoughts and don’t hold back on the comments or criticisms!