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Forum topic by ynathans posted 05-05-2014 05:50 PM 741 views 0 times favorited 11 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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ynathans

33 posts in 471 days


05-05-2014 05:50 PM

Hey guys,
The wife has asked and I’m hoping to answer: the boys need a bunkbed so I’m getting ready to embark on building Matthias Wandel’s design:” http://woodgears.ca/bed/bunk_bed/plans.html":http://woodgears.ca/bed/bunk_bed/plans.html

I’ve successfully completed several projects although I am still a beginner.

I’m wondering if anyone has ever done this project? Any pointers?

For the lumber: am I correct to assume that anywhere the dimensions for a part are 1.5” or less it is a 2×4, more than 1.5—>5.5 a 2×6, and greater than that a 2×8?

When I get the lumber, since it is rough cut, should I be jointing a side and an edge, and squaring up the other edge on the tablesaw? Something different? If I am doing that would I need to be concerned about taking off too much material in an instance where a part calls for 1.5” and I start with a 2×4?

Any other advice is appreciated.

Thanks in advance!
Nathan


11 replies so far

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Craftsman on the lake

2420 posts in 2191 days


#1 posted 05-05-2014 06:12 PM

My 2 cents. We had (have but older now) two daughters about 1.5 yrs apart. One bedroom for them at the time. I had to build bunks too. I used some 2×6’s and slapped them together. Started with the size of the mattresses then decided that I’d build the bunk around them. Put some stain on them and let the kids bang away at them. By the time they were ready for their own room and bed these bunks had crayon marks on them an scratches. i didn’t feel at all bad about taking my skill saw and chopping them up for easy carrying out of the bedroom to the wood stove. The mattresses (twin sized) now fit on a metal frame and that was that. it doesn’t matter if you screw them together or join them, the kids will love the fact they’ve got bunk beds and beat away at them over the years. So, might as well use some cheap wood and screw them together. A couple of boxes on legs with plywood bottoms and railings.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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ynathans

33 posts in 471 days


#2 posted 05-05-2014 09:02 PM

Thanks for the input. That is inline with my thinking—the plans I linked to use construction grade lumber, and that is the way I plan to go, was just hoping for some advice before I get going.

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Shawn Masterson

1262 posts in 702 days


#3 posted 05-05-2014 09:54 PM

His plans are setup for construction lumber. Make sure to sand and round over all the edges that the kids will run their hand over before you put it together. That will make life easier in the finishing stage.

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Craftsman on the lake

2420 posts in 2191 days


#4 posted 05-05-2014 10:00 PM

Yes, I know that it is construction lumber. It just looks more complicated than necessary.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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TravisH

291 posts in 689 days


#5 posted 05-05-2014 11:31 PM

I have made two lofts and a set of bunks so far for the kids. I have used 2×4, 2×6, and 4×4 for the different builds. I used bolts for most of the construction and lap joints initially but decided not worth the effort. I started to think about college and the 1000’s of lofts we set up and they were always really crappy, with regards to construction, and they never failed. I figured if a bunch of drunk college kids didn’t destroy them then my fly weight kids had no chance.

I just use 2×4 and bolts for most of it now. I just used 3/4 sheet of ply to hold the mattress. If possible I would recommend putting the ladder on the end of the bed. It makes making the bed a lot easier and getting in and out easier if you end up sleeping in it. My daughter always wanted hers painted and the boys left natural for stickers.

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mrjinx007

1831 posts in 521 days


#6 posted 05-06-2014 01:17 AM

I made a bunk bed for my kids using 4X4 oak posts, 2X6 railing and 2X4 bed supports. My oldest now is 35 and the beds support them and some of our 240+ guests regardless of who gets the top bunk. The initial fight among the kids was “who gets the top bunk; then after a few trips to the bathroom, the fight changed to who gets the bottom bunks…. Kids. you got to love’em.

-- earthartandfoods.com

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ynathans

33 posts in 471 days


#7 posted 05-06-2014 01:12 PM

Thanks for the replies. Can anyone tell me if I need to be milling the construction grade lumber in any way before starting construction? I remember reading somewhere that the rounded edges of the lumber might cause a problem when fitting things together? Or is that not a concern?

If it matters I plan to put a finish on it.

Also, any tips on constructing something this large by myself and still keeping everything square? :)

Thanks!

Nathan

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Craftsman on the lake

2420 posts in 2191 days


#8 posted 05-06-2014 08:22 PM

I really enjoy building furniture with framing lumber. It’s easy to work with, not expensive, and substantial. With the things I’ve done though I’ve always, jointed, cut, and planed it. You end up with some smooth square edged , STRAIGHT, stuff to work with. Starting this way will ensure that things fit and don’t give me a hard time. It looks better after too.

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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ynathans

33 posts in 471 days


#9 posted 05-06-2014 08:57 PM

Thank you craftsman!!

Dumb question: What if the plans call for a 1.5” piece of lumber? If I start with a 2×4 that is really 1.5” and mill the lumber down, it will end up less than the 1.5” right?

Sorry for all the questions, just want to nail a few things down before I get going, thanks for the help.

Nathan

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Craftsman on the lake

2420 posts in 2191 days


#10 posted 05-06-2014 09:48 PM

Not a dumb question. Yes it will be less than 1.5” if you plane it. I’d just use the plans as a guide. Just make it fit when you are cutting and fitting things. As long as it’s sturdy and the mattresses fit, why does it have to be exactly like the plans? Besides if all the wood is the same planed dimensions then when it goes together it should be the same?

-- The smell of wood, coffee in the cup, the wife let's me do my thing, the lake is peaceful.

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ynathans

33 posts in 471 days


#11 posted 05-07-2014 09:40 PM

Yea, I hear what you are saying. I think the way I’m thinking is that I’d like to try to follow the plans as they are laid out—I’ve found in the past doing so just reduces my margin for error until I get a little more experience under my belt. I’m anticipating that making changes in some places will have spillover effects in others that I will not foresee.

If I were to go that route, I think that leaves my options as either not milling the wood (less than ideal, I think?) OR, maybe start with bigger lumber and end up at the dimensions as laid out in the plans? (is that right?)

Still thinking this over, thanks.

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