Twin-Sized Bed With Pull-Out Desk, Closet, and Dresser #6: The closet unit, part one

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Blog entry by gbarteck posted 02-10-2010 05:57 AM 1747 reads 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 5: The Dresser Unit Part 6 of Twin-Sized Bed With Pull-Out Desk, Closet, and Dresser series Part 7: Mini-Closet Part 2: shelves, doors, access ladder »

In our last episode…The dresser was completed (except for installing the hardware). Now the first of two installments on the mini-closet.

When I started the mini-closet for this build I didn’t think it would take very long at all. But this portion of the project turned out to the most interesting part of the project so far.

I started out thinking that the closet should be the simplest thing; a simple box with two doors on the front. When I wrote down all of the parts of the closet, I did a double-take:

  1. The closet box itself
  2. face frame for closet front
  3. closet hanger rod
  4. Two storage shelves
  5. rail-and-style doors
  6. Access Ladder to climb into bed

Everything by itself sounds simple, I guess, but my first reaction was that this part of the project was full of little sub-projects. I said to myself, “gotta take it piece by piece.”

First was the box. Simple enough. four panels for the floor, top,and sides (with some 1/4” ply to cover the back. Because the bed box ultimately covers the top of everything but the desk, I used cheap plywood for the top panels of the dresser and closet. After cutting to Oak ply panels for the two sides of the closet, I didn’t have any enough oak ply for the bottom, so I used some birch—I didn’t have to buy it, and it is hidden behind doors for the most part. I stained and put the satin poly on the panels before assembling them:



After pyutting ther 1/4 ply on the back. It was time to make the face frame. My initial thought was to cut the frame pieces to size, cut some slots for some #0 biscuits and biscuit it all together. Got as far as cutting the pieces and them came to realize (by holding a biscuit up to a cut board) that biscuits are too big for this particular application.

“Didn’t you learn anything from the previous build?” I said to myself. My reason for wanting to use biscuits was basically that I didn’t want to bother with mortise and tenons, and I don’t own a pocket screw jig. As I sat there pondering what to do, I could tell that something was gnawing at my brain. Like Jason Bourne trying to remember who he was in his former life, what I hoped would be a solution flutter at the edge of my conciousness.

Then I remembered about floating tenons (I think that’s the right name.) Basically the best of both worlds—a cross between a mortise and tenon and a biscuited joint.

I figured that if I cut down some 1/4” plywood wafers



and route out 1/4” grooves on my boards, I could jopin everything that way.




So that’s what I did. It was actually very easy, and I ended up with a fine face frame for my mini-closet.


Then I installed some boards vertically to accept the bracket for the closet hanger rod on one side and the supports for the storage shelves on the other.


All that’s left top do is put in the shelvesd, build the doors and the access ladder. I don’t want to make this entry too long, so I’ll call it a night for now.

-- "A day without sunshine is like...night."

4 comments so far

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4654 days

#1 posted 02-10-2010 06:38 AM

View Skylark53's profile


2862 posts in 4137 days

#2 posted 02-10-2010 11:45 AM

Looks great. Very useable and well built.

-- Rick, Tennessee, John 3:16

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4411 days

#3 posted 02-10-2010 12:35 PM

Good progress and good save with the floating tenons. Just for fun I made a plywood biscuit which I glued up in a joint and did the same with a regular biscuit just to see which joint was stronger. The plywood biscuit won!

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 4958 days

#4 posted 02-10-2010 02:33 PM

Looking real good Greg.

This is a big project. I bet the kids love ‘em.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

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