Twin-Sized Bed With Pull-Out Desk, Closet, and Dresser #8: Completing it: The Bed Box, and Guides for the Desk, and Assembly(!)

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Blog entry by gbarteck posted 02-12-2010 06:24 AM 1997 reads 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 7: Mini-Closet Part 2: shelves, doors, access ladder Part 8 of Twin-Sized Bed With Pull-Out Desk, Closet, and Dresser series no next part

A surprise…My customer (14-year-old son) informs me…after the dresser and closet were completed that he would like an “extra long” twin mattress, rather than a standard. A little research shows that a standard twin is 75 inches long, and an extra long twin is 80 inches.

The nice thing about the modular design of this bed is that it can accomodate the longer bed box. But if I would have known before the dresser was built, I could have made it 5 inches wider (larger drawers most likely). Oh well. I was counting on mounting the guide rails for the pull-out desk onto the side of the dresser and the back of the closet. But now I have 5 additional inches to fill up, and I don’t feel like building some sort of filler structure just to fill up space—I can’t figure out much to do in 5 inches.

So what I’ve decided to do about the pull-out desk is to attach the guide rail assembly to the bottom of the bed box, and not bother trying to fill up the space.

But first things first.

The bed box is very simple, it is 40 inches wide by 81.5 inches long (interior space is 38.5×80 inches.) 1×12 boards are used for the sides and the headboard and footboard. A jigsaw was used to cut a portion of one of the side boards, so that you don’t have to bang your shins climbing onto the mattress:



#10 wood screws hold the sides of the bed box together. Plugs fill the countersink holes and these are sanded smooth.

The bottom of the box is just a sheet of AC plywood—a cost cutting move—sanded, stained, and sealed so that it doesn’t look too ugly, and it fits into a rabbet cut into the box sides, so it is not visible. Screws approximately every 6 inches are used to attach the bottom to the box sides.

Sanding, staining, some satin poly, and the bed box is done. You can see it in the pictures at the end of the blog.

After the problems I had with the pull-out desk on the first bed project. I came up with an adjustableguide rail mechanism. The rail itself is a 2”x2” solid oak piece with a 1 1/8 inch dado groove that the desktop slides through. The groove is lined with felt. Brackets are fashioned with a 3/16 inch “slider” with a lot cut in it. An insert nut is put into the back of the guide rail, and a bold with a knob handle is inserted through the slit in the slider, and screws into the insert nut. The position of the rail can be changed by loosening the knob(s), changing the position, and tightening the knob(s).


It feels like overkill to me a little bit, but it seems to hold up fine. I worry a little about its longevity, but worst case, a different guide system can be created. But at this point I’m calling it mission accomplished.

I have mentioned in an earlier blog that there is also a “filler” box that sits behind the dresser to support the bed box inthe corner behind the dresser. I haven’t bothered writing further about it because it’s just the quickest, dirtiest thing you can imagine, and it never gets seen, because it’s tucked into a corner and is covered by everything else. Suffice it to say that the filler box has also been built and I can assemble the whole thing now!!!

Assembly is very straightforward. Connecting screws and insert nuts are used to fasten the bed box to the closet on one end, and the dresser on the other. The guide rails are attached to the underside of the bed box, and the guides are adjusted so the desktop is level.

Here are some niice pictures of the finished project:





I really enjoyed doing this project—I can check this one off of my project list. _On to the next one

I’m going to also post this to as a project page.

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

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