Painted Poplar Twin Loft Bed

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Project by Matt posted 02-01-2016 01:56 PM 1681 views 2 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Finally posting a project on LJ’s. It’s a twin loft bed, all design and dimensions are original (as far as I know, it’s a loft bed so it can’t be that far from others designs, and I did look at a bunch of pictures of others designs on the web) based on the Sister-in-Law’s requirements – 12” thick twin mattress, mattress top to be 5’ off the ground, with ~4’ of space under the bed, vertical ladder on right side of bed. Being a loft bed and doing my research I managed to get a headache reading the Consumer Protection Agency’s requirements for loft beds to reduce the likelyhood of injury from the child becoming trapped in the rails and this design exceeds the minimum standards (broken down simply – no gaps larger than 3.5” or smaller than 9” with the openings at the head and foot of the bed on the ladder side are based on age of the child sleeping in the bed). All gaps on this bed are 3 1/4” or less or larger 9” – whew.

This is my first project working only with rough sawn lumber (bed slates are an exception) and what a pleasure that is to have straight, square lumber after doing your own milling. Constructing it, with the exception of the bed rail mounting hardware, the upper front rail to ladder and ladder to bed rail/post connections, (for the ability to assemble/disassemble it) all joinery was mortise/tenon with dowels, dado’s or lap joints, also secured with dowels. The headboard and foot board are basically mirrors with the exception of the additional mortise on the headboard for the front upper rail. The posts are 2 3/4”sq with three 6”x 3/4” and one 4”x 3/4” rail at 37” of lengh post to post. The back of the bed is two 6”x 3/4” rails (bottom and upper) with the upper rail having a second higher 4”x 3/4” secured by vertical stringers; the upper and lower back rails are also secured by the WoodRiver bed rail hardware. The actual bed rails (mattress supports) are 1”x 6” with a dado to support the 1”x 1” slat support block that has a 1/2” rabbit to fit in the dado. The ladder steps are 16” wide and 12” between steps at 1” thick and extend a 1/4” beyond the face of the ladder rails that has been rounded over 1/4” (Same as the vertical stringers on the upper rails.) Paint was a interior semi-gloss enamel and it did a great job hiding a few minor imperfections – I know I’m not perfect! Below are a few other pictures of the construction of the bed.

The header and footer bed rails after rough cutting the tenons.

The bed posts after drilling out the mortises.

Glue up of the bedrails.

The mess that is created when trying to work in a small shop with limited (that’s going to be changed soon) horizontal surfaces.

The rough assembly using the back upper and lower rails as the bed rails on the unglued headboard/footboard to provide a small sense of accomplishment pic.

And a few more pics of the painting/sanding process. (And yes, my wife let me sand and paint in our kitchen – Festool kept her happy. )

Finally the very first pic – well I didn’t get a chance to get a “clean” picture before the niece had already moved the mess under the bed, so she was a happy camper!

-- My "projects" always look better when your glasses are broken.

2 comments so far

View AlanJ44's profile


278 posts in 1770 days

#1 posted 02-03-2016 02:53 AM

Awesome, I have two of these in my future, thanks for the look.

-- Alan J. Hoover, AL Keeping in mind I believe college football is only a profit center for the school.... Roll Tide!

View rjherald's profile


18 posts in 788 days

#2 posted 01-08-2018 04:46 AM

been looking for a plan for a bed like this for my granddaughter. do you have a plan for this? be glad to pay if needed. thanks


-- rjherald, indianapolis

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