Bunk Beds with Stairs and Storage

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Project by JustinWood posted 02-02-2016 10:16 PM 2295 views 5 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Making these bunkbeds for the grandkids. As they are a bit rambunctious, I went with stairs to reduce the risk of them doing a superhero swan dive off a ladder. Also, used the stairs to create built-in storage shelves. Designed the bed so it easy to use stairs on either end, facing either direction. (The railings on the stairs are reversible and the upper bunk end piece is also movable.)

To keep costs down, I made entire thing from pine. For connectors, I used dowels almost exclusively. Gave me the chance to practice with my new Dowel tool (not sure if we can say brand names on here?). Really enjoyed that new tool. I used over 300 1.5” dowels! For the bed rails I used barrel nuts and standard bolts and washers from the local big box store.

Bunks come apart to make two twin beds for when the kids get older.

Staining it with a water based “Amber” and will topcoat with water based High Performance top coat. Due to my shop being in a basement garage, I stay away from finishes with strong odor.

-- Justin, Acworth, GA

7 comments so far

View tyvekboy's profile


2045 posts in 3859 days

#1 posted 02-02-2016 10:21 PM

Your grand kids are lucky to have you.

Nice job on bunk beds.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Hawaiilad's profile


3374 posts in 3867 days

#2 posted 02-03-2016 01:47 AM

Wow Grandpa, very nice build

-- Larry in Hawaii,

View AlanJ44's profile


278 posts in 2133 days

#3 posted 02-03-2016 02:47 AM

I like

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

View JustinWood's profile


27 posts in 1911 days

#4 posted 02-03-2016 06:23 PM

Thanks everyone.

-- Justin, Acworth, GA

View PopsHuckster's profile


170 posts in 3918 days

#5 posted 02-05-2016 11:31 PM

Is the upper and lower bunk ‘joined’ with dowels too so they can be separated into singles? I love the build.

-- Pop

View JustinWood's profile


27 posts in 1911 days

#6 posted 02-07-2016 06:23 PM

Hi. I did use Dowels to join the top and bottom but I did not use glue. My intent was for the dowels to essentially lock the two together. This way, the top can be lifted off to create two single beds. As I am always thinking about safety and these bunk beds are for two rambunctious boys, I was concerned that with their horseplay and wrestling they could potentially bounce the top bunk off the lower. So, I also made 4 wood strips (roughly 1” wide x 1/2” thick x 24” long.) I stained them to match and will screw them on the inside of the legs to tie down the top and bottom. I made them long enough so that the screw holes will be far enough down to hide behind the lower mattress and high enough to be invisible once that top bed is moved off to make a single on the floor. Hope that makes sense.

-- Justin, Acworth, GA

View dshute's profile


220 posts in 3532 days

#7 posted 02-21-2016 01:49 AM

Bunk beds are are a great gift to grand kids, did the same for mine a few years ago and they still love sleeping in them and the storage options are huge. Nice job.

-- dshute, Warsaw, New York

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