Reply by jmos

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Posted on How would you build this bunk bed?

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916 posts in 2934 days

#1 posted 01-23-2018 12:59 PM

You’ve got a lot of options.

For the corners, you’ve got a lot of face grain to face grain area, and a glue joint would probably be strong enough. However, it’s easy to reinforce the joint with dowels, a spline, or floating tenons.

To attach the rails, keep in mind a lot of the joint is hidden, so you don’t have to be too fancy. You could butt the rail between the corner posts and screw and glue a separate board across the rail and corner to join them. You could do a sort of half-lap joint, where you notch the rail, and notch the corner, so that the rail fits into the notch in the corner, then screw and glue it in place. I’d probably go this route, very strong, good mechanical support, lots of glue surface. Floating tenons would also work well. As you said, you could go with through carriage bolts, would would be really strong, but you’d either have to like the look, or recess and cover the bolt heads, which would be large, noticeable covers.

For a queen I would also install a hidden rail running head to foot in the middle for more support on the top bed. This could be mortised and tenoned (or loose tenoned into the end rails.) Then use a bunch of 1×4 slats to support the mattress. For the lower bed I’d use a center leg or two on full width slats to prevent sagging.

-- John

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