Reply by bilyo

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Posted on How would you build this bunk bed?

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910 posts in 1666 days

#1 posted 01-23-2018 04:00 PM

First, a couple of observations: I know that looking at a picture, my perspective could be off a bit. To my eye, the whole unit looks a bit tall and I can’t help but wonder if the upper bunk will have good head room under a ceiling. Also, could the lower bunk be raised just a bit? Remember, someone will need clean the dust bunnies and toys out from under it.

To your questions: I would be inclined to make the corner posts by mitering the corner with a spline. This would be one of the more difficult methods, but by doing it this way, it will not only be strong, but the joint line will be masked by the corner and the grain will seem to wrap around the corner. I would use epoxy for this as it will give you lots of working time to get it assembled and clamped. Be sure to keep the corner square during glue up.

I agree with jmos. One of your primary concerns is designing in the ability to break it down for moving. Since you are working with queen size, I think it will be difficult to make single headboard/footboard components because of the ultimate size for moving. You will need to do some measuring to see if you can glue all those pieces together and still be able to move them where you need them. Otherwise, most everything needs to be assembled with removable fasteners.

I have built a couple of beds with exposed fasteners where the rail fastened to the footboard/headboard. I used a simple overlap (no dado) with exposed hex head bolts, The heads were countersunk and inserted from the outside into “T” nuts on the inside. I sanded off the cadmium plating and then used gun bluing to darken them. Looked good to my eye. You could also do the reverse and insert screws from the inside out into threaded inserts in the backside of the post. Be sure to use enough and make the bolt holes snug to resist racking of the whole system. Extending the side rail all the way into the backside corner of the post will also provide some rigidity.

I would support the mattress with a sheet of plywood supported by ledgers around the perimeter and two or three cross pieces. Remember that a queen size mattress will be larger than a single sheet of plywood. So, the mattress support will require two pieces. You will need support at the seam; probably crosswise at the midpoint.

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