Kreg Jig and a bunk bed

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Forum topic by MamaKay13 posted 01-09-2017 07:51 PM 1108 views 0 times favorited 7 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3 posts in 952 days

01-09-2017 07:51 PM

Topic tags/keywords: kreg jig pocket holes pocket joinery bunk bed

I am building a triple bunk bed for my three boys. I’m first assembling the boxes for their mattresses that will later be lifted on supports. Box one was easy and no worries- as it will be sitting on the floor. Box number two is leaving me with some questions. I’ve already built the frame. The initial idea was to use five 3/4” plywood slats that were attached with pocket joinery and then the place a piece of plywood on top to support the mattress. The idea behind this was that it’d be easier for me to lift everything into place. I got one slat in place, accidentally mis-stepped, stepped on the slat and it cracked a little. I’m not sure that they’ll be strong enough to support, even all together. I’ve got pocket holes drilled every five inches around the plywood and was going to attach it to the frame that way. Will that be enough? Or should I do both? (Obviously replacing the cracked piece with another.)

7 replies so far

View ScottM's profile


739 posts in 2596 days

#1 posted 01-09-2017 08:36 PM

Will there be just a mattress or will you have a box spring too? If you have both you will be fine. The box spring will spread the load across all of the slats. Re-read it and saw you putting plywood on top of the slats. I think you’ll be fine. Keep in mind that you just put all of your weight on a single point. The plywood will do the same as the box spring; spread the load.

View eflanders's profile


326 posts in 2299 days

#2 posted 01-09-2017 08:44 PM

In my humble opinion, pocket hole joinery will not be suitable for bunk bed construction especially in the corners of your frame. I raised 3 boys and know first hand how rough & tumble they can be. 3 high wood bunk beds are rare due to strength and flexibility issues of the wood material and common ceiling heights.

View MamaKay13's profile


3 posts in 952 days

#3 posted 01-09-2017 09:26 PM

Scott M- no box spring just the mattress. The plywood is a definite. To confirm, you think it’d be fine without the slats beneath?

Eflanders- the pocket joinery is just the rectangle around the mattress and then the full plywood support beneath the mattress (every 5”). Then there will be frames that hold it up assembled to the box frames with carriage bolts. It also isn’t going to be full height- the first will be on the ground, the second will be offset and about shoulder high (I’m 5’1”), and the third will be no quite standard bunk bed height. With that information do you have any other opinions? Thank you!!

View MrStyle's profile


87 posts in 2179 days

#4 posted 01-09-2017 09:32 PM

I don’t think that will be strong enough. They will be jumping up and down on it, fighting with each other and how long will they being using it and are they going to be linemen build or long distance runner builds..all of it needs to be considered. I personally would over engineer this kind of thing since the cost of over building (aka peace of mind) is very small but the impact of me doing something wrong is way to high for me.

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3 posts in 952 days

#5 posted 01-09-2017 09:39 PM

MrStyle- what would you recommend?

View Hermit's profile


233 posts in 1774 days

#6 posted 01-09-2017 09:43 PM

Years ago I made bunk beds on the side to supplement my income until I got bored with it. I attached pre-drilled 2×2’s on each side flush with the bottom rails with heavy duty screws every 12 inches. Then dropped in a piece of 3/4 melamine on top of that for the mattress to sit on.

To add, I put a few screws through the melamine into the Cletes to keep the side rails from separating.

-- I'm like the farmer's duck. If it don't rain, I'll walk.

View MrStyle's profile


87 posts in 2179 days

#7 posted 01-10-2017 04:10 AM

check out jay’s custom creation video.. i think that this works..

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