#12
I've been asked to make bunk beds.  The expedient thing is to make them from pine 2x (2x4, 2x6) material, but I'm a little worried about stability.  If a kid gets on the top bunk, they can create a lot of torque by rocking the bed fore and aft.

These beds are for a second home and they'll need to be assembled in the room because the bed is wider than the door.  I can make half-lap or M&T joinery for most of it, but not for joining the ends to the rails.

Has anybody used bed hardware for the joinery on 2x bunk beds?  If so, what type have you used?  If not, how did you solve the assembly/disassembly challenge?



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#13
I built a lofted bed for my girls several years ago.

https://forums.woodnet.net/showthread.php?tid=7349266

Best way to deal with racking/stress? Lag bolt it into the wall. Rock solid. Several months after I built the above bed my daughters got the bright idea of tying a sheet in a loop around the top guard rail to make a swing. I was worried about that not being the best structurally, so had them move it to the main rail. They have had multiple swings up almost constantly since then. Currently 8 and 10 years old and were using it last night. There is also now a hangboard for my older to do pullups on. The bed still doesn't move at all.

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#14
(09-21-2022, 06:44 PM)msweig Wrote: I built a lofted bed for my girls several years ago.

https://forums.woodnet.net/showthread.php?tid=7349266

Best way to deal with racking/stress?  Lag bolt it into the wall. Rock solid. Several months after I built the above bed my daughters got the bright idea of tying a sheet in a loop around the top guard rail to make a swing. I was worried about that not being the best structurally, so had them move it to the main rail.  They have had multiple swings up almost constantly since then. Currently 8 and 10 years old and were using it last night. There is also now a hangboard for my older to do pullups on. The bed still doesn't move at all.

Thanks Mark.  Great to hear from you and congrats on the girls!  These beds are for grandchildren at a vacation house; three girls and a boy (all age 4 or under) with one more on the way.

Lag bolts could work.  Simple and effective.  I had only thought of making the bed more sturdy, so wasn't thinking outside the box.



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#15
(09-21-2022, 05:26 PM)Blaine Wrote: I've been asked to make bunk beds.  The expedient thing is to make them from pine 2x (2x4, 2x6) material, but I'm a little worried about stability.  If a kid gets on the top bunk, they can create a lot of torque by rocking the bed fore and aft.

These beds are for a second home and they'll need to be assembled in the room because the bed is wider than the door.  I can make half-lap or M&T joinery for most of it, but not for joining the ends to the rails.

Has anybody used bed hardware for the joinery on 2x bunk beds?  If so, what type have you used?  If not, how did you solve the assembly/disassembly challenge?

Is it going to land against a wall?  If so an Xbracing type thing would work or a sheet of ply like the back of a cabinet
Phydeaux said "Loving your enemy and doing good for those that hurt you does not preclude killing them if they make that necessary."


Phil Thien

women have trouble understanding Trump's MAGA theme because they had so little involvement in making America great the first time around.

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#16
When I was doing the research on the lofted beds I was surprised how many just completely dropped the legs. There were many where they simply put the bed in a corner, lagged the two sides, and then on the far corner attached it to the ceiling in some way.

FYI, there are several companies that make lofted beds you can buy that are made out of 2x material. They are geared for college students, but can easily be adjusted/ordered with options for younger children (like higher guard rails, and I think some had bunk bed options). The prices were quite good. Basically they sent you a kit of 2x material that appeared in the photos to be much higher quality than Borg pine, and sanded, and then you simply put it together. I probably would have gone this route but it didn't quite fit in the room. (And that price comparison was several years ago. Not sure how it compares with current lumber prices).

Enjoy the grandkids!
Smile

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#17
(09-22-2022, 12:08 PM)msweig Wrote: When I was doing the research on the lofted beds I was surprised how many just completely dropped the legs. There were many where they simply put the bed in a corner, lagged the two sides, and then on the far corner attached it to the ceiling in some way.


Enjoy the grandkids!
Smile

Pretty much what I did when I made a pair of lofted beds. Lagged 1 side and 1 end to the walls (corner install made it easy) and hung the exposed corner with all-thread (in PVC pipe) to the attic thru a pair of 2x's bridging the attic floor joists. Double nutted the all-thread in the attic. Nice thing about the PVC cladding (other than the obvious) is that if it was ever loose, it was an indication that a nut at one end of the hanger rod had probably come loose...
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#18
Ceiling anchoring won't work in this room. There are soffits for ductwork in the two locations where the beds would logically go. I might consider Brian's suggestion of a lag into two walls for ultimate stability.

These beds would be used a few weeks a year, and since at least three of the kids are girls (don't know the sex of the fifth one), two of whom are physically small and seem to have not gotten the "tomboy" type of physicality, I don't think I need to go completely crazy in anchoring these.

We've been pretty lucky that we're nicely involved with these grandkids. Our kids live close enough that they invite us over frequently enough and ask for daycare help with the need arises. My daughters married really good men who are great fathers.



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#19
I was asked to make some "knock-down dorm bunk-beds" from plans the college provided. They would have needed their Engineering Degree to put it together without the plans. It was easier for me to just make 3 parts; legs, head rails, and side rails; four of each. Looking at their plans I noticed if I made the legs 2" longer, the rails could be equidistant from both ends. Instead of a 2x4 with 2x4 blocks screwed to it, I milled a fir 4x4 to 3" square (and put a 1/4 radius on them). I made one jig to rout a 1-1/2" x 5-1/2" mortice on adjacent faces (both top and bottom). The legs were drilled for 3/8" bolts, and the rails got barrel nuts. To be honest I don't remember the orientation of the holes other than they were 1/2" above/below center, but I do remember that when the pieces were on my bench they were identical. (I also used the same short piece of 2x6 in the mortices to drill them all.) The long rails got a 3/4" x 3/4" cleat for the Bunkie Roll slats.

side note; a student had put 1/4" white hardboard under the top Bunkie Roll as a dry-erase/poster board. He even had some kind of box to project the video from his phone up on it.
Sign at N.E. Vocational School Cabinetmaking Shop 1976, "Free knowledge given daily... Bring your own container"
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#20
The 2x4 construction is plenty strong, but the wracking / bracing matters. 

My kids are still in their loft beds with desks underneath. For bracing I made x braced panels under the desk, with T&G panelling that braced the whole thing. If it's bunk beds brace the 2 ends and lengthwise behind the lower bunk.  A sheet of ply would work in the same way, braced across the length and cross direction up to the lower bunk level. That will give enough support for the higher bunk, and you won't lose any access or storage space. The bracing doesn't need to go the whole height or even length, there just needs to be some. A few screws and the length wise bracing panel comes off, and you can still break down the bed easily.

They have survived about 12 years, a couple of earthquakes and up to 4 tweenagers doing "homework" (playing online games) on the bed. Then can still be dismantled in about 10 mins. Mine break down into about 7 pieces, but if there is an earthquake, dive under them for protection. 
Big Grin
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#21
My boys needed more space in their room so I build loft beds with space under them. The leg posts are 4x4, but all else is 2x with 3/4 for the bed platform. Here's a pic of mine. The angled bracing helps the wracking, but it still moved, so they got screwed to the stud in the wall. Virtually no movement now.

[attachment=44343]
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Bunk Beds from 2x's


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