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bunk bed woodworking plans

Added/Modified on September 1, 2016
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Dimensions: Dimensions are shown above. Fits standard 39″ x 75″ twin mattress, shown with 6″ mattresses.

Shopping List:

7 – 10′ 1×4 Boards
4 – 8′ 2×2 Boards
9 – 8′ 1×3 Boards (not including wood slats)
2″ Wood Screws
1 1/4″ Wood Screws
1 1/4″ Finish Nails
Wood Glue
Wood Filler
Finishing Supplies
16 – 3″ Bolts with washers and nuts

Tools:

measuring tape
square
pencil
hammer
safety glasses
hearing protection
Kreg Jig™
drill
circular saw
nailer
sander

Cut List:

12 – 1×4 @ 37 1/2″ (End Rails)
8 – 1×3 @ 63″ (Solid Leg Pieces)
8 – 1×4 @ 80 1/2″ (Back and Front Rails)
12 – 1×3 @ 3″ (Trim Pieces between Rails)
2 – 1×3 @ 22″ (Trim Pieces between Rails)
4 – 1×3 @ 8″ (Bottom Trim Pieces)
4 – 2×2 @ 75″ (Use Metal braces for a stronger bed)
1 – 1×3 @ 55″ (Ladder Side)
2 – 1×3 @ 19″ (Ladder Rungs)
1 – 1×3 @ 13″ (Ladder Front Trim Piece)
6 – 1×3 @ 10″ (Ladder Trim)
1 – 1×3 @ 35″ (Front Leg Trim Piece)
1x3s @ 39″ (Bed Slats, as shown with 34 total slats)

Step 1

Build the Ends

Build two of the ends as shown above. Best joining method is to use pocket hole screws from the insides of the rails into the legs. Other option is to use 2″ screws from the outside of the legs, with a countersink bit. Screws are recommended, because bunk bed are going to take lots of movement, and nails joints will eventually separate out.

Step 2

Build the Back

Simply take two of the 1×3 legs @ 63″, and mark as shown in the diagram above. Glue and screw with 1 1/4″ screws the side rails to the legs. On this step it is very VERY important that you check and adjust for square. If the diagonals do not match up, push the outside corners of the longer diagonals together.

Step 3

Trim the Back

After you have built the back, cut 1×3 pieces to fit the legs between the slats. You can nail these pieces on with a finish nailer and glue, using 1 1/4″ nails. TIP: Don’t cut these pieces prior to building – measure and cut to the opening, to get the exact fit.

Step 4

Bed Slat Supports

If your child is heavy or you expect the bed to take a large amount of abuse, I recommend purchasing metal braces, and screwing to the inside of the bed. Otherwise, use 2x2s, 2″ screws and WOOD GLUE to attach the bed slat supports to the back slats, keeping bottom edges flush.

Step 5

Build the Front

As you did the back, mark the legs and the ladder piece (green) as shown above. Use 1 1/4″ screws and wood glue to fasten the rails to the legs and ladder piece. Adjust for square.

Step 6

Rails and Ladder Rungs

Mark the sides and the ladder piece as shown above. Glue and screw with 1 1/4″ the top bunk rails and the ladder rungs to the legs and the ladder side.

Step 7

Trim the Front

As you did the back, trim the front, filling in all the spaces with 1×3 boards. Use 1 1/4″ nails or optionally screws and glue.

Step 8

Assembly

Assemble the bed by bolting the four pieces together, using 3″ bolts and washer and nuts, four bolts per leg. If you plan on seldom assembly/disassembly of the bed, you could also use 2″ wood screws from the inside of the end legs into the back/front legs.

Step 9

Mattress Slats

Your mattress should have recommendations for bed slats. Use 1x3s, cut at 39″, layed on top of the wood slat supports, according to the recommendations of the mattress. Screw down with 1 1/4″ screws.

Finishing Instructions

So what possibly could be so special about these bunkbeds? Well, they are actually not bunk beds. They are four really wide ladders. You just remove the slats (or bunkie boards if you are using those) and . . .

And unbolt the four sides, and you’ve got four super manageable, movable, transportable pieces that can easily be reassembled into a bunk bed.

And this is how amazingly easy this bunk bed is to build.

Build two ends. These ends are simply 1x3s (for the legs) and 1x4s screwed to the 1x3s. How easy is that.

And then you build the back. It’s just as easy. This time you simply screw the slats directly to the legs, and then fill in the differences with leg trim pieces (the small squares in the legs). If this isn’t making sense, read further down where we actually get into the build. Oh, and why not attach the slat support too at this step?

And then we build the front, which is a little different than the back, but still, so easy.

And then you just bolt the four pieces together, lay the slats on top of the slat supports (or bunkie board if you are using those) and you have a bunk bed with ladder integrated! And because the legs are 3 – 1x3s layered, they will appear as a 3×3 post for the corners, much like our loft bed plans

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