Classic Bunk Beds

Submitted by Ana White on Fri, 09/03/2010 - 08:37
Difficulty
Intermediate
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These bunk beds are unique because they are easy to build and can be assembled and disassembled easily. Ladder is integrated into the design.

Dimensions
Dimensions are shown above. Fits standard 39″ x 75″ twin mattress, shown with 6″ mattresses.

Preparation

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

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)

Tools
Tape Measure
Speed Square
Pencil
Hammer
Safety Glasses
Hearing Protection
Kreg Jig
Drill
Circular Saw
Brad Nailer
Power Sander

Instructions

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 amout 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

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.

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Comments

Susan (not verified)

Fri, 09/03/2010 - 09:55

This is awesome, Ana. Of course, we bought these beds six months ago, spent hours assembling them, days staining them, and paid twice as much. And when we moved this summer it was a total jigsaw to disassemble and move. Glad I found you when I did to avoid stuff like that in the future.

Angela (not verified)

Fri, 09/03/2010 - 10:02

Thank you for adding our pictures to your post. My daughter is home sick today and you just brought the first smile to her little face. We could never have done it without your plans. You just make it sooo easy to build.

Maureen (not verified)

Fri, 09/03/2010 - 10:23

LOVE how simple you made this!! I think I can handle four ladders! :) Thanks for letting us in the "secret vault" for a peek. I know I will be first in line for any future books!!!

Lou (not verified)

Fri, 09/03/2010 - 11:28

Just bought these at the ickier(sic) store last weekend. I put it together in about an hour and a half but 30 minutes of that was because the predrilled hole was crooked. If I had these plans and a bit more space who knows?

Ronda Roo Simon (not verified)

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 00:58

I just love your blog....I am actually getting my husband to build these beds for the guest room for the grandkids...thank you...

corinne (not verified)

Sat, 09/04/2010 - 04:36

These are awesome! Thanks for sharing from the "vault". They will be in our house soon:)

MeganF (not verified)

Sat, 09/11/2010 - 15:33

Hey Ana- husband printed the shopping list and bought all the wood for these today. He began putting them together and SWEARS he will need to buy more wood- that the shopping list is off. I told him he was full of it- Ana is NEVER wrong ;). but in case I am wrong- might you take a look at it and make sure? if you have a moment.... thanks!