Bunk Bed - simple construction, tricky attachment of stacked beds

davetzOctober 22, 2010

Hello,

I am in the process of building a bunkbed for my son. I am basing my build on the design in the attached image as it looks simple and solid. I am building it as two separate, stackable beds. The posts (vertical supports) are made of 1 1/2 X 2 1/2 stock and I am in a quandary about this: how do I fasten the two units together. A dowel inserted into the bottom/top of each post seems like a fair solution, but might not be as solid as something that actually fastens the two units together. One design I came up with is a sort of keyhole in top/bottom of each post with an allen screw and nut in each, pulling the two sides together but this seems somewhat unsightly. Anyone have any other ideas? Thanks so much for any thoughts!

Dave

St Paul, MN

[url]http://www.simplybunkbeds.com/twin-over-twin/wood-bunk-beds/ethantwinovertwinbunkbed2freemattresses.cfm[/url]

Here is a link that might be useful: My design based on this bunkbed

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mongoct

A dowel is fairly standard. I wouldn't have any qualms about dowels. If they were dangerous at all you'd never seen them used in commercially available bunk beds due to liability.

I grew up in doweled bunks. Still have them at our lake house.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 12:41AM
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brickeyee

Dowels and gravity work just fine.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 9:55AM
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davetz

Thanks for the replies. The consensus seems to be that the dowels will do the trick. This is exactly what I needed.

Would you recommend a standard smooth dowel as available at hardware/home improvement stores or a "fluted/spiraled" one as available for cabinet making?
Thanks so much for the replies.
Dave

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 1:26PM
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brickeyee

Standard dowels about one inch in diameter work just fine.

They do not have to be glued in, so fluted and spiraled does not matter.

Commercial bunk beds often come with both dowels and decorative caps (with shorter dowels to hold them in place) if you ever want to use the beds unstacked.

It also allows both beds to be identical (dowel holes in the top and bottom of each post).

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 2:29PM
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bobismyuncle

If you are having problems finding large enough dowel pins, you can also use metal dowels (aka metal rod)

    Bookmark   October 23, 2010 at 4:49PM
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brickeyee

"If you are having problems finding large enough dowel pins, you can also use metal dowels (aka metal rod)"

I would stay away form metal unless you use about th esame diameter (3/4 to 1 inch) as a wood dowel.

While the metal wil be way stronger than needed (a 1/4 inch or even 1/2 inch would be strong enough) a small metal insert can easily exceed the crush rating of the wood it is on.
This would cause the post to simply split with the smaller metal dowel from load concentration.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 9:29AM
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Aclywelding

Sorry that I`m only specialized metal bunk beds for school and military, and couldn`t make any suitable suggestions.

Here is a link that might be useful: ACLYWELDING

    Bookmark   May 27, 2011 at 11:00PM
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