Honing my building skills by making a bed.
This is one of those projects I’ve been thinking about for years. In addition to providing my daughter with a bigger bed when she became old enough, I wanted to test my collection of tools and skills from doing smaller projects. I have been trying to get to a place where I can dream up ideas and create the physical and digital pieces I see in my head. (Think an arduino inside a wood box)
This became a priority this year as my daughter started asking for a twin sized bed, so I started taking this effort seriously around May/June.
I decided to create a “bunk bed” with only a top bunk and space underneath for playing, reading, etc.
I also wanted to make the entire thing out of 2X4s with the ability to take it apart for easy movement (else risk having to build it in her room).
After a lot of thought and test cuts, I also decided I wanted to make it possible to install the bed lower instead of higher. This way, it she doesn’t like the bunk bed she can have a regular bed with high posts. In addition, this means that in the future it could be converted into a proper bunk bed if need be.
Making the posts took a long time as I really over engineered them. I started with standard 2X4s found at home depot. Try as I might to pick straight ones, inevitably there was some warping. I spent a lot of time trying to clean them up to make them perfect. I built a tapering jig to cut two square sides so that I could then square up the other sides. This was a LOT of work, a LOT of saw dust, and I ended up having to buy a couple of things I didn’t have before. (feather board, hold downs, saw blade cleaner, sander, etc, etc).
I learned a lot from the process so I don’t regret doing any of that work. But ultimately I learned one lesson the hard way: just pay a little more and get nicer wood from a lumbar yard. So that is what I did for the ladder rungs and found them straight enough that all I needed to do was sand them.
With all 4 posts glued and screwed and all the ladder rungs cut, I did a quick build to check the measurements and confirm things are looking good.
A good look at the pre-build.
I have now moved onto the slow and painful task of sanding EVERYTHING. This part has been more work than I thought it would be. I’ve also come to realize that my dust collection method is sub-optimal.
For now though, I plan to muscle through the rest of sanding and get everything glued and screwed back together.
I plan to finish the wood with linseed oil. Hopefully I should have pictures of the final results
before Christmas. in a couple of weeks