I’m sure since I started posting this week about the bed project, you have all been waiting for the actual building portion of the story. Well, today you won’t be disappointed, but first, just a quick recap in case you haven’t been following along.
Son is outgrowing his baby-room, shown here, so I designed a knew, lofted bed, that Husband and I would have to build, shown here. All caught up? Good.
First, we cleared the old stuff out of the room, and I patched the holes in the walls with some pink Dap while Husband measured and found the wall studs — our finding method was elaborated here.
Once the studs were found, Husband started cutting our support pieces. I decided to use 2x6s to support the bed. A standard rule of thumb when deciding the depth of a beam or joist is as follows:
- Take the length you want to span — in our case, it was 10′.
- Divide that number in half, and say it in inches. *don’t convert it to inches
So in our case, where we wanted to span 10′, cut in half, that’s 5, and then in inches: 5″ beam depth was all we needed. It’s a very simple rule of thumb, but it’s hard to explain. A 2×6 is 5.5″ deep, so it was was an easy choice.
We mounted the 2x6s directly to the wall, making sure to hit the studs with two 3″ screws per stud.
On the front side of the platform, we went with a 2×8 so that we could inset the plywood floor. We added a 2×6 cross brace in the center, and again at the 8′ mark since plywood doesn’t come in 10′ sections. Then we did the Hang-Test to make sure it was all good. You know, just in case.
Husband ripped the plywood to the width I’d specified, and laid it on top of our 2×6 frame. We marked where it hit the 2×8, and then took it down. We attached some 2x2s to the inside of the 2×8 to support the plywood, and put it all back into place.
Now the platform was built, but we still needed a ladder, a bed box, and the bookshelves. Because Son is a bit wary of ladders and heights — something to do with ping-ponging down the tower at McDonalds — I asked Husband to build the ladder before her built anything else. I figured this would give Son a chance to play on the ladder and platform, and get used to the whole thing before we got it all finished. So while Husband built a ladder out of 2x2s, I started sanding. I hate sanding.
At this point, we also decided to flop our plan. The drawing I posted before had the bed end of the, um, bed, right across from the door. Son’s bedroom door is right across our bedroom door, we figured it would be best for all involved if our bedroom light didn’t shine directly into Son’s eyes at night. Soon, Husband had the ladder built, and mounted in place, which meant I had more sanding to do. Yuck. At this point I would like to say, that if you build a ladder in your home for some reason, in a room with carpet, that you make your verticals at least as far apart as your vacuum; we got lucky.
One of the things I had husband do when he built the ladder was to chamfer the top at a 45. This helps to keep things from catching one the way down.
Husband worked on the bed box next. This consisted of 1x6s and wooden triangles in the corners for support; pretty simple. Then he started on the corner shelves; these weren’t so simple.
I had designed shelves, using 1x8s, that would wrap the corner, but I also wanted them to be free standing. Husband thought long and hard, and came up with a corner leg that was mounted at a 45 degree angle, and then 45’d all the shelves. He also used his router to inset the shelves just a bit into the legs. He did a great job.
As you can see, by the end of the construction day, Son was having a blast on the ladder and the platform. Yes, that’s right, construction took less than a day, and that was all Husband signed up for. All sanding and finishes were my department I was told. Sometimes I think I got the raw end of the deal. I guess it’s the price I pay for getting what I want!