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How to build a loft bed

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How to Build a Loft Bed

 

This is one method of building a loft bed by anchoring two of the sides to walls. This reduces the complexity of the project, and makes for a bed that will support a lot of weight. The measurements provided are to build a bed that fits a single mattress.

Steps


Decide on the clearance you want underneath the bed.
With a stud finder, locate the studs in the wall and mark. Drill pilot holes slightly smaller than the diameter of the lag bolts you are using into studs and headboard (1) and attach headboard (1) to the wall using four 4 inch lag bolts and washers. Secure with the ratchet set or wrench.
With a stud finder, locate the studs in the wall and mark. Drill pilot holes into studs and sideboard (2) and attach sideboard (2) to the wall using eight 4 inch lag bolts and washers. Secure with the ratchet set and wrench.
Cut support posts (5) and (6) to height of clearance plus 4 inches (in this example, 57 inches) and attach both 2x4s face to face with ten 2 ½ inch screws to create the support post. Alternate the screws on both sides of the 2 x 4s.
Drill pilot holes into the end of the sideboard (2) and face of footboard (3). Attach footboard (3) to sideboard (2) using two 4 inch lag bolts and washers.
Place a level on top of footboard (3). Place support post in position against footboard (3). Adjust footboard (3) until level and clamp footboard (3) and post together.
Drill pilot holes into face of footboard (3) and support post and attach footboard (3) to support post with two 4 inch lag bolts and washers.
Clamp outer board (4) to support post at proper height.
Drill pilot holes through the face of outer board (4) into the ends of headboard (1) and footboard (3), and into the support post. Attach outer board (4) to support post and (1) and (3) using six 4 inch lag bolts and washers. Two lag bolts into the headboard, two lag bolts into the footboard, and two lag bolts into the support post.
Position slat support (8) on the inside of outer board (4) so that the top of slat support (8) is even with the top of the support post. Check level and secure in place with seven 2 ½ inch screws.
Position slat support (7) on the inside of sideboard (2) so that the top of part (7) is even with the top of the support post. Check level and secure in place with seven 2 ½ inch screws.
Position end support (9) on the inside of headboard (1) so that the top of end support (9) is even with the top of slat supports (7) and (8). Secure in place with four 2 ½ inch screws.
Position end support (10) on the inside of footboard (3) so that the top of end support (10) is even with the top of slat support (7) and the support post. Secure in place with four 2 ½ inch screws.
Cut the 2x6s for both ladder risers (12) to about 6 inches longer than the total height of the bed so far.
Cut one of the ends of one riser (12) to a 15 degree angle using the miter or radial arm saw. Lean this piece, the 15 degree cut on the ground, against outer board (4) in its proper final position and make a mark even with the top of outer board (4). Cut this at 15 degrees also.
Lean the piece back against outer board (4) and mark a 1 ½ inch deep notch on the riser. This will allow the risers (12) to fit securely to outer board (4). Cut the notch as far as possible with a rotary saw and finish the cuts with a hand or hack saw. Use this riser as a template for the other riser (12).
Measure and mark the spaces between the steps (13) of the ladder, making sure each step is level. Drill countersunk pilot holes through the face of risers (12) into each step (13). Secure each step (13) with four 2 ½ inch screws.
From inside outer board (4), drill pilot holes through outer board (4) and into each riser (12) of the finished ladder. Secure in place with four 2 ½ inch lag bolts and washers.
Measure and mark the locations of the fourteen slats (11). Attach each of the 14 slats (11) by drilling a pilot hole at each end into slat supports (7) and (8) and securing with two 1 ½ inch screws.
Attach two rail supports (14) to side rail (15) about 10 inches from the ends of side rail (15) by drilling countersunk pilot holes through rail supports (14) into rail (15) and using four 2 ½ inch screws. Ensure that the top of the rail supports (14) line up with the top of the side rail (15).
Attach two rail supports (14) to foot rail (16) about 10 inches from the ends of part (16) by drilling countersunk pilot holes through rail supports (14) into foot rail (16) and using four 2 ½ inch screws. Ensure that the top of the rail supports (14) line up with the top of the foot rail (16).
Drill pilot holes through rail supports (14) into outer board (4) and secure entire railing assembly to outer board (4) using four 2 ½ inch lag bolts and washers. Ensure that the bottom of the rail supports (14) line up with the bottom of the outer board (4).
Drill pilot holes through rail supports (14) into footboard (3) and secure entire railing assembly to footboard (3) using four 2 ½ inch lag bolts and washers. Ensure that the bottom of the rail supports (14) line up with the bottom of the footboard (4).

Tips


You'll get a much better look if your round the top and bottom edges of the outward face of the rail supports. To do this, while preparing the rail supports, remove 1/2 of wood at a 45-degree at the top and bottom of one face. Round over with a sander.
When attaching the slats to the slat support, only one screw at each end is required. The screw is not so much a support as something to prevent the slat from sliding around.

Warnings
This exact design should NOT be used for something wider than a single mattress. To move to a bigger mattress, an additional 2x4 support must be installed between the head and the footboard, prependicular to the mattress' support slats. The site below has plans for a queen loft bed.

Things You'll Need
Material:
3 @ 2 x 8 x 96
5 @ 2 x 4 x 96
3 @ 2 x 2 x 96
7 @ 1 x 4 x 96
2 @ 2 x 6 x 96
22 @ 5/16 x 4 inch lag bolts
12 @ 5/16 x 2 ½ inch lag bolts
34 @ 5/16 x 1 inch washers
64 @ #10 x 2 ½ inch wood screws
28 @ #10 x 1 ½ inch wood screws
Tools:
Miter or radial arm saw
stud finder
drill
sander
Robertson (Loxon) screwdriver
rotary saw
hand or hack saw
ratchet set or wrench
level
clamp
Parts list:
Head board: 2 x 8 x 40 ½
Side board: 2 x 8 x 75
Foot board: 2 x 8 x 40 ½
Outer board: 2 x 8 x 78
Post part: 2 x 4 x 57
Post part: 2 x 4 x 57
Slat support: 2 x 2 x 75
Slat support: 2 x 2 x 71 ½
End support: 2 x 2 x 34 ½
End support: 2 x 2 x 33
Slats: 1 x 4 x 37 ½ (14)Ladder risers: 2 x 6 x 66 (2)
Ladder steps: 2 x 4 x 16 (6)
Rail supports: 2 x 4 x 20 (4)
Side rail: 2 x 4 x 50
Foot rail: 2 x 4 x 40