Loft bed questions
#11
  
I have two kiddos, and the younger one is soon going to outgrow her toddler bed.  What I want to do is loft both of their beds (twins).  I see two ways to do this
1) Make two separate loft beds
2) Make an L-shaped loft bed

#2 would be something like this (general style):
   

Either way the two beds are going to be in the same orientation in the corner.  But an advantage of making a single L-shaped loft is I can drop one of the legs and open up the area underneath.  One thing I'm concerned with is the attachment at this section (the blue circle).  So many things I've seen online it seems like people are just screwing through one board and into the end grain of the other.  This doesn't strike me as particularly strong.  Any suggestions for how to strengthen this, or is this really not a concern?  Is there hardware that is good for something like this?  It needs to be removable/not permanent so I can actually get the bed out of the room in the future.

Another thing is so many of the online plans I see are using 2x material, which just strikes me as overkill.  Is there any major issue anyone sees with using 1x material?  Or has anyone ever used 1x in a bunk or loft bed?  I would likely make the legs different than the above photo.  More like 2 pieces joined at a right angle (glue, probably some screws, and some dominos to help with alignment).  See below for a top view:
   

This leg setup would make it rather easy to attach all the horizontal pieces to the edges (as opposed to cutting out notches like in the first photo).  It also takes up a bit less room (which could be a major issue for me, as the longest portion of the bed is going to be a tight fit between the all and door frame.  Many of the bed plans made out of 2x4s result in too much room taken up if I put two loft beds in the L orientation).

Thoughts?  Any other suggestions?

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#12
  Re: Loft bed questions by msweig (I have two kiddos, a...)
Just walked into my shop and saw the base of my bench. Which has basically a homemade version of a bed bolt for the bottom stretcher (Along with a stubby M&T). That might work for the problem joint.

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#13
  Re: Loft bed questions by msweig (I have two kiddos, a...)
First. I don't see anything wrong with using a couple of lag screws into the end grain, but use ones long enough to get a good bite. Drill some pilot holes equal to the shank of the screw (measure at the base of the threads). Then, the first time you screw them in, clamp the rail between blocks where the screw holes are (to keep them from splitting) and then wrench the screws in. This allows them to create nice deep threads in the wood. You might want to countersink the screw heads in the other rail.

Bed bolts like this will also work well and will withstand more frequent knock-downs.

Also, there are angle brackets like this.
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#14
  Re: Loft bed questions by msweig (I have two kiddos, a...)
A joist hanger. This ain't period reproduction furniture. If the bracket bothers you, cover it with some pine.
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#15
  Re: Loft bed questions by msweig (I have two kiddos, a...)
My first thought was a joist hanger, too. The lag screws might work, but if I wanted hidden hardware, I would use the bed bolts from Lee Valley.

I’d also up-size those rails to 2X8s at least, which should take care of any sagging. Once you put two mattresses, bedding, and two growing kids up there, that’s a lot of weight to support.
Steve S.
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#16
  Re: RE: Loft bed questions by Bibliophile 13 (My first thought was...)
(07-14-2019, 09:19 PM)Bibliophile 13 Wrote: My first thought was a joist hanger, too.  The lag screws might work, but if I wanted hidden hardware, I would use the bed bolts from Lee Valley.

I’d also up-size those rails to 2X8s at least, which should take care of any sagging. Once you put two mattresses, bedding, and two growing kids up there, that’s a lot of weight to support.

I would use bed rail brackets.  Lots of different brands out there and they are made for this. 

https://www.rockler.com/5-surface-mounte...gKhzvD_BwE

Wood is very strong and 2x can be overkill, that being said, it would depend a bit on species and the construction methods and joinery.
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#17
  Re: Loft bed questions by msweig (I have two kiddos, a...)
I would use bed rail brackets. Lots of different brands out there and they are made for this.

https://www.rockler.com/5-surface-mounte...gKhzvD_BwE

_____________________________

NOTE: The Rockler ad above specifically states "not suitable for bunk beds."


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#18
  Re: RE: Loft bed questions by wood2woodknot (I would use bed rail...)
(07-14-2019, 10:37 PM)wood2woodknot Wrote: I would use bed rail brackets.  Lots of different brands out there and they are made for this.  

https://www.rockler.com/5-surface-mounte...gKhzvD_BwE

_____________________________

NOTE:  The Rockler ad above specifically states  "not suitable for bunk beds."

Any of the above suggestions, and if still not sure, supplement with a "T" strap/splice:
https://www.hardwareonlinestore.com/inde...ImEALw_wcB
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#19
  Re: Loft bed questions by msweig (I have two kiddos, a...)
Those 2xX beds use construction lumber, graded for compression loading and as part of a building web; conveniently located in the cheapest section of the wood yard. And, they are required at that size due to all the knots and poor horizontal loading. Besides, it's easier for them to hold up to end grain connections. I like 'em but I'm hardwired to overdesign. 

Lofting gives you more floor space for activity centers and storage below the bed, but.... 

Make sure there is plenty of head clearance below at a year or two beyond your change over target date.

You can always design to have various construction layouts, even bunks. Or, jack them up into the nose-bleed level.

A ladder on the end of the L's leg is very restrictive. Switching it to the forward face will help brace that leg frame.

Cross bracing at the walls of both frames will considerably improve strength and rigidity. Similarly, cross-braced bed boxes.

1x? will work. Fully frame the mattress boxes and use 2x2s to brace the interior at each corner. I would use 8" for the mattress boxes and double the frame supporting the leg box. Note, springy wood is a hazard of 1" framing. 

Obviously, what is used for a mattress determines design and construction.

There! I designed and built the beds for my house. You do it how you want.
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#20
  Re: RE: Loft bed questions by hbmcc (Those 2xX beds use c...)
(07-15-2019, 12:05 PM)hbmcc Wrote: 1x? will work. Fully frame the mattress boxes and use 2x2s to brace the interior at each corner. I would use 8" for the mattress boxes and double the frame supporting the leg box. Note, springy wood is a hazard of 1" framing. 

I had made simple box frames from 1x8 particle board (it was actually utility shelving on sale) as beds for our kids when I was young and dirt poor.  It lasted till they went off to college and beyond.  The supreme test was when my son returned to visit and it easily supported him and his new wife without any creaking or squeaks........
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