diytyler added on 10/16/2015

Simple bunk bed made using easy to access lumber that any home center has stocked. You can choose to joint and plane or leave as is from the store if you want to save time or don't have the tools. This bed is super solid and will last for a lifetime of use and abuse!


Follow the steps below to complete this project.


Prep Yourself!

Download the drawing (PDF format) included with this tutorial and print out the cut list so you can follow along and the part numbers make sense. Also, check out our YouTube video of the build and be sure to subscribe! Link also provided in the Extras tab


Prep Stock -- Cut part F

This step is totally optional but the time spent here really does impact the final look of the project. I chose to square up my stock using the jointer and planer so everything was even and square at a thickness of 1 1/4". **There is one part in this build that needs to be the full 1 1/2" thickenss of a 2x6, Part F. Cut this board to appropriate length, cut part F off and then proceed using the rest of the board as shown.**


Cut all parts to length

Following the cut list provided (you will have to make minor changes if you do not thickness your stock to 1 1/4") cut all parts to length using a chop saw, circular saw or another saw of your choice. Parts G, H, K and L will need to be ripped to proper length using the table saw.


Assemble Legs (Quantity 4)

Drill pocket holes for 2" pocket screws evenly along one side of part E (QTY4) and join together using wood glue and 2" course pocket screws. Repeat this process for the other legs. When complete set these to the side as you are done with these until finishing time.


Mattress Frame (Quantity 2)

Drill pocket holes for 2" screws on both ends of part D (4) making sure that they are located in such a way that they will line up with part G which is only half as wide as part D. Assemble parts D (2) and G (2) together using wood glue and 2" course pocket screws. Verify that the frame is square and allow ample time for the glue to dry. Repeat this process for the other frame.


Profile Head/Footboards and Railing

You could choose to skip this step if you do not want the profile or don't have the equipment to make them. I used the provided drawing to print a 1:1 template of one side of the profile, spray glued that onto a 1/2 piece of plywood and made a template using the bandsaw and belt sander. (You can use a jig saw as well.) I then used this template to trace the profile onto both sides of part A and parts B (4). Used the bandsaw to cut off the excess wood keeping close to the line but not right on it. Then clamp the template onto the part again and use a flush trim bit in the router to route a perfect profile again and again! You can find a template for the profile in the "Extras" section of this build.


Assemble Head/Footboards (QTY 4)

First part of this section is drilling a single pocket hole for a 1 1/4" screw on each end of the same side of part K. You will need quantity 28 of these. Take one part B, one part G and 7 part K and assemble with the proper spacing shown in the image for this section using 1 1/4" coarse pocket hole screws and wood glue. I cut some spacer blocks to make this step easier and the spacing more consistent. Make sure to keep everything square as you go, I clamped to the edge of my workbench to keep one side square all the time. You will need to build 4 of these head/footboards.


Assemble Railing (Quantity 1)

First part of this section is drilling a single pocket hole for a 1 1/4" screw on each end of the same side of part L. You will need quantity 12 of these. Take part A, part J and 12 part L and assemble as shown in the corresponding image using 1 1/4" coarse pocket hole screws and wood glue. Just like when making the head boards I cut some spacers to help keep the spaces consistent. Be sure to keep everything square as you add each spindle.


Assemble Ladder

For the Ladder you will need five of part I and two part H. Drill two pocket holes for 2" screws on both ends of one side of part I. Use 2" coarse pocket screws and wood glue to joint the parts together as shown in the corresponding image. Start from the bottom run and work your way up with proper spacing, I made a set of spacers to help keep everything even.


Sand and Finish

If you would like a super nice, smooth finish you will need to sand all the bed parts down to 220 grit with a random orbit sander and clean them appropriately. (It was a TON of sanding and no fun at all.) I chose to stain our bed with General Finishes water based stain in the Shaker Maple color and it turned out beautiful. I then sprayed the finish using an HVLP gun and Varathan water based polyurethane in a satin sheen.


General Finishes Stain


Varathane water based polyurethane applied with HVLP gun. 4 coats.


Put the Frame Together

Once you have all the items in the room where to want to set the bed up we are ready to go! I cut 4 spacers to hold the bottom mattress frame in position while I screwed the legs into place. Fist off, you want to use the spacers to hold the bottom mattress frame in place and clamp the legs onto the 4 corners. (I placed the legs such that the pocket holes were all facing in.)


Then clamp a Headboard and a footboard to the top of the legs making sure the top profile is flush with the top of the legs.


Now slide the bottom bed headboard and footboard into place over the mattress frame.


With all the head and footboards in place we now know the bedframe is square and things are where we want them so you can drill/countersink and add 2" woodscrews.


Now that the head and footboards are screwed into place you need to add the top mattress frame, you need to tilt the frame and shimmy it into place under the head and footboards.


Add 2" wood screws screws though all four corners of the mattress frames into both parts of the legs.


Add the Ladder

Now that the main frame of the bunk is complete it is time to add the ladder. Clamp it into place, drill and countersink from the back though the mattress frame and screw into place using 2" wood screws.


Add the Safety Railing

Last part of this build is to add the safety railing. Put into place, drill and countersink, and fasten down with 2" wood screws into the ladder and the leg railing is against. Also use some 2" screws though the bottom of the railing into the mattress frame.


Another view.


Mattress Slat supports

Add part M, the mattress slats, to each mattress frame and screw in place using 1 1/4 wood screws.

Tools Used:

Materials Required:

Wood Products:

(22) 2x6, 96", Board  
(3) 1x6, 96", Board  


Parts/Cut List:

(1) A, 1 ¼ x 4 1/8 x 57  
(4) B, 1 ¼ x 4 1/8 x 41 ½  
(4) C, 1 ¼ x 5 ¼ x 75  
(4) D, 1 ¼ x 5 ¼ x 76  
(4) E, 1 ¼ x 4 x 75  
(4) F, 1 ½ x 5 ½ x 75  
(8) G, 1 ¼ x 2 5/8 x 41 ½  
(2) H, 1 ¼ x 2 ½ x 63 7/8  
(5) I, 1 ¼ x 2 ½ x15  
(1) J, 1 ¼ x ½ x56 ¾  
(28) K, ¾ x 1 ¾ x12 7/8  
(11) L, ¾ x 1 ¾ x 12 3/8  
(10) M, ¾ x 3 ½ x 38 ¾  


Bunk Bed Vertical Rails.pdf Download Visit
Headboard Profile template.pdf Download


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