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I am going to build a low loft bunk bed for my 5 year old. Hopefully he can use for many years.  I have a seen a few nice plans on the forum and many use carrage bolts.  Are the kreg joiner system screws strong enough to hold by themselves? 

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When using bolts, a hex-head bolt and a hex nut, with a flat washer under the bolt head and the nut, is the way to go.

Recess the head of the bolt and the nut, so there will be no protrusions beyond the wood surface, for something to catch or snag onto.

REASON: use a socket or hex tool to tighten the fasteners.

(carriage bolt  heads do not have a feature to permit the use of a tool to tighten the fastener from the head of the bolt).

No way I have built bunks,lofts,platform and reg beds Noway will I build with pocket screws.Not designed for load bearing like that

You could use the pocket screws to get it "together" then throw a carriage bolt in there for strength. Don't just use pocket screws. They  have there uses but heavy duty use is not one of them.

The price if there is failure is too great to cheap out on $10.00 of parts.

 

Hmmmmm,  it would be interesting for someone to do a stress test on something like bunk beds with the appropriate number of kreg screws.   Of course one could make a small dado here and there.

I realize it doesn't appear they would be strong enough and they just might be strong enough today but after 10 yrs there could be a problem sooooo     a few bolts would be better safe than sorry.

In all of the stress tests I've seen of pocket hole joints, it's the wood that usually fails, not the screws... so really, I see no reason why it wouldn't work for bunk beds if you constructed it properly. If each joint can hold hundreds of pounds, and you have an entire frame built with those joints... it's going to take one heck of a load to make those joints fail.

Plus, depending on what size stock you're using, you could use the new HD jig too, which woudl give you more strength yet.

Bob,

Could you please define, ''...constructing it properly''.

Most of the persons who read this, aren't structural engineers.



Bob Farmer said:

In all of the stress tests I've seen of pocket hole joints, it's the wood that usually fails, not the screws... so really, I see no reason why it wouldn't work for bunk beds if you constructed it properly. If each joint can hold hundreds of pounds, and you have an entire frame built with those joints... it's going to take one heck of a load to make those joints fail.

Plus, depending on what size stock you're using, you could use the new HD jig too, which woudl give you more strength yet.

Any safety or climbing equipment that I have seen always test with loads 5 times or more than the weight of most human beings.

A simple test would be to get 3 adults all jumping on the bottom bed at once. At least when it fails they do not have far to fall and they will standing up.

I think you could use nothing but pocket holes to make the bed, of course I'm talking about using the new HD (Heavy Duty) Kreg Jig Guide and the bigger screws.

You could do the load test, but the HD system will probably hold better than "normal" Kreg system.

This has been a good discussion.   Now I'm tempted to make a bunk bed.    (:    Problem is grandkids don't live close enough so it would cost more to ship it than build it probably.   Hmmmmm  we could build it and have 5 neighbors come over and jump all up and down like when we were kids -----  maybe outside though.

I didn't know about the HD guide and bigger screws.   Have to check that out.

Jim,

Personally, from my experiences, go with a ''bolted'' construction.

Wood screws will loosen, when exposed to ''racking''.

Racking: ''Force exerted that twists the components of a joint in opposite directions''.

  I'd recommend ''mortise and tenon'' and ''spline'' joinery methods, which can be accomplished using simple wood-working tools.

In the last year or so we've seen kreg introduce two products especially designed for heavy duty applications (the deck jig and the HD). The "normal" kreg jigs are plenty strong enough, but if you feel better use the carriage bolts.

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