Kreg Jig Owners Community

Sturdy Bunk Beds

We were shopping for bunk beds for our 5 and 3-year-old kids, and everything I saw was overpriced, mass produced junk. I'm not kidding - we were looking at $800-$2000 for anything that appeared to be remotely stable, let alone well-designed.

Naturally, I started searching for plans (it's the right thing to do), and naturally, I found my way to Ana White. This project began in earnest when I found the Side Street Bunk Bed plans here:

I figured I'd give it my own twist. I needed to practice using my DeWalt compact router (and the new trim router table my wife had given me months before), and any excuse to bust out my Kreg Jig is fine by me. I also had different ideas for the ladder and guard I printed out the plans, sketched out my variations, and proceeded to suffer through the indignity of lumber shopping at Home Depot.

I know what you're thinking - WHY would anyone even bother trying to find a straight board in THAT place? Well believe me, I suffered for the convenience of driving to the HD two miles from my house. I had to work each and every board like crazy, but eventually I got em all into fine shape. Wood wants to be good, even the crap they sell at HD.

About halfway through the build, I started to worry that what i was building was TOO sturdy - total overkill. But now that it's in use, I can tell you I'm glad I built with these plans. I can still climb up on top of the bed with both my kids if I want to and this thing doesn't budge. Not an inch. Not a creak. SOLID. Exactly what any parent wants.

Not a lot of complex tools involved here; my trusty Delta chop saw, my DeWalt 18v cordless drill, a DeWalt palm sander ( I spent hours with this), the Kreg Jig and a couple of clamps (of course), and the DeWalt Compact Router and table. The router really made a difference in the overall design – and I wasn't afraid of screwing up the lousy lumber I was working with. In the end, it all finished rather nicely.

I treated every piece with Minwax wood conditioner, then a single coat of Minway Polyshade in Pecan. Nothing fancy, but after sanding it down and giving it a polish, I gotta say it looks just as good as your average IKEA finish. Not bad at all.

This is the largest piece of functional furniture I've ever built, and my kids LOVE it. They talked about it for days after, and you can't buy that on Amazon. It was a real confidence builder, and I'm PSYCHED to move on to some nicer lumber and more complex projects!

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Comment by joseph on March 11, 2013 at 3:36am

Brilliant! It looks so awesome.Bunk beds are a very popular choice when it comes to making two of your kids share a room.It's very important that the bunk bed you buy is good quality, and unfortunately with cheaper models, it's all to easy to buy poor quality.

Comment by Anthony DeCesare on January 30, 2013 at 10:02am

awesome! - thats what got me started building too...going to build the loft playhouse bed on Ana's site...just built a kitchen table, sofa table, next is the stools and then the bed

Comment by Megan on December 17, 2012 at 6:01pm

Looks really, really nice. Gratifying to do it yourself! Awesome that your kids appreciate the work, as well.

Comment by Carlos on August 29, 2012 at 11:02am

very nice work, how long would you say it took you to build this?

Comment by Jeff Miller on July 27, 2012 at 5:07pm

thanks to all for the nice comments – I've found a local supplier who can provide better lumber, but I've also decided to start working with plywood some more. And the home centers often have the best prices on that...

Comment by Julie Humphreys on July 27, 2012 at 12:20pm

Where does one go to get non-junk wood?  And, Jeff, your bunk beds are what made me join.  I saw a post of them on Pinterest and my grandkids could sure use some!

Comment by Ervin Collins on June 19, 2012 at 11:37am

Jeff the bed looks great. We now find ourselves needing bunks for our grandchildren when they come to visit, and this looks like this will meet our need and be fun to build.

Comment by Elwood Hurrin on June 18, 2012 at 2:25pm

They look great Jeff. I'm past needing bunks for kids but, You did an excellent job. Oh, by-the-way, I feel your pain about the lumber in HD and Lowes. Just junk.

Comment by Crunchy Soul on June 16, 2012 at 10:29pm

Your bunk bed is amazing.  Congrats on finishing it, and thanks for sharing.

Comment by Jeff Miller on June 4, 2012 at 9:19am

Thanks a bunch – it's been one of the most satisfying projects yet for me!

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