The Cellar  

Go Back   The Cellar > Main > Creative Expression

Creative Expression Post your own works and chat about them

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-11-2011, 03:24 PM   #1
BigV
Goon Squad Leader
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 24,979
DIY Bamboo Bunk Bed

I built a bunk bed for my boys back when they were little. They eventually grew out of it and the bed was disassembled and stored for a long time. Somehow, it came up in conversation with my friend T, so I lashed it to the top of my little car and took it to his house.

With the help of his two young boys, the perfect choice for a bed like this, we reassembled it. These aren't my normal construction journal pictures, but they show how the bed goes together. The creation of the bed was done mostly with hand tools, and all of it is hand made. It goes together like a puzzle.

pic01--
The boys help me unpack the poles and posts.

pic02--
The headboard went together first, two stretchers on the bottom, three on the top. Then the long poles were inserted into the holes, again two on the bottom and three on the top on each side.
Attached Images
  
__________________
Also a very stable genius.
BigV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 04:05 PM   #2
glatt
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 26,433
I like that a lot. What holds the mattress up?
glatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 04:07 PM   #3
Undertoad
Miserable contrarian
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Cottage of Prussia
Posts: 29,454
You know I betcha what would stop this from being offered as a product today...



...lawyers
Undertoad is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 04:19 PM   #4
BigV
Goon Squad Leader
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 24,979
pic01--
Now the footboard is together and I'm lining up the long poles so the footboard can be slid onto them. This has to happen with all ten poles at once. It's a LOT harder to do than it looks. Remember the handmade part? Yeah... I'm not known for my precision work. And, this material is not uniform. The poles are not perfectly straight, and the holes I made are not perfectly circular, nor uniform, nor concentric. I trimmed them down a little to make something of a tenon and the hole is only big enough for the tenon and not the step up to the full diameter of the poles.

pic02--
All the poles are in the inboard holes, and now I'm pleading, arguing, begging, threatening, etc the poles to slip into the outboard holes. This was eventually successful, but I did struggle.
Attached Images
  
__________________
Also a very stable genius.
BigV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 04:24 PM   #5
BigV
Goon Squad Leader
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 24,979
pic01--
Here all the poles are through all the holes. Not all the way, not drawn up snug, but in. The rest is just brute force.

pic02--
T and his younger son were so, *so* excited (so was his older son, shown in a different pic). Just a happy shot!
Attached Images
  
__________________
Also a very stable genius.
BigV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 04:26 PM   #6
BigV
Goon Squad Leader
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 24,979
pic01--
Other happy son!

pic02--
Happy Dad and a preview of my brute force tool.
Attached Images
  
__________________
Also a very stable genius.
BigV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 04:33 PM   #7
BigV
Goon Squad Leader
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 24,979
pic01--
I keep a bagful of these ratcheting tie down straps in the car. Here they're being used as comealongs. One strap alone is not long enough to pull the posts together so I used two hooked together after shortening one by several feet.

pic02--
To keep from racking this parallelogram too much I tried to tighten up whole sides all at once. One strap pair on the top of the post was enough for all three poles, but it doesn't draw the bottom of the posts together. If you look carefully, you can just see a peek of the red from the bottom straps.

This procedure was repeated on all sides in turn. It was pretty tedious, there was a lot of creaking and groaning, but by the end it was pretty tight.
Attached Images
  
__________________
Also a very stable genius.
BigV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 04:48 PM   #8
Gravdigr
The Un-Tuckian
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: South Central...KY that is
Posts: 33,500
Killer! I bet those boys love that bed.
__________________


These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA, EPA, FBI, DEA, CDC, or FDIC. These statements are not intended to diagnose, cause, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. If you feel you have been harmed/offended by, or, disagree with any of the above statements or images, please feel free to fuck right off.
Gravdigr is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 05:07 PM   #9
BigV
Goon Squad Leader
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 24,979
pic01--
glatt, you asked what holds the mattress up. The answer is the mattress (when there is one) is held up by these platforms. I took fairly thin walled poles and split them into strips about an inch wide, lots of them. Then I took another medium sized pole and split it into halves. I then sewed the strips onto the half poles with the green line you see here. I left the half poles a little long, and I staggered the distance between them so the top surface of strips could meet flush, making a nice platform for the mattress.

If you look carefully at the upper left hand corner of this picture, you can see where I notched the platform to fit around the pole. And on the right hand side of the picture you can see how the far side of the platform half is cut straight, but the near side has each split rounded off.

What you can't really see in this picture is the three long thick walled poles that run the length of the bed spaced evenly between the posts and stretchers upon which the platforms rest. You can see the ends of two of these poles at the far left of the picture, and now that you see those, you can kind of see the poles through the very narrow gaps between the splits.

pic02--
Here is T testing out the platform. It turns out we had them mismatched. If you look at the outboard edge, you see there's a big difference in the length of the rounded ends. The shorter one belongs on the bottom and it has a matching half. The longer pair go on top. The shorter ones go on the bottom because it's possible to sit on the edge of the bed and the longer ones would poke you in the back of the legs. Naturally, this isn't a problem for the top platform. T's Mom supervised happily.
Attached Images
  
__________________
Also a very stable genius.
BigV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 05:15 PM   #10
BigV
Goon Squad Leader
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 24,979
pic01--
Ok, here's a really good picture of the support system for the platforms. You can also see much more detail of the sewing I did to secure the splits to the half poles. Also on display are the corner notches. Can you see how the mattress will be held in place by the top stretcher on the bottom bunk? And how it would likely protrude above the stretcher? That's so you can sit on the side of the bed. The top is the same way, EXCEPT, there's a third stretcher that serves as a guardrail to keep the sleeper from rolling out of bed.

pic02--
Two happy campers, who are *really* excited about bedtime! Notice the rounded edges all match up now, the corner notches fit around the posts, etc.
Attached Images
  
__________________
Also a very stable genius.
BigV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 05:20 PM   #11
BigV
Goon Squad Leader
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 24,979
pic01--
I told you mattresses were optional. Sleeping bags (pillows came later) were installed before we were even finished.

pic02--
The big finale! I brought the ladder out (you can't have a freakin bunk bed without a ladder, can you?) and climbed up first. I bounced and rolled and jumped around as a demonstration that the bed was strong enough to hold my weight. That was enough for the boys! They were up the ladder in a flash, Dad too. This is our victory picture.
Attached Images
  
__________________
Also a very stable genius.
BigV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 05:30 PM   #12
Pete Zicato
Turns out my CRS is a symptom of TMB.
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Chicago suburbs
Posts: 2,916
Nice.

How long did it take you to make that thing initially?
__________________


Talk nerdy to me.
Pete Zicato is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 05:41 PM   #13
BigV
Goon Squad Leader
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 24,979
Thanks Pete.

Hm.. was a long time ago.... not long.. the design is simple. Probably a couple weeks. there was a lot of gradual refinement as I put it together. Initially, it was wider. So, I narrowed it, you can see the evidence of this by the truncated splits on the far side of the platforms. And many times I'd have it together, then couldn't get a pole to come all the way through, so back apart, trim the tenon or the hole or both, then back together.

The sewing took a long time. That is a lot of sewing. And the ladder was a bit of a project too. I got a new tool out of it, a wad cutter punch, which I used to make my own dowels. The bamboo is the ultimate straight grained material as you might expect. I could cut dowels easily. I pinned the end of each rung on the ladder with two dowels in addition to sewing (lashing really, these were much shorter lengths of line) them to the vertical poles. Notice that I staggered the double rung sections so that when the ladder is leaned against the bed the surface of the double rungs is basically horizontal.

Also not easily visible in the assembly here is that the ladder is zip tied to the top stretcher, and the platform supports are zip tied to the stretchers too.
__________________
Also a very stable genius.
BigV is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 06:07 PM   #14
glatt
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Arlington, VA
Posts: 26,433
I like that a lot. The platforms clearly took a lot of effort, but they look really good. I spent a lot of time as a kid staring up at the bottom of a top bunk, and this will be interesting to look at for whoever winds up in the lower bunk. Those lashings are nice and neat.
glatt is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 06:38 PM   #15
BigV
Goon Squad Leader
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Seattle
Posts: 24,979
Thanks glatt.

I got the top bunk as a kid. One time we were horsing around and I bounced too hard, and dropped the top bunk down onto my brother below, trapping him between the beds. It was pretty painful, since the mattress supports were those metal "nets" with large rectangular openings, just ... wires like a springy fence section. He was bleeding and we got in trouble. Worth it though!

The bottom bunker was telling his brother how he intended to stealthily climb the ladder and then shake him awake. Ha ha. I said.. .hey, I have another suggestion. Climb up there and pretend to be your brother, pretend to be asleep. He did and when he was laying down, from the bottom bunk I started pounding hard on the bottom of the top bunk yelling TIME TO WAKE UP! WAKE UP WAKE UP!!!

Ah... good times. hehehe....
__________________
Also a very stable genius.
BigV is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
diy


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:43 AM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.8.1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.