I finished off a really cool bunk bed setup recently. It started with the same basic setup, making boxes on the frames, and making the supports. But they also wanted a climbing wall, a slide, and a few drawers.
|Supports are in and this bunk is standing|
|The middle supports determine how wide I need to make the slide|
|This is the frame for the drawers|
|Drawer frame is installed, with the slides|
|Climbing wall is getting there|
|Slide is going together|
|This drawer came out a little small|
|I swear I had to build 6 drawers to get 3 to fit right|
|Hardware is installed|
|Getting my kids involved with the install|
|Lena really got into it|
|Finished! They loved it.|
|Drawers turned out pretty clean.|
|The kid is a natural!|
You can make cool bunk beds like this. Just take it one component at a time. This is a twin/twin bunk, standard twin mattress is 38" x 75", so start with a square box there. I use 2x3's for the core, cover it with 1x3 furring strips, then wrap the core with 2x6's. The supports are all made with 2x4's, cut a 12.5" length off of one end, and a 9" block off. The total height for this bed was 75", so I glued and screwed the 9" block 18" from the top, and the larger block flush with the bottom. The boxes then sit on top of the blocks, attached with 3 screws through the supports. Then I add a 1x4 and 1x3 to the top as safety rails, cut to length.
For the climbing wall, I glue & screw 2x6 boards to the end supports, then ordered the playground handles and holds from Amazon. They came with hardware to mount on 2" stock (which is really only 1.5" thick) so that was straightforward. The slide is tricky. I started with a couple of 2x6x8' boards, calculated the angle for the top & bottom cuts. Then I measured for 2x3's to go under the plywood for support, and cut a groove through the inside of both boards to hold the plywood. I used one sheet of plywood for the slide and the drawers. After cutting the plywood to size, install it into the grooves with finish nails. Sand the plywood so it gets smooth, I used 120 and 180 grit for this. Then I coat the plywood with some marine epoxy (TotalBoat) that I had hanging around. Install the 2x3's underneath for stability, so the plywood doesn't flex. Out of habit, I put them every 16" like it was a wall stud or something. I attach the slide to the upper bed with door hinges, they are heavy duty for the weight, and it prevents toys from getting stuck under the slide.
For the drawers, I built this frame that provided a front face and stability by screwing it to the supports and for the back it screwed to the bottom bed, creating a frame that was parallel to the floor. Then I put sides up so I could mount the drawer slides. The drawers are just boxes made of plywood and assembled with the finish nailer. I put a 1x8 face on the boxes, and mounted the rest of the drawer slides. The important part there is to get the sides on the frame exactly parallel, and don't make the boxes try to fit exactly. Leave about 1/8" shorter than you think they will need so the slide can operate easily.
This one really did pull out all of the stops, and the kid was so excited! I thought the slide came out a little steep. But really everything was clean, the parents were super happy with it.