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The road to bunkbed build completion was actually pretty quick on the carpentry side of things. Getting to this final stage of awesome completion did take a little in the way of staining, though. Okay, a load in the way of staining. But more of that later.

Retaining trim was added to receive the head and footboards. Since this wouldn’t be a structural piece, just gluing them in and popping a few brads home did nicely.

With the slots in place for the boards, the rest of the build happened in a matter of a few hours of work. The headboards were driven home and a roll guard was added to the front of the top bunk so restless little ones don’t face plant from a 5-foot drop.

The ladder assembly was a simple one that allows the climber to get on the bunk at the lowest point possible by making the ladder part of the foot board. Bigass carriage bolts held the ladder rails in place.

Slats were cut from a pile of white oak that had been left outside for a while and, due to cracking, wasn’t really great as full plank material anymore. It was, however, perfect for the 16 slats of 3″ x 1″ material needed to hold the mattresses. The slats were later planed, routed, sanded, and sealed. This wasn’t a quick process, but anything times 16 tends to be a while.

Next the hell that is finishing time arrived. I won’t bore you with details, but this process takes longer than most anybody who hasn’t done it will ever recognize. Five coats of tinted shellac went on to make a nice, lively, and warm red color that managed to hide the fact that four different types and shades of wood were used. It sucked, but turned out nice in the end.

Final install was of course a happy time for all concerned (except when they were made to hold still for pictures) and much little girl screaming could be heard among the climbing and shuffling of little feet.


8 Responses to Project: Bunkbed Build — Part 2

  1. Looks great! Why did you choose shellac over a stain/poly combo? Finish? Durability?

  2. Sean O'Hara says:

    Durability. The shellac was like armor after 5 coats of the stuff. And with 2 kids under 5… they’re gonna need that. 🙂

  3. Jason says:

    I think shellac is one of the less durable finishes available. The biggest advantage it has though is that it’s easily repairable. That makes it a pretty good choice for this project.

  4. Steve says:

    Nice looking bunk bed. My one concern from the photo, is the possibility of the children falling through the window behind the bed.

  5. Blair says:

    Great looking bunk Sean, I’m sure the girls will love it!

  6. mnoswad1 says:

    caption for the top photo should be……

    “Look daddy…..thats where I’m gonna land”

  7. Gary Z says:

    Great project! Nothin’ better than to see the kids with huge smiles.

  8. Mac says:

    Awesome stuff Sean!

    With no apologies to Mastercard… Cost to build = who cares, ’cause the reaction from the occupants is surely priceless.

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