Help with loft bed construction

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Old 09-16-08, 08:12 PM
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Help with loft bed construction

I am building a loft frame for a queen size bed. Two sides of the loft will be against walls and I plan to use 4x4 beams as supports where the frame will not be screwed into the walls. So basically I will have a frame of 60" x 80" built out of 2x6's, 2 sides of which will get screwed into the walls, with 4x4's holding up the other side. To frame out the base, I will also be using 2x6's every 16 inches. I will use plywood on top for my mattress to sit on.

My question now is the best way to attach the 2x6 frame to the 4x4s. My plan was to use bolts but I am not sure how many I need and exactly what the placement to be. I want to use enough that it is strong, but not too many that I start losing structural integrity in the post. My original thought was to use 2 on each side but once I started to lay it all out I started to think that is too many holes in the 4x4. I decided to do one bolt in the middle on the shorter side and 2 bolts (top and bottom) on the longer side for strength. I didn't realize it would be difficult drilling a straight hole into the 4x4 but it proved to be. I am getting better, but before I continue, I thought I should inquire about my bolting method. I would also be interested in hearing about better techniques.

Also, how long of a wood screw should I use to attach the 2x6 to the wall stud?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to advise a novice.
 
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Old 09-17-08, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by burntdawn View Post
I am building a loft frame for a queen size bed. Two sides of the loft will be against walls and I plan to use 4x4 beams as supports where the frame will not be screwed into the walls. So basically I will have a frame of 60" x 80" built out of 2x6's, 2 sides of which will get screwed into the walls, with 4x4's holding up the other side. To frame out the base, I will also be using 2x6's every 16 inches. I will use plywood on top for my mattress to sit on.

My question now is the best way to attach the 2x6 frame to the 4x4s. My plan was to use bolts but I am not sure how many I need and exactly what the placement to be. I want to use enough that it is strong, but not too many that I start losing structural integrity in the post. My original thought was to use 2 on each side but once I started to lay it all out I started to think that is too many holes in the 4x4. I decided to do one bolt in the middle on the shorter side and 2 bolts (top and bottom) on the longer side for strength. I didn't realize it would be difficult drilling a straight hole into the 4x4 but it proved to be. I am getting better, but before I continue, I thought I should inquire about my bolting method. I would also be interested in hearing about better techniques.

Also, how long of a wood screw should I use to attach the 2x6 to the wall stud?

Thanks in advance for taking the time to advise a novice.
I would put two screws, I did this 20 years ago for my balcony, it still stands!

But you can notch (rabbet) two sides of the top of your 4X4 posts; so you will have your 4X4 ending with a 2X2 on a corner.

I don't think you need 2X6 on every 16 inch (it seems an overkill to me) 2X4 should do.
What I strongly suggest is to make sure the lower ends of 4X4 posts don't move. If they do, a good kick could bring the bed down, even with 8X8 posts! You should brace them.

As for the screws, they should go into 3/4 of the stud.
 
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Old 09-19-08, 08:57 AM
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Thanks

Thanks for the advice. I am only using 2x6's because I had them and I am doing this on a budget. I like the notch idea, what would be the best method to cut that out? Once cut, how many screws do you think would suffice to hold it all together.

Thanks!
 
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Old 09-20-08, 05:59 AM
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I personally cut these with a hand saw, but you can cut them partially with a circular saw then finish with a hand saw.
Chamfering the ends will make it more solid and give a professional look!
You could also rabbet your 2X6 about half inch.
Couple of screws on each side should do, provided the bottom is solid and will not move.
I suggest you use screws with those bolts that look like propellers and hold tight to the wood. Don't forget to put a washers before the screw.
It's too bad I can't attach graphics, would have been easier than wording it out
 
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Old 09-28-08, 08:34 PM
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Sounds like overkill to me.

If your loft is attached to two walls that means three corners are supported by the two walls. you only need one 4x4 in the last corner. I would use 4 lag bolts to attach the 2x6"s to teh 4x4. Two lags bolts per 2x6.

I would use 4" or 4 1/2" lag bolts 3/8" or 1/2" in diameter. Each lag bolt needs a washer. It will take an ox to move that post enough to bring down your loft. Not sure what kind floor the 4x4 post is resting one. However if you want to secure the base of the post, drill a 1/2" hole into the base of the 4x4 and a corresponding one in the floor. Insert a short piece of dowel rod betweeen the post and floor.

I wouldn't b other with notching hte 4x4, more trouble then its worth. Build a few loft beds and a few forts over the years. The key in your construction si the two walls. They will hold the bulk of the weight/load.

I would also use that 4x4 to support your railing. run it up past the bed frame so the railing has a place to anchor. That will add lateral support to the post and you wont have to worry about locking up the base of the post.
 
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