Legs

The first step is an important one — making four sturdy legs out of 1'/¿"-thick stock. I chose maple for the bed, but even inexpensive "two-by" stock will work fine.

thrie parts. As you can see in the main drawing above and detail 'a,' each of the identical legs consists of three parts. A wide and a narrow leg piece are joined with a rabbet to form a right-angle section. This forms the inside surfaces of the leg.

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How-To: Add the Corner Pieces

Cut to Shape. The easiest and safest way to make the corner pieces is to first cut a 45° bevel on each edge of a wide blank.

Use a V-block. To glue and clamp the beveled corner pieces in place, I cradled the right angle assembly in sections of V-block.

Cut to Shape. The easiest and safest way to make the corner pieces is to first cut a 45° bevel on each edge of a wide blank.

Use a V-block. To glue and clamp the beveled corner pieces in place, I cradled the right angle assembly in sections of V-block.

narrow leg piece

narrow leg piece

The outside corner of each leg is filled with a beveled comer piece. This provides a flat surface for installing the carriage bolts used to fasten everything together.

There's one more detail to point out. Each leg has a pair of square notches on the inside corner. These notches will carry the weight of the two beefy frames you'll add later.

how-to, Making the legs is just a matter of doing things in the right order. First, I cut the wide and narrow leg pieces to size. Next comes the long rabbet in the wide leg pieces. Now, before assembing the two pieces, the support notches are created. I did this by using a dado blade to cut a pair of open notches across the rabbeted edge of the wide leg piece (detail 'b'). When the two leg pieces go together, you end up with a square notch, roundover. Once the right angle sections were glued up, I routed a roundover on the edges (details above). You won't be able to do this with the corner pieces in place.

adding the corners. Now, you can add the beveled corner pieces to the assemblies. The box at left will give you some help with this. You'll find more on the V-block I used to glue in the comers on page 33.

TOP SECTION VIEW

lower end rail

TOP SECTION VIEW

FIRST: Drill shank -\hole for bolts

NOTE: Clamp upper side rails side v by side second: Drill ' counterbore . on inside \ of rails

Vi'-dia. straight bit

Straightedge guides router

UPPER SIDE RAIL

"" Equal spacing

CORNER Rabbet BLOCK

lower side

CORNER BLOCK

LOWER END RAIL

©LOWER END RAIL

NOTE: Drill all holes before assembly

UPPER END RAIL

® NOTE: Upper and lower end rails are different length

Rabbet

NOTE: Comer blocks are glued in place

NOTE: RaiJs are VA" thick

- Rabbet provides clearance for ladder

NOTE: Rout rabbet in side rails (see below)

building the frames

TOP SECTION VIEW

lower end rail

TOP SECTION VIEW

chamfer

lower end rail

TOP SECTION VIEW

With the four legs as your foundation, you can start work on adding the first and second "floors." First, you're going to build a pair frames that will connect the legs into a solid assembly. The two frames are similar, but different enough that I took them on one at a time.

the upper frame. The upper frame consists of two long side rails and two end rails, as shown above. The ends of the side rails are rabbeted to hold the end rails (detail 'a'). Rather than trying to manhandle the side rails across a dado blade on the table saw, I made things easier by routing the rabbets. The box at right shows the details.

drill some holes. Before assembling the frame, you'll need to drill a series of holes and counterbores (box at right and detail 'a' above. These holes, spaced along all four frame pieces, are used to bolt railing brackets to the frame. Just note that the opening for the ladder makes the spacing of the holes on the front and back rails different.

add screws. Once all the holes are completed, you can use screws and glue to assemble the frame. This four-sided frame will determine the footprint of the bed, so doublecheck it for square.

To finish up, I added triangular corner blocks to the frame. These reinforce the frame and again, provide a flat surface for tightening down the carriage bolts.

lower frame. Besides the absent front rail, the lower frame has a couple of other differences. First, the two lower end rails are 1" longer. This allows them to seat in the notches in the front legs.

Before assembling the frame, you'll need to cut a rabbet in the front end of the rail at the foot of the bed to allow clearance for the ladder you'll build later (detail 'b'). And the end rail at the head of the bed is softened with a chamfer, as in detail 'c.' Finally, you'll need to drill holes for the screws used to attach the front end of the rails to the legs (details V and 'c').

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