Making Cat Or Dog Bunk Beds
Submitted by Keith on Friday 02/02/2018
Recently I found some pine bed slats and a broken double bed frame, and in this video I'm going to be making some bunk beds for cats or smallish dogs.
I previously designed and made some single versions of these beds which was an earlier video on my channel.
The slats had some straps attached with staples so the first job was to get those off
And I removed all the metal fittings.
The slats measured just shy of 1.4m in length and from that I decided what size to make the beds. I'd make the length 60cm so I could get two pieces out of each slat, and the width around 44 which would give me 3 pieces from each slat.
I cut the pieces to length using a stop block at the mitre station to get consistent cuts and I worked out I had enough to make two of the bunk beds.
And I kept all of the short offcuts to one side, as I could make use of them for the leg assembly later on.
I assembled the rectangles using glue and brad nails and a speed square to ensure that the corners were square, and these rectangles will later hold the mattresses
Next I started making the cuts for the leg assemblies and these were around be 70cm in length which would be the height of the bed, and with the pieces cut to length I offered them up.
Each leg would be made up of two layers of slats, a long piece on the outside and several short pieces on the inside, and here I'm offering them up to work out where to apply glue. Imagine this is the top of the leg and this is the bottom of the leg and these legs would form the headboard end of the bunk beds.
At the bottom of the leg there'd be a small offcut and then there'd be a space for width of the slat which the rectangles I'd already made will slot in to later and I'm using the same piece here rotated 90 degrees to get the right size, then there'd be a longer piece to seperate the two bunks and then the second rectangle piece, and above that would be a headboard which I'll add later so again i'm using an offcut to get the right spacing.
Then I could apply wood glue and nail on the bottom of the leg. I'm making sure that the pieces are level with my hands before nailing. The nails would be on the inside so they won't be very visible and I'll fill them later anyway.
Then I apply glue for the piece that seperates the bunks and use an offcut as a spacer again to get the spacing right before nailing. These nails are just to stop everything moving around but these glue joints wouldn't be particularly tight without something squeezing them together, so then I added clamps.
And started making the cuts for the legs at the footboard end of the bed.
I used my oscillating tool to cut the piece free and then squared up those cuts on the mitre saw before cutting the leg pieces to length.
I used a card scraper to remove the finish, and then I could glue up the assembly for the legs at the foot of the bed in the same way as I had done the head of the bed.
I clamped those up too this time using my vise.
The next job was to rip the edges of all of the legs clean at the tablesaw to remove the rounded edges on all the slats.
And if you're wondering why there's so much dust here, it's because I had pulled the hose off the tablesaw earlier and forgot to re-connect it - so the dust extraction is turned on, but it's not connected to the saw.... Which was pretty stupid and it took me a while to realise.
I could now add the rectangles to the leg assemblies and nail them in place.
And I added some wood filler to all the nail holes. This is actually oak filler but it's not a bad colour match for the pine - you can see that the holes almost disappear.
I had this piece of blockboard and I'd use this to cut some cleats to support the mattress in each of the rectangles, so I ripped some pieces to 20mm square.
I glued and nailed them in place and then added screws to re-enforce them and pull the joints together nice and tight.
For the bottom of each mattress I had some veneered particle board which I salvaged from an old wardrobe that was left by some bins so I ripped these to size so that they would fit inside the rectangles and be supported by the cleats.
This piece of pine was one of the sides of the bed frame, and it was long enough for me to make the head and footboards of the beds. First I needed to remove the cleats.
And unfortunately they were glued on so I used a hammer and a screw driver to pry them off - some pieces came off quite cleanly but in some areas the wood split and left a bit of a mess.
I then roughly marked up the pieces for length and cut them slightly oversized with a circular saw because the workpiece was too long to fit on my mitre station.
I could then clean up those rough circular saw cuts at the mitre station, set up a stop block and cut all the head and footboards to length.
Next I could clean them up with a hand plane. There was some tear out on a couple of these pieces, but I worked out that I could face the torn out faces at the footboard of the bed on the inside, so they would be hidden which was good...
When I offered up the head and footboards I decided to add a subtle curve for decoration, so I marked up where the curve would start and then marked up a curve free hand. I cut that out on the bandsaw following the line and then I could use the offcut as a template to mark up the opposite side and cut that out too.
I used a block plane to clean up those bandsaw cuts and also to refine the curve.
The headboards got glued and clamped on.
And I cut the same curves on to the footboards and glued those to the rectangles with the torn out faces facing inwards. I secured this with screws from the inside as these wouldn't be visible and it was quicker than clamping.
I ripped off the top part of the curtains which won't be needed. Then I could start upholstering.
I placed the foam on the fabric in one corner, and added the backing board.
Using my air stapler I first secured one of the short sides in the middle and then ripped the fabric to size. then I pulled the opposite side as tight as possible and secured it with staples in the middle too.
Then I did the same again but on the long sides.
And then I worked on the corners, pulling them tight, firing in a couple of staples and then folding the sides in as tight as possible. The more I do this the better I get at it, but I'm still great at it but here's how they looked when they were done.
Next I sanded the bed frames with my random orbit sander.
I decided to finish one of the beds with boiled linseed oil which brings out the grain really nicely and adds a warmer tone to the colour of the wood.
And the second bed I finished with some rustic pine Briwax, and this adds more of a brown colouring to the wood and brings out the grain a bit too.
After a few hours I could buff out the wax and the beds were done so I could add the mattresses.