Cabin bed build ~ part 1

With plans in place, some success under my belt and a enthusiasm for cutting wood(!) I recently started work on a cabin bed for the second bedroom in the barn. The cabin bed build was a part of a larger project that included boxing-in the large thermal water store and all the associated pipe work, pumps and control boxes. For clarity, I’ll focus on the cabin bed in these posts and cover the boxing-in elsewhere.

I based my plans on some that I found on the web that I’ve since lost and in reality pretty much disregarded, but they gave me a start in terms of basic structure and materials. If I find the source of those plans I post a link later on. The basic structure is constructed from 4×2’s (or 95x44mm’s as they’ve become under the pressure of ‘de-imperialisation’), with the timbers mainly doubled up for strength. The bed frame itself is a 3’8″ by 6’6″ rectangular box – sized as such to easily accommodate a standard 3’x6’3″ mattress (mattresses still coming from a world in which the sun still never sets on the British empire). The bed sits between two full height frames.

I started construction with the two end frames. Both have similar dimensions, one being slightly shorter than the other to cope with the slightly differing ceiling heights on each side of the original roof beam. The two frames are shaped to fit into the sloped roofed.

The first end frame ~ From Barn Conversion 2011
From Barn Conversion 2011

I made three equally sized rectangles, screwed together two of them to form the top of the bed and then raised the top on legs again made from doubled up 4×2’s. All the doubled-up sections were screwed together. Most of the joins are screwed – either straight through from the face or using angled pocket hole joints. I also used metal brackets as the basis (to hold the timbers in place before face or angled screwing) and to strengthen some of the hidden joins.

From Barn Conversion 2011

I could have used far stronger and fancier joints than I did in assembling the bed. Dovetail or dado joints, would have given a more satisfying, ‘correct’ solution, but I was keen to get this build on track and complete it quickly and efficiently. Given more time I’d definitely go the more ‘correct’ route.

I then fixed the slats across the top of the bed frame on which the mattress will sit. These were simply cut to size and screwed in place with a appropriate gap between each.

From there, I fitted the cupboard doors to the front-face of the bed base. The doors are Shaker style doors bought online from Doors-Sincerely and although pricey I’m really pleased with them. The predrilled hinge holes have made them easy to fit. There is a little damage to one of the larger doors, but that is the risk of buying online and getting things delivered and it’s easily remedied.

From Barn Conversion 2011

In part 2 I go on to assemble these parts into something resembling a bed…






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