Loft Bed - Connecting Pins.

I am looking for four connecting pins for a loft bed which I am now constructing. The pins are use to attach the top section (bed) to the lower section (study table and book shelves) together.
The connection pins which are commonly use by loft bed manufacturers to assembly and disassemble the top and lower sections, what other methods can I use for the same purpose?
I need a strong "bolt" or connectors that are easily for assembling both section together without the fear the top section may fall off sometimes in the future. Any advices, suggestions or places I can buy the loft bed connector will be deeply appreciated.
Don
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<Don> wrote in message

I used to make those beds. And the industry standard was just a peice of round stock stuck into the bottom post. But the weight of the upper bunk usually held it in place fairly well. To make mine safer, I just made the round stock longer, both into the bottom and top post.
On other beds, I went to bigger posts or just made them from one post and attached the bed componenets to one post. But I was making big. solid beds and used bolts, lag screws, etc. Much more heavy duty than most folks tastes.
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On Mon, 1 Jun 2009 12:00:23 -0400, "Lee Michaels"

Since this the first time I am making the loft bed, I was not sure the round stock alone will hold the top bed section solidly on to the desk section below. While I was driving to hardware stores this morning and thinking about it, I came up with a great idea - Using four 1/2"X8" round stock for the connector. With four 1/2"X8" ID bushing ( tubing) press fit into the post ends. The 1/2" round stock will be sliding fit into the bushing. To hold the round rods firmly on to the press bushing, I will drill and tap two set screws on the bushing before I press fit it into the post.
I have order the round stock and tubing from Metal Supermarket which have a store near my house. I will have it in two days time. Should they are unable to get the right sizes (sliding fits) tubing and round stock, I will have to trust your experience, using four round steel stock as you have suggested, and maybe longer than 4" into the posts. Thank you for you help.

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On Jun 1, 4:23 pm, Don wrote:

Three problems here. (1) "press fit" of steel into wood is very likely to be an occasion for the wood splitting wide open, if not today, in a few years when its moisture content changes (2) the precision of the bored hole must be very high, because the bushing and rod stock aren't flexible enough to take on an angle (3) fitting all four posts at once will be a frustrating exercise; either the axis will be misaligned, or tilted, in four places.
I thought the "round stock" would be a 1" wood dowel.
Repair plates, or hinges (removable pin type, so one can detach), or a decorative wood lap plate, can make a positive connection if needed.
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wrote:
While waiting for the steel tube and round stock, preparing and trimming the lumbers nearer to the sizes I need., I have all the time thinking about it. Yes, you are correct with your assessment and did not give too much thought to it.

Yes and it will definitely split in a few years down the road.

This is more problematic than I anticipate. It's like drilling four holes for close alignment and distances somewhere 78" X 46" apart.. The lumber are not exactly flat and level. Even using floor standing drill press and correctly size forstner drill would be a nightmare.

I could easily fit the four bed posts into the respective holes first before I start tightening various loosely parts of the Loft bed, but than I would applying excessive stress after tightening and the bed would be "twisted" in some form or others.

I can't use 1" wood dowel as the posts sizes will be 4"X2", too little "meat" on the sides. I will still stick with 1/2" steel round stock, but will oversize the holes.

There are no need for mend plates, the book shelf, ladder, misalignment and etc will hold the two sections together. I search the Internet further and found all loft bed manufacturers use steel round stock and I am confident, if I am careful drilling the holes. I should have minimum problems.
BTW, The lumber I am using are four new unfinished doors I bought from Reuse Store two years ago. The materials is Maple.
Thanks for your warning and suggestion. It came timely before I cut all the parts to sizes. I would be in panicky stage as I had already booked the Uhaul trailer for the trip while I am make the bed.
Thanks again I really appreciate it.
A good link to free plan below:
http://www.oploftbed.com/plans/freebies/loftbeddimensions.pdf http://www.oploftbed.com/index.php
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Don,
Concerning the alignment of the holes/rods at each corner of the loft bed. I used to use a countersink bit on the top post to assist in aligning the holes at assembly. Also, if the holes don't align themselves at first, they rarely do, you just tap and gently coax the two halves together. The posts are easily supported by the steel pins. You just need to make the small adjustments for them to come together.
Also, when you layout the holes, make certain that they line up. Either build them precisely enough or drill the second set of holes after assembling the two halves. I did a wonderful job on a set of bunkbeds once and the holes did not line up. I had to build a replacement set of posts for the top bunk and drill the holes based on the actual location of the pins in the bottom bunk.
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wrote:


Sounds like it's time for a jig (or at least a drill guide); the original poster mentioned sleeve material for the pins, so it'd be easy to bore a block, glue the sleeves in to bush the holes, and drill for the pins as accurately as with a doweling jig.
I'd fix the block in an L section and clamp the L against the most visible faces of the leg. Drill the top and bottom legs in pairs , observing the jig is clamped against the same facets and in the same this-end-up orientation (i. e. drill into face A of the jig into the lower leg, but into face B into the upper leg).
Brad point or auger bits work well with guide bushings, Forstner bits... not so much.
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Don wrote in

I've got a loft style bed made with 2x4 support posts. The 2x4 post has been cut in half, and a dowel inserted between the two halves. It's like a mortise and loose tennon joint.
The rails are held in place with lag bolts, but I'd suggest using different hardware if the bed was to be disassembled regularly. One of those bolts that has a lag thread on one end and machine thread on the other would work.
Puckdropper
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On Mon, 01 Jun 2009 09:01:56 -0700, Don wrote:

The pins are used to prevent lateral movement and are not intended to resist withdrawal forces such as may occur if the piece is tilted at an extreme angle.
If you want a more positive connection, you can add a mending plate at the back, if the units come flush. This assumes that the piece is intended to sit against a wall and therefore has a hidden face so that the mending plates don't show.
If that is not the case, you can bed the pin in epoxy into the desk top, or use a hanger bolt and screw the lag portion into the desk top. Then you bore a hole at 90 degrees to the pin/bolt on the bed member and use a cap screw, or similar bolt, to provide a mechanical joint.
If you go this way, I would pilot hole the cap screw bore with a metal bit sized to provide a blind hole in the pin to receive the tip of the cap screw. This will ensure that you are not relying only on the pressure of the cap screw for withdrawal resistance.
There are wood threaded cap screws but a stronger solution is to use an insert with a regular machine thread cap screw.
Regards,
Tom Watson http://home.comcast.net/~tjwatson1 /
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A simple brass pin 3" long has served my kids bed very well for the last several years. I used brass as the wood is red oak. I bought a 1/4" rod at Ace hardware and cut it to length. Art
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Don wrote in

Something like this? http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?pageP91 &filter=bunk%20pin
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wrote:

I was looking at this, while searching for various parts for the loft bed. It would be hard to size it up as it does not give exact dimension for drilling the holes. Rockler have another part look similar. It would be safer for me to stick to 1/2" steel rod.
Thanks
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On Mon, 01 Jun 2009 09:01:56 -0700, In newsgroup "rec.woodworking",
Don wrote:

Hi Don,
I recently made my own set of bunk beds, and used 1/2" x 2" dowel pins, purchased at the local hardware store. I drilled a 1" deep hole in the center top of the lower bunk legs, and a 1" deep hole in the center bottom of the top bunk legs. The bottoms of the legs were themselves flat (3" x 3.5"). The bunks are also held together by the ladder, and are extremely solid. I've made detailed plans if you're interested: http://bit.ly/8s3xt5
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