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.
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
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.
Three problems here.
(1) "press fit" of steel into wood is very likely to be an occasion
the wood splitting wide open, if not today, in a few years when
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;
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.
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:
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.
Sounds like it's time for a jig (or at least a drill guide); the
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 ,
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,
face B into the upper leg).
Brad point or auger bits work well with guide bushings, Forstner
bits... not so much.
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.
"The potential difference between the top and bottom of a tree is the
reason why all trees have to be grounded..." -- Bored Borg on
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.
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.
On Mon, 01 Jun 2009 09:01:56 -0700,
In newsgroup "rec.woodworking",
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:
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