Picture of Big Sturdy Loft
For my weekend project, I built a big 8'x8'x7' loft from scratch in my apartment. I'll walk you through the process, garnishing the instruction meal with appetizing quips.
(and remember: Art is Wrong!
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Step 1: What yer gonna do...

Picture of What yer gonna do...
So, this instructable is the epic saga of the construction of my new mighty loft at Fort Art=Wrong. It's longish, because I tried to take incredibly detailed pictures at every step of the construction, and after reading it, hopefully you can be a hero! Or at least build a loft...
(but you'll always be a hero in my heart)

(what am I talking about????)

(you can click the _next_ button now)

Step 2: Disclaimerish bit

Picture of Disclaimerish bit
So, listen:
I want to impress on you two fundamental truths of the universe:

(1) There are two main schools of carpentry.
(2) I'm in the wrong one

I have no idea what I'm doing, I just make it up as I go along. What I did worked well for me, which is why I'm posting it. However, throughout this entire process, I had no idea what I was doing, and pretty much just camped out in my apartment for a weekend with a circ saw and a drill until something turned out right. What I'm trying to say is--don't take this instructable as holy writ. Change my steps! Experiment with your own structures and braces! Dance to your own whatever.

And oh yeah--good luck!
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Boppylop2 years ago
AWESOMENESS! We're moving to a new house at the end of the year, and I wanted to do something cool with my room...
dimtick3 years ago
this comment is coming late to the game. probably been said before in all the other comments but i don't have time to go thru them. sorry if this is a repeat.
your joints are a little over complicated. instead of using 2x4's for the perimiter, use 2x6's. 2x6 gives you room for 2 carrage bolts and eliminates the need for the diagonal braces. use 1/4" diameter bolts. they're more than strong enough and easier to work with than 1/2" bolts. if you notch the 2x6's into the 4x4 posts then you don't need bolts. (3) 2 1/2" screws in each joint will be more than strong enough. to notch the 4x4 simply set your circular saw to 1 1/2" depth. lay the 2x6 on the 4x4 and mark the top and bottom edge. make a series of cuts with the circular saw at about 1/2" spacing then wack out the scrap with a hammer. see photo. at first it seems hard but it's really a very simple joint. it's very strong because all the loads are transferred directly to the post, eliminating the need for carrage bolts, and it's very stable and wont wobble.

you can still use 2x4's to support the plywood platfform. instead of doing the middle cross pieces, simply run (2) 2x4's together that will support the plywood edge. for each plywood should have a 2x around the edge and (2) intermediates (16" o.c.). so you need a total of (4) 2x6's and (6) 2x4's.

since this was posted in 2006 i'm sure that this loft is long gone and you guys have moved on with your lives. i wanted to comment anyway so anyone else planning on a loft may find the comment helpful.

another trick is to screw leveling feet into each 4x4 post. it'll keep the post from damaging the floor. with older buildings (and far to many new ones) the floors aren't level so the feet will help to stabalize the loft.

I decided to make a smaller loft, similar to some others I found here on Instructables, but used your clever notching process to rather good effect. I put the notches two feet down a 4x4 post, and since I measured carefully, the 2x6 fits snugly into the notch, wedged in top and bottom, with a carriage both to secure it! Built this for my kids to occupy when they come stay with me. They're going to LOVE it, thanks to you! Thank you, and thank the OP!
Kelp_horse3 years ago
I envy your high ceilings.
lingg3 years ago
The idea of building a structure within a rented room makes sense. Instead of fixing up the landlord's space, focus on your cube. you could add hammocks, hanging chairs, shelves, fold out table, a projector for your flicks on a screen that doubles as a space divider. When evicted or exiled, disassemble like a yurt for the next rental/squat.
patron_zero3 years ago
Nicely done project !

Back in my college days I built many similar structures, may I suggest the inclusion of deck-joist hanger type hardware to enhance the strength of the joins and assure the true alignment of such.
howDoIt3 years ago
youre right about the picture, it helped a lot. thank you!
heidioc3 years ago
how much did all of this cost you, approximately?
heidioc3 years ago
love your sense of humor, dude. Thanks for the book cover.
triumphman3 years ago
I built one of these in my Apt. in Burlington, Vermont. I think I used 6x6 upright beams.Not sure though. Too long ago. It was a smokey time in the 70's. Nice job. Love your bicycle transport thingy. How far did you have to go from the Lumber yard to your place ? Cool, that's saving gas and getting exersize at the same time! Awesome dude!
lady tradey4 years ago
love your style - this loft bed totally rocks! and of course you gotta have good music to listen to while you do a project like this.

also, love that you have your bits of wood lying on your mattress as you prep for building -
unless people have lived in TINY or awkward spaces they have no idea how there's no space while you're building something that will give you more space!

you've inspired me- I CAN make my tiny little room into a bedroom!

thank you
blaineak5 years ago
correct  2x4s and 4x4s  and 1x6s and 2x12s  are never actually those dimensions,  they used to be but they are not any more,  it has something to do with the finishing process,  it is so they wont rot or bow as quickly if i am not mistaken
shooby blaineak4 years ago
Correct. Initially, members are cut true to their dimensions. The fresh (wet) wood needs to be cured (dried) however, which results in warping, bending, bowing, etc. After this has occurred, the members are planed into more techtonically agreeable forms.

Site note: The difference between the nominal and actual dimensions of lumber is increasing (in the U.S.) because we've used up all of our good quality wood. As a result, we now use wood that grows faster so it is cheaper but not as strong, and deforms more severely when curing.
OruKun4 years ago
you made your bike trailer too....NICE!!!!!!!!!
naomi14314 years ago
Ah! I have that chair in a wavy gray. Got it at the thrift store for $6. Love it. :)
zigzagchris4 years ago
hmm if my room wasnt 5 feet tall at the walls this would be awesome
StuNutt4 years ago
THAT bike is NOT pink!

(did you paint the bike during the same weekend ;) ?
prank (author)  StuNutt4 years ago
two different bikes, yo!
StuNutt4 years ago

Can that bird in the picture ride a bike-trailer?
StuNutt4 years ago
That's sooooo PINK!
c3r44 years ago
that really is one weird as hell bike...
Milwaukee FTW!!!
It looks like you put the bolt on one end through horizontally and on the other end vertically. I think the brace would be stronger if you could put both in horizontally. But to do this you would need to have the surfaces where the brace attaches be in the same vertical plane, which is where the suggestion about recessing the stalks into the trunks someone made on a previous page would come in handy.
lunarman525 years ago
how sturdy is it

This is awesome. You are hysterical also, I love you! Thank you for posting this.
mishnish5 years ago
What about a guy with no arms and legs under a bundle of leaves?

toprope5 years ago
You could eliminate a lot of possible "racking", boards twisting around the bolts, by making several cuts in the 4x4 w/circular saw, 1 1/2 inches deep and the width of 2x4. Then with a chisel and hammer, remove the cut pieces. It sounds very involved but is very simple and makes for a much stronger connection. Basically you are recessing the 2x4 into the 4x4. For a cleaner look without much trouble you could drill some holes that would let you recess the bolts into the 4x4 and 2x4.
This thing is seriously built, if it's in a position where it CAN rack it's already breaking.
chavhaha5 years ago
Your cuts would be square if you used a miter/table saw, but if it was a hand-held circ. they probably weren't.
When I built my loft, instead of 4x4's which are expensive, I nailed 2- 2x4's together, back to back. As far as being smaller then 2"x 4", I heard that is how big the lumber is when it is cut at the mill, but shrinks when dried prior to shipment. Or so I heard.
Does it actually work, cause if so i may try it...
Dr.Bill5 years ago
thanks for all your ideas. i need to do this to my place in Hawai'i.
MarcusAvery5 years ago
This rocks! But I have to ask. . .Do you rent or own? If I did this in my apartment I would get evicted!
Evicted over a lightweight piece of furniture? Or did I miss some alterations to the building in the instructable?
scouttster5 years ago
Nice pic.. I cant tell if its a real seal or a bronze statue... Great pic!
RoyalPayne5 years ago
No monkey, I prefer the seal.
man ray5 years ago
hahahahaha a drag
Your sense of humor is nowhere near as good as you think it is, man. The loft owns and you did a great job documenting it but PLEASE don't try to be funny in your future instructables! It is painful to look at.
I thought it made it better, so screw you.
prank (author)  WhoTookMudshark5 years ago
thank you for your feedback. I'll pass it on to the customer relations department and make sure they take it into account in all future endeavors
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