Total material cost for this project, including hardware, bed base sabotaged from an old iron bedstead, and mattress from the same old bed was only about 175 quids, with about 110 quid on the wood itself.
All in all it took 2 days to build. I done the cutting and part assemblys myself on the first day, and on the second I had a friend help with the major assembly.
This bed is sturdy, thats for sure! Being an Engineer/Architect for a living makes you acutely aware of structures and strength, and I was paranoid that my girlfriend and I might plummet to our doom so I over engineered the thing somewhat... it is reasuringly solid though, and it is also wedged and packed off of the walls, thus it dosent move in the slightest, and no creaking either!
Step 1: Design
The main load bearing side beams are therefore 200mm x 25mm and span 2.75m, with a 50mm x 50mm rail glued and through bolted along the bottom edge for the bed base to sit on. The main uprights are 100mm x 100mm. I could have got away with 75mm x 75mm here, but opted for the chunkier material instead. Under bed clearance is 1.8m, and me being 1.85m tall I can generally get under it if I slouch a bit! My girlfriend is shorter at 1.65m and has loads of headroom. Clearance above the mattress was 700mm. I deemed this to be the best compromise between useable space beneath the bed and sleeping room above it. I would say 700mm is at the lower end of the comfortable above bed clearance for sleeping.
I wanted the bed to span a whole wall so that the legs would not intrude into the room. This requirement drove up the need for beefier structure as it spans more than a normal bed. It was also necessary for my nice big desk from Ikea to sit under the far end, as this would be the only available space for it - I was still storing it in my bathroom!!! What is also cool about having it next to my little hallway is that I will be able to put a 24" cheapo Ebay CRT telly up at the far end of the bed for bed time viewing.
So, with these requirements, I started drawing in Rhino. As the design evolved the calcs were influenced and I kept to the factor of 3 safety with 2 people rule as closely as possible. the final design looked like this... I'm pleased to say that this is almost exactly what was built.
Step 2: Find Materials and Equipment
24x M10 130mm Coach bolts
12x M8 75mm Coach bolts
Large penny washers for the above
Gripfill building adhesive
I also took the oppertunity to buy a new saw, just a standard saw, but with slightly finer teeth for a more finished cut. M10 and M8 new drill bitts also minimised the effort required from my puny battery drill! This and a few measuring tools and sandpaper were all that was required to begin the build... the next hurdle? Getting it all home! Fiesta to the rescue...
Step 3: Cut Everything to Length
Once the cuts were done I had a very small pile of offcuts - thanks go to the guy from the timber merchants for taking the time to ensure I had the right material for the job! I now had the lumber sitting ready for the next step...
Step 4: Part Assembly 1... the Long Rails
With the bolts in place and a dry fitting carried out to confirm that everything would be ok, I applied a bead of Gripfill into the gap between the two parts. I then proceeded to bolt down the support rails onto the long rails and torqued them up a bit. I then cleaned up the squeezeout. I marvelled at how strong the whole assembly seemed! The whole process was done twice for 2 long rails, and then they were set asside for a day to ensure that the adhesive had time to set up.
With Part assembly 1 out of the way, I could progress to Part assembly 2...
Step 5: Part Assembly 2... the Bed Ends
Once these 2 part assemblies were complete they were very heavy indeed - Reassuring me that the overall construction would be firm and sturdy.
Step 6: Major Assembly... the Tricky Bit
We cleared everything out from where the bed would finally reside and set the Bed end assemblys into their approximate locations. We then used the template and held up the long rail assemblies, marked and drilled everything and placed some bolts in them. We carried on in this fasion untill we had all four corners of the bed bolted up. We used 2 bolts on each corner of the long rails and 1 bolt on each corner of the security rails.
With the bed all together, we then lifted it into final positions and torqued the bolts up to final tightness. The bed was an impressive sight, and the ammount of floor space that had been reclaimed was instantly clear. I was pleased.
WE then proceeded to the next step...
Step 7: Bed Base and Mattress
We then got the mattress on and tried it with that. We were pleased to note that the dimensions as designed in Rhino were accurate, with the predicted 700mm above the mattress turning out to be 710mm! More is best... Also, under the bed worked out well with 1.8m under the long rails and 1.87 under the bed base, so standing headroom for me under the structure! Happy.
Next step? Bracing it off the walls.
Step 8: Bracing Off the Walls
Well, that concludes the structure and what I have done so far... the next step is to design a staircase/ladder up to the top deck.
Theres some finished photos in the next step.