Monday, April 23, 2012

Fail...Maybe not so bad

In the words of my son "FAIL." The Internet lied or maybe I have a different mattress.  I was so proud of the design and worked hard on making this bed come together nicely.  However I failed on several different fronts.

My son knows to measure twice and cut once
Screwing together the foot board
Adding the drawer glide rails
My son put all the screws in the holes and helped tighten them in
He was also the strength test
Have to check hiding spaces
Adding drawers and yes I was a little frustrated
Drawers pass quality check. 100  lb rated glides are a wonderful thing
Too bad the crawl space was filled with drawers

He wants an addition to his bed

 Was this project a complete waste, no.  It turned out nice despite the fact that I can not measure and follow my own design.
Completed bed with drawers showing

Sectioned drawers.  All three are the same
So here are the problems with the bed:
First I had originally built the bed upside down.  The thinner rail needed to be on the bottom and I put it on the top.  This error caused the drawer rails not to fit how they were designed.  The plan was to be able to disassemble the bed with the drawer glides in the rails.  This error was fixed but at a great cost.  Glue bonds are stronger than wood, so on disassembling the front of the bed chucks of wood were also removed.  The good thing is that all the damaged areas are not visible when the bed is assembled.
The mattress is two inches too narrow and two inches too short.  I designed this bed off of dimensions from the Internet.  So either the Internet lies (that is obvious) or I have mattress made for a trundle.  I think both statements are true.  The mattress is on loan to us currently.  So if anyone has a real twin that they would like to donate to us it would be much appreciated.  I am cheap.
Last major fail, the screws for the hardware are too short.  The drawer is supposed to have hardware and the screws are in, they just do not show through to the other side.  On one of the drawers I did not check be for I drilled it and it shifted 1/2 inch down.  Oh well I can fixed that problem too.

Now for the fun stuff.
The project was actually good for me.  I used some different methods to join wood.  For the most part, when I followed the drawings there was not very many problems on assembly.  All the parts came together and will come apart.  I probably should have protected the threaded insert when finishing.  Some of the screws needed a little more than gentle persuasion to go in.
Here are the specs.  All of the visible face material is pine.  It is cheap and works well for kid furniture.  If it gets ruined no big deal.  The drawer rails are out of beech and oak.  It was a long board I had which was not delegated to a project.  The drawer boxes are out of pre-finished plywood. A very cheap grade with one almost clean face.  Loved the stuff.  It had a nice smooth finish that I did not have to do.  It did tend to chip out on the cross cuts. I had to slow my cutting down a lot to keep the cut clean.  This was the best discovery of the project.
The part that I am most proud of is the ability to assemble and disassemble the bed.  All main rails and top and bottom are screwed into place using threaded inserts and screws.  There are 28 holes that had to line up perfectly.  Half were one size and the other half another size.  The header and footer holes had to line up with the holes on the sides.  All the drawer glide rails had to be at the same height so the assembly was universal.  For these 28 holes I probably sent upwards of two hours on setup.  This was not easy but it came out perfect.
Two drawers are mounted on 22" ball bearing glides and the middle drawer is mounted on 24" ball bearing glides. I have to admit I really like ball bearing glides.  They have a load rating of 100 lbs do they hold up to kids standing on them.
The plans did take some time to work up and figure out all the potential problems.  The fun thing was I was working in 3D space.  This allowed me to find out some of the problems before  I encountered them in the build. 

Plans are located two posts below this.


  1. Brad,
    I feel your pain. When I tried to put together my little computer desk, I glued in one piece backward. I then found out how strong the glue was and how weak the dowels were.
    When I converted my shell van to a camper van, I learned the last rule of carpentry...a good carpenter hides his mistakes.
    Congratulations on a job well done.
    By the way, the word is frugal, not cheap.

  2. Tuck the blanket in so you can see the beautiful drawers! Looks great, I like the slide addition. Can Kyle open the drawers, climb in, and then close them? or is he to big for that to happen? humm.....