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I am planning to make a bunk bed from two regular kids' beds and looking for ideas how to connect two bed legs so that the result would be aesthetically pleasing, as well as constructionally sound.

The beds are IKEA Gulliver: IKEA Gulliver Bed

I'm planning to stack them one on top of another, and use slates from Sultan Lade base (cut to about 1.5' length) to extend height (the slates are the same size as the legs: 2-3/4" x 3/4"): Sultan Lade Slated Bed Base

So, I'm trying to figure out how to connect the legs to slates without drilling too many holes and making it look nice. One option would be to attach aluminum C-channels (like The Hillman Group 4-ft L x 3/8-in W x 1/2-in H Aluminum Trim Channel) to the top and bottom of the slate extensions (screw them to the extensions and insert the channel into the bed legs; would also need to cut them to 2-3/4" size and drill holes for screws): Trim Channel

I'd also use something (metal strip?) to connect the parts at the back of the bed.

Another option would be to use metal plates to connect the legs from the wide sides (have two plates on both sides of the leg with holes at top and bottom and use connector bolts to attach them together). I think this option would be safer (since the connector will cover a wider area), but I cannot figure out where I can buy or get 2-3/4" wide metal (aluminum or steel) plates.

Yet, another option would be to find some 2-3/4"-wide lumber pieces long enough for the height of the final bunk bed and attach them to the legs (would still need to use connector pieces) with the connector bolts. This would probably be more structurally sound, but I'm not sure where to get the lumber of this particular size (local Lowes only carries 2-1/2" which will not look nice) and how much it'd cost (don't want to spend over $20-$30 on this project, not counting paint cost).

Any idea or suggestions? Many thanks.

P.S. In case anyone wonders why do this in the first place: I'd buy a regular bunk bed, but every bunk bed I saw was a twin size and we do not have room to place it. This child Gulliver bed is smaller than twin, and it's ideal for the location where I'd like to place it.

UPDATE:

Okay, I finally finished the project. Here is the unpainted assembled version to show which parts I added:

Assembled

And here is the final result:

Final assembly

And a detailed post explaining how I did it.

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    You would be better off making the bed frames from scratch. You can find plenty of bunk bed frame plans online made from dimensional lumber, just scale it down to fit the toddler mattresses. – diceless Sep 18 '15 at 21:19
  • I'm not sure I see why making the bed frames from scratch would be a better idea. Even if I had the tools, it would cost a lot more in materials and time. This seems to me like an interesting small project similar to what this guy did; ikeahackers.net/2014/01/…. I just need to find the right parts. – Alek Davis Sep 18 '15 at 22:48
  • Alek- Excellent work. The white color enhances and brightens the room. Well done. – ojait Nov 26 '15 at 17:08
  • How are the bolts secured? Acorn nut? Do they project into the bed space? – ojait Nov 26 '15 at 17:11
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    Is it stable? When you try to shake it what does it do? – ojait Nov 28 '15 at 0:25
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What I would do is attach a length of pine stock the same width (2 3/4) and thickness (3/4) to the inside of the each corner of the bottom bed, lift the top bed into position, and then install 4 more pieces of pine stock opposite the other four so as to sandwich the legs of the top in between.

  • Hmmm... I'm afraid this would look a bit weird: the legs will start normal thickness, then in the middle of the structure, it'll be 3x (with space in between, I assume), then it will be normal again. I guess, structurally this will be okay, but the look will not be good. Especially considering that there is a board in front and back that will require making cuts in the board. – Alek Davis Sep 19 '15 at 0:11
  • Actually, I think I did not understand your idea at first, but if this is what you meant, then this is what I'm actually planning to do. Insert 4 extension pieces to raise the top bed (these would be the same size, except length, as legs, i.e. 2-3/4x3/4). Then I'll attach four 1-1/2x3/4 boards inside to cover leg-extension-headboard boards. Need to make them a bit narrower to adjust for the horizontal board connecting front legs. I'll use connector bolts to screw pieces together. It'll make the leg inside a bit wider, but I'll not paint it white, so I think it'll look nice. Will post update. – Alek Davis Sep 19 '15 at 6:51
  • yes, I think we are discussing the same idea. Here is another way of saying the same idea: lift upper bed and place on lower beds posts. Place 2 sections of (1 x 3 ) 3/4 x 2 3/4 x 24 (or 36) inch pine so as to sandwich the bed uprights in between. Screw or carriage bolt through all three pieces. Install these "splints" at the four corners were the two beds are connecting. – ojait Sep 19 '15 at 13:53
  • Okay, I'll post a picture when I'm done, so we'll se how close we were. :-) Thanks for the suggestion. – Alek Davis Sep 19 '15 at 18:15
  • Posted results. – Alek Davis Nov 26 '15 at 21:34

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