When space is limited, you need to maximize what's available and a free-standing loft bed can help accomplish that task. By adding a light source on the bottom of the bed, you're set to study or lounge as you please.
Pipe and Wood Loft Bed
An industrial loft bed not only gives your room that rough and tumble feel but the pipes provide a means to camouflage the wires to power your lights and portables.
Fittings for Whole Project
Heavy-duty Kee Klamp fittings provide a great and easy way to construct just about any project and with powder coated colors and styles you can really make a statement. These items are used throughout your building project.
- 5 - 1" wall flanges (68-6)
- 5 - 1" flanges (61-6)
- 8 - 1" single socket tees (10-6)
- 4 - 1" 90 degree elbows (15-6)
- 5 - 1" plastic plugs (133-6)
- 39 - 1" set screws (97-6)
Gather your tools before you start so they are available when you need them.
- Circular saw
- Power miter saw
- Drill with bits
- Router with bits
- Orbital sander
- Allen wrenches
- Wire cutter/stripper
- Razor knife
Bed Frame Materials
Check the plans to the right to see how the letters fit together in the final project. Refer to the various stages in the plans as needed.
- 2 - plywood planks 76" x 12" x ½" (A)
- 4 - plywood planks 40" x 12" x ½" (B)
- 2 - plywood planks 12" x 10" x ½" (C)
- 2 - plywood planks 10" x 6" x ½" (D)
- 1 - plywood plank 40" x 10" x ½" (E)
- 5 - boards 2" x 4" x 39 ½" long (F)
- 4 - 1" pipe sections 10 13/16" long (G)
- 4 - 1" pipe sections 11 11/16" long (H)
- 4 - 1" pipe sections 64 3/16" long (J)
- 2 - 1" pipe sections 40 9/16" long (K)
- 2 - 1" pipe sections 52 7/8" long (L)
- 1 - 1" pipe section 66 1/8" long (M)
- 2 - thin plywood sheet 75" x 39" x 5mm (N)
- 1 - thin plywood sheet 39" x 9" x 5mm (P)
- #8 x 1 ½" flat head wood screws
Bed Frame Instructions
- Use the router to cut 1/2" wide notches 1/8" deep on both ends of boards A to fit two boards B.
- Cut 1/8" deep notches 13-7/8" apart and 1" from the bottom on board A to fit boards F.
- Drill two screw holes for each notch and one 3/4" hole in center 1" from bottom edge of head board B for cord.
- Assemble bed frame with wood screws.
- Make four marks on outside of boards A, 10" from edge and 4 13/16" from top. Mark one on base board B 12" from edge and 4 1/8" from top for wall flanges (68-6).
- Place frame on level surface and align center top of wall flange (68-6) to mark.
- Feed one pipe section G through fitting and use level to true flange. Mark holes. Repeat for all wall flanges.
- Drill each marked hole through for wall flange bolts, and one 3/8" hole behind pipe placement closest to outlet for cord access. Set aside.
Light Box Materials
- 1 - 2 gang flush mount wall switch
- 4 - 6" ultrathin LED lights
- 80 grit sandpaper
- Wood filler
- Wood stain
- 00 grade steel wool
Light Box Instructions
- On remaining boards B, use router to cut 1/2" wide notches 1/8" deep on both ends for boards C, cut lengthwise 6" from top for board E, and 8" from both sides cut from top to intercept E notch for boards D.
- Drill two screw holes for each notch and one 3/4" hole in center 1" from bottom edge of base board B for cord.
- Use light switch template to mark one board C 2-5/8" from side and 1-15/16" from bottom for switch
- Use LED light template to mark two holes in board E and check fit in light box. Adjust marks if needed.
- Use jigsaw to cut holes for LED lights and switch. Assemble light box with wood screws.
- Mark two LED light holes on board N, 20" from side and 20" from both ends. Check fit in frame and adjust if needed. Cut holes with jigsaw.
- Align light box to bed frame, clamp together, and drill 2 through holes for bolts 3" from top and 4" from both ends. Sand, stain, and lacquer both pieces and boards N and P.
- 4 - 4" corner braces
- 2 - 3" x 7" strap ties
- 2 - 7" x 9" custom light panels
- 1 - 15 amp outlet plug
- 1 - 25 feet 14/3 electrical cord
- #10 x 1" button head wood screws
- 2 - 7/16" x 2" -14 bolts
- 15 - 7/16" x 1" -14 bolts
- 17 - 7/16" -14 locknuts
- 17 - 7/16" washers
- Foam tape
If you aren't comfortable wiring power to your switches and lights, please seek help. The included LED and switch boxes will contain any electrical shorts but it's never a bad idea to have someone else check your work.
- Attach all wall flanges (68-6) to bed frame with 1" long bolts and hardware, and attach one pipe J covering cord access hole in bed frame.
- Mark access hole on one pipe J and drill two 3/8" holes in pipe for cord access. One at upper bed frame mark and one at bottom for floor outlet access.
- Pull cord through custom J pipe and into bed frame, raise bed on remaining J side pipes. Check frame level and trim pipes if necessary. Place end flanges (61-6), stabilizing fittings (10-6), and pipes K on pipes J and secure all junctions with set screws (97-6).
- Install two LED lights and switch into light box openings, and two LED lights into board N openings. Use 2" long bolts, washers, and nuts to attach lightbox to bed frame.
- Pull cord through bed frame to lightbox and attach to switch. Run one switch to light box LEDs and other switch to bed frame LED positions.
- Use button head screws to secure strap ties to joining edge of lightbox and bed for support of boards N and P.
- Set board P on strap ties and fit into opening under lightbox, trim if necessary. Secure P with corner brackets and button screws.
- Set board N on strap ties and fit into opening under bed frame, trim if necessary. Wire LEDs into cord from switch and secure board N with corner brackets and button head screws.
- Build bed railings with pipes G, L, and fittings (15-6) and secure into top of side wall flanges (68-6). Secure with set screws (97-6).
- Build ladder with pipes H, M, and fittings (10-6) and install into base bed flange (68-6). Secure with set screws (97-6) and fill open pipe ends with plastic plugs (133-6).
- Attach outlet plug to cord end with strippers and screwdrivers. Use foam tape to create subset supports in lightbox LED openings and set light panels on tape.
- Place unfinished board N on top of boards F and place twin mattress top.
- Plug in bed frame and enjoy!
Know What Elevated Frame Is Best for You
With an elevated bed you maximize the small areas in your home but certain criteria of your bed frame could make for more room or convenient removal. Using a wall for three points of contact minimizes the floor space taken by legs and shrinks the footprint overall, but many problems arise if you are renting the space.
Wall damage is the most prevalent problem because of paint scratches and screw holes but serious damage and injury could result from poor installation or unknown wall composition. Rotten or previously damaged studs could be hidden behind the drywall and with a self sustained bed you can inspect every angle before climbing aboard.
If the industrial look of a pipe bed isn't for you, then check out these options:
- Ana White has a simple and fun style for young children that's just right for their height.
- Lowe's helps you set up a colorful bed for your child using easy to cut fiberboard.
- At Instructables, Uptonb has a VW microbus play bunk that looks fun.
- Paul's Playhouses has a free design plan for a bench and bed combo that could suit an adult as well as a child.
Love the Bed You Build
Contrary to belief, building yourself usually isn't less expensive than buying new, but the longevity, gratification, and sense of accomplishment is worth every penny. You're sure to love the bed you build yourself more than anything you could buy in a store.