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Cabin bed build ~ part 1

Category: Barn Conversion Journal December 22nd, 2011 by mbc

With plans in place, some success under my belt and a enthusiasm for cutting wood(!) I recently started work on a cabin bed for the second bedroom in the barn. The cabin bed build was a part of a larger project that included boxing-in the large thermal water store and all the associated pipe work, pumps and control boxes. For clarity, I’ll focus on the cabin bed in these posts and cover the boxing-in elsewhere.

I based my plans on some that I found on the web that I’ve since lost and in reality pretty much disregarded, but they gave me a start in terms of basic structure and materials. If I find the source of those plans I post a link later on. The basic structure is constructed from 4×2’s (or 95x44mm’s as they’ve become under the pressure of ‘de-imperialisation’), with the timbers mainly doubled up for strength. The bed frame itself is a 3’8″ by 6’6″ rectangular box – sized as such to easily accommodate a standard 3’x6’3″ mattress (mattresses still coming from a world in which the sun still never sets on the British empire). The bed sits between two full height frames.

I started construction with the two end frames. Both have similar dimensions, one being slightly shorter than the other to cope with the slightly differing ceiling heights on each side of the original roof beam. The two frames are shaped to fit into the sloped roofed.

The first end frame ~ From Barn Conversion 2011
From Barn Conversion 2011

I made three equally sized rectangles, screwed together two of them to form the top of the bed and then raised the top on legs again made from doubled up 4×2’s. All the doubled-up sections were screwed together. Most of the joins are screwed – either straight through from the face or using angled pocket hole joints. I also used metal brackets as the basis (to hold the timbers in place before face or angled screwing) and to strengthen some of the hidden joins.

From Barn Conversion 2011

I could have used far stronger and fancier joints than I did in assembling the bed. Dovetail or dado joints, would have given a more satisfying, ‘correct’ solution, but I was keen to get this build on track and complete it quickly and efficiently. Given more time I’d definitely go the more ‘correct’ route.

I then fixed the slats across the top of the bed frame on which the mattress will sit. These were simply cut to size and screwed in place with a appropriate gap between each.

From there, I fitted the cupboard doors to the front-face of the bed base. The doors are Shaker style doors bought online from Doors-Sincerely and although pricey I’m really pleased with them. The predrilled hinge holes have made them easy to fit. There is a little damage to one of the larger doors, but that is the risk of buying online and getting things delivered and it’s easily remedied.

From Barn Conversion 2011

In part 2 I go on to assemble these parts into something resembling a bed…

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Building Progress ~ November 2011

Category: Barn Conversion Journal December 12th, 2011 by mbc

We completed the fencing around the shed in November – the gate latches and catches are all in place. It will certainly be an improvement when the field next gets residents. After much trial and error and eventually giving up only to find it was fixed, I got the satellite dish back into action.

The tile-topped boxing-in in the bathroom (wooden frames, with painted sides and a slate and mosaic tiled top) has stalled. I’ve built all the constituent parts and I now just need to get the impetus up to assemble and finish. The reason for my distraction has been my deviation to the world of wood…

I’ve already written quite alot about my fledgling forays into carpentry. Suffice to say that my first project was to build some shelving to fit in the under-the-stairs area and that came out pretty well even if I do say so myself – under the stairs shelves. The second project, started in the last couple of weeks of the month has been to box in the thermal store and build a cabin bed in the second bedroom. I’ve drawn up plans and made pretty good progress having made a start on the base of the bed and the two large frames that will form the ends of the cabin bed. More on this soon…

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Cabin bed – plans

Category: Barn Conversion Journal November 30th, 2011 by mbc

So with the ability to build shelves firmly under my wing (or rather under my stairs) I started on my second carpentry challenge, to – Box in the thermal store and build a cabin bed in the second bedroom. Basically, to enclose everything on the other side of the internal door shown on this photograph…

From Barn Conversion 2011

This is a much more involved job than my simple shelves. As I’ve previously described itThe cabin bed will run along the length of wall … with wardrobe doors on the left to allow access to the tank then the entrance to the bed to the right of that … the header tank that sits above the door and the poor positioning of the roof-light in relation to the main tank are going to make boxing in tidily very challenging“. In effect I’m boxing in the whole of one wall – full height cupboards on the left and a raised cabin bed with shelves underneath to the right.

I thought plans were in order but nothing too complex as I was bearing in mind this quotation…

“It took more brain to put it together than to invent it, I allow.”

Robert, page 106, The Worm Forgives The Plough, John Stewart Collis.

…I knew I didn’t want to over-plan or over-design. The devil was always going to be in detail with this build. So I measured extensively and drew up my plans, always bearing in mind that the hard work was yet to come.

The main plans, on the right page of the first photograph below are the most important as they layout the full face of the cupboards and bed. The rest are my various scribblings, workings and notes.

From Barn Conversion 2011
From Barn Conversion 2011

The main structure will be built with 4×2 timber sourced from a local building supplier – better quality and cheaper than the usual DIY stores. There is some variance in the size of the wood, it’s somewhere around 44mm by 96mm give or take a milimetre or two. But there’s a good mix and it’s pretty easy to marry up similarly sized pieces – I’ll double-up the timbers in the main structure for added strength.

I also ordered shaker style doors, (a full height pair to enclose the thermal store and a smaller pair for under the cabin bed) from this company – Doors Sincerely. They are due to be delivered today so more on them shortly.

The cabin bed will be built as one piece. A solid rectangular box with a sloping top to allow for the sloping roof. Cupboard doors on a basic frame will hide away the thermal store. I then need to think of a clever way to bring the two together semi-permanently – to make it look like a single unit across the whole of one side of the room, whilst retaining the ability to move the bed out of the way to allow full access to the thermal store and associated equipment. That’s where I get into “It took more brain to put it together than to invent it” thinking.

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Before #5… Second Bedroom, phase 2

Category: Barn Conversion Journal October 28th, 2011 by mbc

I’ve posted before and after pictures for the second bedroom previously, but I’m considering the boxing-in of the water tank and building of a cabin bed as a second phase of development in its own right.

From Barn Conversion 2011
From Barn Conversion 2011

I’m afraid that it’s pretty messy in there as it’s still being used as a dumping ground. The cabin bed will run along the length of wall shown in the second photograph with wardrobe doors on the left to allow access to the tank then the entrance to the bed to the right of that, about where the chequered throw covered box is now. As you can see, the header tank that sits above the door and the poor positioning of the roof-light in relation to the main tank are going to make boxing in tidily very challenging…

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Progress

Autumn 2013

Right that’s the summer over with, now I can get on with some real work without the distractions of other things (like holidays and playing with children, all that enjoyable stuff that gets in the way of progress)… With few major jobs (painting, boxing in – nasty stuff!) left inside, mainly fiddly things that need […]

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