The Third Bunk

The Original Double Bunk Bed

The Original Double Bunk Bed

Way back in November of 2007 Susan and I built a pretty nifty bunk bed set for Leane and Richie’s two (at the time) Dudes.  Solid 2×6 timbers, and an indestructible frame design have stood the test of time…

Yeah, time… Cadence, that little blonde haired guy sitting on the top bunk is now in first grade, and that other little screamer, Kingston, is five years old.

Oh, and wait there’s a third little dude, Duke.  At 2-1/2 he’s all but outgrown the crib that he has been sleeping in.  So we decided to add a third bunk to the set.

Duke and Kingston - note the crib

Duke and Kingston – note the crib

A rough sketch of the plan

A rough sketch of the plan

As you can see from that photo, space is at a premium in the Dude’s bedroom so this was gonna take some crafty design ideas.  We considered lots of options, but in the end Leane had the winning idea.  Lower the existing top bunk down a few inches and then add a third bunk above where Duke’s crib currently sits.

I scratched out this rough drawing, and then me and the Dudes measured everything in the room at least 3 different times.

At that point it was off to the store to buy a stack of lumber.

Solid 2x6 construction

Solid 2×6 construction

My router jig for the ladder

My router jig for the ladder

Just like the original bunk beds I started assembling the third bunk in my garage.  I basically needed to build the whole thing, and then take it apart for transport.

It takes shape

It takes shape

As the pieces came together it became apparent that this baby was huge!  I had to build the whole thing just so I could lay out the new ladder.

Seven steps to the top

Seven steps to the top

Carpenter app

Carpenter app

I was delighted with the way the ladder came out.  Kingston and I used my iPhone app to get the exact angle of the original ladder (20.5 degrees) so I could match that on the new ladder.

As a slight upgrade to the new ladder (or Cadence’s ladder) I decided to rout out a small mortice for the stair treads to slide into.  It made for a really clean, perfectly tight fit once it was glued and screwed together.

The Paint Locker

The Paint Locker

Once I had it all assembled we took it apart and Suzie applied a few coats of polyurethane finish.  We bought a really nice mattress with a comfort top cushion for Cade’s new bunk.  Yep, this was gonna be a 3 way switch.  Each dude would be moving up to a new rack.

So with the bed all dissembled and loaded in our VW Camper van, Suzie and I headed down to the Dude’s house before first light.  We needed to get this baby built and have everything cleaned up in time for most of the crew to go to the ballet later that day.

Bubba and Richie remove the old ladder

Bubba and Richie remove the old ladder

Leane had almost everything out of the room when we got there so we jumped right into removing the original ladder and lowering the original top bunk.  The ladder would need to get trimmed down later to fit the new height of the bunk.

I got to say this project went super easy, thanks in no small part to having Richie and Leane there to help, and Grandma Suzie to help entertain the dudes (when they weren’t actually helping me).

Kingston was in and out of the operation all morning, and Duke was pretty much in on everything.

Suzie sending up my helper

Suzie sending up my helper

My helper

My helper

My other helper

My other helper

That’s my muscleman son-in-law, Richie holding up the world.

Get off there you slacker....

Get off there you slacker….

I’ll leave a blank space here____________________________________________ for the reader to fill in their own caption for this photo.  (feel free to share that in the comments section below).

Like Legos, but way bigger

Like Legos, but way bigger

Under the watchful eyes of our end-users the assembly continued.

Many hands make light work

Many hands make light work

I did have a special little surprise in store for Leane.  Many years before (in my past life as a SWAT guy) Leane was always eager to assist with our team training events.  Among the many scenarios she helped with, I think we had the most fun with the maritime boarding operations.  On one occasion our team was practicing boarding of a pair of derelict old tug boats that were moored in the Snohomish River.

The team boarding the tug

The team boarding the tug

Assaulting the wheelhouse

Assaulting the wheelhouse

Well, we both happened to notice a very cool brass plate affixed to the Captain’s stateroom door, and since the old tug was scheduled to be salvaged anyway…. we kind of “salvaged” that brass name plate.  It found it’s way to an obscure place on a wall in our guest room.  Until today!

The brass name plate

The brass name plate

The NEW Captain's Quarters

The NEW Captain’s Quarters

I think Leane was pleasantly surprised with the re-purposing of our maritime treasure, and certainly Cadence approved.

The Third Bunk in place

The Third Bunk in place

The Captain

The Captain

Well that’s about it for this little project.  Everything just dropped into place, almost as if we planned it.

Thanks for following along with our building project.

Kat

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About Jeff Katzer

Welcome friends. I'm a cyclist, hiker, motorbike rider, kayaker, photographer, videographer, ukulele player, snowshoer, XC skier, and BEST of all - a grandpa. Somewhere in that list above you'll find the theme of the Adventure Journal.
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4 Responses to The Third Bunk

  1. lara randalls says:

    I really enjoyed reading this, a very inspiring tale on so many levels ( no pun intended, well maybe a little). Great job and what a wonderful familyou all have.

  2. Bruce Bosman says:

    Very cool Grandpa Jeff. That SWAT photo takes me back.

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