A(nother) GeekDad Builds A Cabin Bed

Geek Culture

Cabin Bed Plans, all pictures by Stuart TavenerCabin Bed Plans, all pictures by Stuart Tavener

Cabin Bed Plans, all pictures by Stuart Tavener

Back in 2010 I built a cabin bed for my daughter’s room (see the plans and build), then, when we launched the GeekDad Community, I reposted it as a project there too, and it even featured as part of our recent GeekDad Day package. I’ve had several people contact me about building it and think there are a few of them out there now, but reader Stuart Tavener is first person to send in a full set of photos of his version.

Routing grooves for the stepsRouting grooves for the steps

Routing grooves for the steps

Stuart has taken the original design and applied the “Adopt, Adapt and Improve” methodology in true GeekDad fashion, to create the perfect bed for his daughter. I really like the way he’s made the step section double-aspect and the extra storage cupboards next to the mattress are brilliant – I think I might have to dig out the power tools and add some of those to our version! Stuart (and his Father-in-law) are much better than me at this carpentry game – using a piece of software called MaxCut to optimise the number of pieces per MDF sheet and Sketchup to make a proper 3D model of the bed. And just look at those shots in the workshop – clamps, straight edges, routers – these guys are professionals! Stuart’s children even got to help with painting and some of the drilling and screwing too.

Stuart says:

We had been looking to buy something but nothing seemed to be just right, with side steps up to the top bed and maximized storage space in all areas. Not to mention the specific height under and above the bed to suit a growing (11 year old) daughter.

I measured and designed the bed in Sketchup, then used MaxCut2 to work out the cutting plans. It was all made with 18 and 12mm low emission MDF, Pre-cut by the timber yard and delivered – costing about £240 for 8 sheets.

We painted with primer and finished with quickdry white (eggshell texture which seems resistant to marks) using a foam roller for a near perfect smooth finish. It took 2 weeks to paint as we started when the weather was nice in March so we could paint it outside but then the weather turned cold and we had to paint it on the dining room table… slowly.

It was then all fitted together with a bit of tweaking using a rasp and some sandpaper, and fixed with screws. I found some neat screw head white plastic covers on ebay to finish it off.

I made it in 3 sections, top bed, steps and storage section. I had to add the H support as well bit we are planning to hang a folddown lap-desk on that bit soon.
The top bed drawers are the latest fix, found some torque hinges which slow down the movement of the top flaps so they don’t slam on your fingers.

The funniest bit was when I got a quote from a local furniture company to build it from the sketchup diagrams and they costed it at £9,500!!

Cost to build:
Wood £280 including timber H Support.
Lazarri storage and new duvet £200
Paint £100
Screws, hinges etc. £40
And a lot of time…

Total £620 and a very satisfied daughter with a bespoke bed. My son is after one now… so v2.0 might be on the way later.

Thanks so much for sharing your project Stuart and I hope your daughter enjoys her amazing new bed!

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