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[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2002
1265 posts
351 upvotes
Oakville

Toddler house bed?

Anyone make one of these before? Image
Plans are here: https://www.thedesignconfidential.com/2 ... house-bed/

I was thinking of using 4x4s, but finding untreated 4x4s are tough, unless you go the cedar route which is $$$ (anyone know where to find cheaper 4x4's that are untreated?). I guess the other option would be to sister two 2x4s and adjust the plans as you're getting 3"x3.5", but aesthetically I dont think this would look good (rounded edges of the lumber would look bad when sistered together).

Basically, most of these that I've seen on the internet (they're all over the place if you look at pinterest and instagram) are using 2x4s, but any thoughts on how stable this would be? I figure a single 2x4 post would be wobbly once put together?
11 replies
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
1993 posts
1723 upvotes
GTA
I've never made this before, just normal-ish beds Crying Face

Anyways, if you want an inexpensive material that is easy to work with, go with pine. Its soft, but you're talking about using softwoods already, so I assume you're fine with that. If I had to guess, the bed in the above pic is made with pine.

Next up, 4x4s seems like extreme overkill. Unless you're going for a bulky look. If you only have access to 2x4 or 1.5x4 stock in pine, their edges are much more square, so you could glue them together.

In regards to stability, it all depends on what joinery you use. If you look at most bedframes now a days, their rails might be a 1x4-6 or something. Seeing as this is a toddler bed, regardless of what wood you use, it should be fine. Also, if you are going to do a raised on, lots of good options for bed hardware to join the sides.

Speaking about joiner, this one, and probably most of the ones you see on the interwebs are clearly done with pocket holes , you can see the hole plugs in this. All you need is a jig which you can get pretty cheap and the screws and you're off to the races. Probably much better/easier for someone to DIY compared to other joinery methods.

Where are you in Toronto specifically, I could probably point you in the right direction of a good lumber store.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22774 posts
21607 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
Think these house beds originated with Ikea
Not sure if they sell them anymore

The Ikea model had slats to raise the mattress a bit off the floor

Think that’s what I would want

If you are going to DIY it ...
I’d even go further, and build a full elevated base (like 8 or 10 inches off the floor)
Cuz honestly no one truly wants to sleep directly on the floor
Deal Addict
Nov 6, 2014
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Fairly easy to construct with some basic tools like a drill, a few clamps and a miter saw. The only specialty tool you'd need is a kreg pocket hole kit so you can make pocket holes and hide the fasteners. What you see in the picture appears to be sanded and likely routered. Contruction 2x4 are rough and unfinished and wouldn't look as nice as that without finishing the wood. I assume this is an indoor project for eventually a child and not for outdoor use?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2002
1265 posts
351 upvotes
Oakville
SubjectivelyObjective wrote: I've never made this before, just normal-ish beds Crying Face

Anyways, if you want an inexpensive material that is easy to work with, go with pine. Its soft, but you're talking about using softwoods already, so I assume you're fine with that. If I had to guess, the bed in the above pic is made with pine.

Next up, 4x4s seems like extreme overkill. Unless you're going for a bulky look. If you only have access to 2x4 or 1.5x4 stock in pine, their edges are much more square, so you could glue them together.

In regards to stability, it all depends on what joinery you use. If you look at most bedframes now a days, their rails might be a 1x4-6 or something. Seeing as this is a toddler bed, regardless of what wood you use, it should be fine. Also, if you are going to do a raised on, lots of good options for bed hardware to join the sides.

Speaking about joiner, this one, and probably most of the ones you see on the interwebs are clearly done with pocket holes , you can see the hole plugs in this. All you need is a jig which you can get pretty cheap and the screws and you're off to the races. Probably much better/easier for someone to DIY compared to other joinery methods.

Where are you in Toronto specifically, I could probably point you in the right direction of a good lumber store.
Thanks... I'll have another look at Homedepot to see what else they have in stock, hoping for something more square. But from all the responses so far, it looks like 2x4 is sufficient?
Personally, I prefer more of a square look, which is why I mentioned the 4x4 (havent seen any 3x3s sold).

The base or actual frame where the mattress will be in is just a simple box design. A bit different from the picture, but probably going to go with 2x6's all around. It's the posts that go up from the ground to the roof truss that I'm a bit concerned about. In my case, it'll be for a 2 year old, and if my baby gates are any indication, she's going to be pulling on these posts with all her might so worried about 'wobble'.

We actually moved from Toronto late last year to Oakville, just forgot to change my avatar. But if you know any good mills or lumber stores in the west end I'd love to hear about them.

And yeah, I've got a kreg jig, so familiar with pocket holes Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2002
1265 posts
351 upvotes
Oakville
PointsHubby wrote: Think these house beds originated with Ikea
Not sure if they sell them anymore

The Ikea model had slats to raise the mattress a bit off the floor

Think that’s what I would want

If you are going to DIY it ...
I’d even go further, and build a full elevated base (like 8 or 10 inches off the floor)
Cuz honestly no one truly wants to sleep directly on the floor
No, these are purposely at or to be very near the ground. They're meant for toddlers to transition from the crib (i've heard them refered to as 'montessori' beds as well). Even though I might add in a crib/rail guard, there's still the worry that she'll fall out so the intent is to be near the ground.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
11944 posts
7118 upvotes
Paris
Poplar is cheap as pine in rough cut and would easily do this. I’d go with 1x3 and glue it together.

What tools do you have? Most rough cut places will plane for a fee and it’s WAY cheaper than big box.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 17, 2002
1265 posts
351 upvotes
Oakville
Jerico wrote: Poplar is cheap as pine in rough cut and would easily do this. I’d go with 1x3 and glue it together.

What tools do you have? Most rough cut places will plane for a fee and it’s WAY cheaper than big box.
Not much... no table saw, jointer or planer. But yeah, seems like finding a real lumber store vs. Homedepot, lowes, or rona is the way to go.
Deal Expert
Feb 7, 2017
22774 posts
21607 upvotes
Eastern Ontario
KennyX wrote: No, these are purposely at or to be very near the ground. They're meant for toddlers to transition from the crib (i've heard them refered to as 'montessori' beds as well). Even though I might add in a crib/rail guard, there's still the worry that she'll fall out so the intent is to be near the ground.
Yes ... familiar with the concept of Toddler Beds.

But most of them are not just a case of sticking the mattress on the floor (which BTW is also the coldest / dampest place in a room).

The majority of Toddler Beds are designed so they are a distance off the floor ... so they mimic the experience of any other bed .. when a toddler sits on the edge of the bed their feet touch the floor.

The whole idea being that the child learns the parameters of sleeping in a bed ... so they don’t fall out. If the mattress is directly on the floor, then the message is lost, cuz a child will just squirm off it without any “consequence”

Lol, just ask any Daycare Centre that conducts nap time on floor mats.
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
1993 posts
1723 upvotes
GTA
KennyX wrote: Thanks... I'll have another look at Homedepot to see what else they have in stock, hoping for something more square. But from all the responses so far, it looks like 2x4 is sufficient?
Personally, I prefer more of a square look, which is why I mentioned the 4x4 (havent seen any 3x3s sold).

The base or actual frame where the mattress will be in is just a simple box design. A bit different from the picture, but probably going to go with 2x6's all around. It's the posts that go up from the ground to the roof truss that I'm a bit concerned about. In my case, it'll be for a 2 year old, and if my baby gates are any indication, she's going to be pulling on these posts with all her might so worried about 'wobble'.

We actually moved from Toronto late last year to Oakville, just forgot to change my avatar. But if you know any good mills or lumber stores in the west end I'd love to hear about them.

And yeah, I've got a kreg jig, so familiar with pocket holes Smiling Face With Open Mouth And Smiling Eyes
I'm sure you could get 2x2 pine from most stores. Sadly most of the stores I know are north/east of Toronto. I've heard good things about Exotic woods which is in your part of the woods, but may not be suited for the wood you're looking for, not sure.

2x6s is probably overkill, for a toddler bed you'd probably be fine with a 1x6, even with pine. Most of the beds I've built are usually 1x6 on the sides and then have a leg that probably tapers down for 2x2 or 7/4 x 7/4 to 1x1" or a bit bigger on the bottom. Granted these beds are made out of oak or walnut, which probably has about twice the bending strength of pine, but seeing as these are longer spans and support adults, pine should be more than fine for a toddler bed.

If you attach the 1x6s with a few pocket screws to 2x2 posts, the 2x2 posts will be quite sturdy. Also they can act as legs if you want so you can vary the height. Other than that, once you pocket screw everything else together, it should be pretty sturdy with 2x2s. The spans arent very long. If you have a router you could add a 1/8th round over to the members just so they dont have a sharp edge, could also just lightly sand them as well.
Deal Addict
Jun 26, 2019
1993 posts
1723 upvotes
GTA
KennyX wrote: Not much... no table saw, jointer or planer. But yeah, seems like finding a real lumber store vs. Homedepot, lowes, or rona is the way to go.
I'd go with poplar if I were painting it, I'd probably stick with pine if you want the wood look.

Exotic woods is probably your best bet west end. Other than that Central Fairbanks Lumber is probably closest one I can think of in vaughan.

All things considered, if your HD/Lowes has 2x2 Pine, and you can go sort through it and pick out to straighter ones, might just be easier/cheaper to go that route.
Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
11944 posts
7118 upvotes
Paris
Brant custom wood just the other side of Hamilton. 30 mins from you at most. They plane and will saw down to whatever sizes you want.

I love stained poplar. It’s such an under rated wood. Good power to weight ratio. Easy enough to tool. And cheap like clear pine.

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