Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New home for loft bed plans

I recently received some great feedback on my original loft bed plans. To make them easier to find and navigate I have created a new, more permanent home, for the updated plans here:

Please reference this new location for the most up to date version of the plans. If you have your own contribution to this page or any other of my posts, please send them to me or add a comment. I really appreciate the feedback!

Also, I appreciate any linking to the plans. Spread the URL around!



Sunday, March 13, 2011

Pram build - Step 3 - Assembling bulkheads

Once the bulkheads are framed the next step is to actually mount them on the building jig. I used 1x4 planking to mount the bulkheads but anything of reasonable size can be used. I cut my planking to 2' but that's actually longer than required. 18" is probably lots for these.

The height of the bulkheads above the building jig isn't on the plans directly but can be derived from them. This took me a little bit of time to figure out initially. To save you the same effort, here are the table of values for these heights. The last column has the values of interest, the others are for reference. All measurements are in inches (and fractions of inches):

Here are the steps:

  • Install the 1x4 vertical boards at each station. Make sure that they are square to the jig. I offset the boards by 1/4" so that the bulkheads would sit exactly at the station mark.
  •  Next I installed a temporary baseline from end to end of the jig. This was used to validate my measurements against the plan measurements (since they are mostly done in relation to the baseline.) I used a simple piece of string strung between both ends at the baseline height (2' 21/2"). I also used this as a guide for centering the bulkheads as I mounted them.

  • I then marked on each of the verticals the height for that bulkhead. (using the values above)

  • I then mounted each of the bulkheads at the measured heights. I hung a plumb line off of the baseline in order to line up the bulkheads. 

Since the bulkheads and temporary molds are different sizes it makes the whole thing looked a little wonky when you get them mounted. I checked the overall shape by using a long thin piece of wood and laying it from end to end at various positions on the bulkheads. Everything seems to check out well. I did adjust bulkhead #2 down 1/4" to make sure it was fair. 

I'll cut off the extra bits of the vertical pieces once I've got my stringers in place. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Pram build - Step 3 - Cutout and frame bulkheads

I won't go into any detail around cutting out of the bulkheads. That's pretty straight forward.

The framing of the bulkheads provides a decision point. There are a few aspects of this that are unclear in the plans and description in the book.

If you look at sheet 1 on the plans, it looks like only the bulkheads have trim around them. This kind of makes sense to me since the other 2 are only forms for the building process. For now I have decided to not frame the #2 and #4 pieces until I see that its required.

The other thing that isn't clear at this point is how the keelson, chine and riser strips connect to the bulkheads. Looking at the bulkhead layout on sheet 1,  it kind of looks like the bulkheads are cut out to accommodate the strips. Once I get the bulkheads positions I will explore this some before cutting notches in my nice bulkheads. Inversely, it does not look like the temporary forms are notched in this way. That seems odd that one would be and the other isn't. Time will tell. I'll update this section once I figure out the right answer (or at least an answer that works for me!)

Framing the bulkheads is straight forward. The plans call for 7/8" x 7/8" spruce but I have 1x8 cedar planks available. I ripped these into 1" strips for use. The actual framing was a little finicky because of the odd angles but it worked out fine. Approximately 1 hour to frame the 3 bulkheads.

Elmer's P9406 Ultimate High Performance Glue 2-OunceRather than epoxy, I used Elmer's Ultimate Glue (Polyurethane) to fasten the framing to the bulkheads. This project is my first experience with using this glue instead of epoxy so we'll see how it goes. The glue gets good reviews and it is certainly cheaper and easier to work with then epoxy.

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