Midnight Woodworking


Built-in beds – part 2

To assemble the drawers, I apply glue to the ends of the 3/4″ plywood that will be my side pieces.

I use a clamping block in the corner to hold the corner square at 90°, then pre-drill and counter-sink the screw holes.

Next, I attach (3) 1-5/8″ wood screws down each side. The glue will hold the drawer together but the screws add additional strength which helps when kids stand on them… A drawer face will be attached later so the screws are not visible.

After three sides are assembled, I can slide the bottom piece into place.

Then attach the final piece with both clamping blocks and then screw on the final end.

The ends are 1/2″, but the sides are 3/4″. The 3/4″ sides allow me a bit more structure to screw into without splitting the plywood. The 3/4″ is also thick enough for the screws on the drawer slide. If I used 1/2″ on the sides, the screws might poke through.

After a couple of hours of fun, I have ten drawers.

Time to start assembling the bed carcasses.

I apply glue to all three sides of the dados and insert the center drawer dividers, then hold them in place with a few 2″ brad nails.

After setting the center assembly flat on the floor, I can counter-sink and attach with more screws.

This process is then repeated with the sides as well.

Then, using a couple of 6″ blocks to hold up the back piece, I apply glue and screw it on as well. The 6″ gap left below is to accommodate the base trim along the wall so that the bed can be pushed all the way up against the wall.

One carcass down, three to go.

After those are assembled, I start ripping down the pine boards for the drawer faces.

I am using clear (knot-free) pine boards for the faces so that they will be clear and smooth for painting or staining if preferred.

After cutting them all down to size, I set them aside and move on to the face frame.

For this, I am using a common 1″x6″, ripped down to size. The clear, premium pine would be better, but it costs three times as much. The face frame is less visible then the drawer fronts so I thought I would save a bit of money.

After ripping them down to size, I run the faces through the drum sander to smooth them down a bit.

Then sand the sides with the orbital sander while also double checking the faces for defects that may need additional sanding.

I only need 76-3/4″ for the top and bottom of the face frame, so I cut off the excess to use for the verticals.

These are ripped down to 1-1/2″ and 2″ widths, then cut to 8″ long on the cross-cut sled.

For some reason, I noticed that my cut list says I need six of each, but I really need 8. There is just enough wood left over to get them all.

Hopping back onto the drawer faces, I decided to profile the edges with a chamfer bit on my router table.

I added a 3/8″ bevel on the front.

Then decided to add a smaller bevel on the back to create a shadow line around the drawer face when the drawer is closed.

With those done for now, I move back to the face frame parts. I am adding two pocket holes to each end of the 8″ verticals with a pocket hole jig.

This will give me a counter-bored hole to hide some square shouldered screws which will draw the verticals tightly to the top and bottom, holding the face frame squarely together.

I spread a bit of glue onto the end of the verticals, then clamp them in place and attach the screws.

It creates a nice tight butt joint.

I cut a stick to the width of my drawer openings to use as a spacer to locate the next vertical.

After a little work, I have a face frame. I hit the surface with the orbital sander again to make sure all of the butt joints left a smooth, flat face for painting.

After a quick dry-fit, I head back to make the other three.

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