lofty expectations

Over the past week, I discovered that carpentry definitely counts as geekery. I built a new loft bed for my daughter (thanks to the grandparents for buying most of the lumber). It’s a sweet design, if I do say so myself. I just thought, as a kid, what would I have wanted? So I imagined that, and built it. It’s a twin mattress on top, with a desk underneath on one end, and a big bookcase on the other end. There is also a ladder to get up top, and a smaller bookshelf at the back of the desk.

The corner posts are hemlock 4x4s, the bed slats and ladder are pine 2x4s, and the shelves are pine 1x8s (desk) and 1x10s (rear bookcase). The desktop is made of MDF, and there is a shelf below the desktop (also made of MDF, with pine 1×6 upright braces). I still have to cut and install the desktop surface, which is a sheet of masonite with a layer of white dry-erase board on one side. I had to get a 4×8 sheet of this, so I’ll also use it as the back of the bookcase, which will also provide a dry erase surface behind it (at the foot of the bed).

The loftbed part of it is cool (especially from a kid’s perspective… what is it about increased elevation whilst slumbering that is so exciting to a kid?!??), but the best part I think is the desk, with the increased bookshelf space being a close second. But the desk in particular, especially for a homeschooled kid. Space to spread out her work without having to move it by dinner is definitely welcome.

I got the wood last week, and took it out to Starcat and Quester’s home and got all the pieces cut that day (there were 58 separate pieces, mostly for the bed slat assembly and the ladder). But when I assembled them, I realized that something didn’t quite translate from my 2-D sketch on graph paper to 3-d reality. The bed was too wide overall, though the slats were too wide by 2″ less than the rest of the too-wideness. So I had to shorten it, which meant disassembling the frame and cutting all the shelves and the desktop a bit narrower, and trimming a bit off the slats fo good measure. Did that yesterday, and assembled all the pieces using drywall screws.

Once that was done and everything seemed to go together, I went through and, one by one, removed the drywall screws and drilled a 3/8″ hole for a bolt.

The unit is modular, and is designed to be held together by 5″ and 7″ bolts. I started off with carriage bolts, but found that they were ineffective because they kept turning in the wood as I tried to tighten them. So I ran out again and got normal bolts, so I’d have something to grab onto as I tightened the nuts. So now I have about 40 carriage bolts that I need to return, as they cost something on the order of $1 each.

Starcat was wonderfully patient and flexible tonight. We had a walking date scheduled, which we ended up spending in my daughter’s bedroom. The room got completely rearranged top to bottom, a task that was basically 8 hours of work for all of us. Whew. I’ll have photos of the new loftbed up soon. So thanks to everyone for helping (everyone tonight, plus Quester for his assistance during assembly and cutting, not to mention driving the truck out to our place today, plus Starcat’s aunt for the use of her truck).

In other news, Freakwitch gets to play as a 5 piece tomorrow, and then as a 5-piece-minus-a-drummer on Friday. So that’s good. Next week is the great acoustic guitar recording session….

I switched departments at work. I used to take road-service calls for AAA, but now I am a dispatcher. The job is more complicated, but it isn’t a bad thing at all. It makes the time go faster. So now, instead of talking to grumpy, stressed-out motorists, I talk to tow truck drivers who are grumpy because they have to deal with stressed-out motorists.

I’ve been moving through a bunch of energy these past couple weeks, part of which have been manifesting as specific ailments in my body. I won’t go into detail as everything is fine, but I’ve spent much of the past fortnight both in a bit of pain, and also afraid that something more serious was wrong with me. Turned out to be OK, though I was certainly moving slowly and gingerly. As a result, I haven’t exercised much in almost 2 weeks. Back to it. I feel awake again, as the ailments are all but gone.

Now that the loftbed is done, my next project is to rebuild the home computer. The studio machine seems to be functioning well, so now it’s time for some computergeek luuuvv at home as well.

Plus I need to play my guitar every day for a while….

1 thought on “lofty expectations”

  1. Coincidentally, my husband is planning on building a loft in my daughter’s bedroom. They need more space, and the 2 year old needs a big girl bed. I found Starcat’s blog about a month or so ago, and found we have similar interests. Through her blog, I found the link to yours, and voila, a posting about building a loftbed. Synchronicity? I think so.

    I can’t wait to look at the photos of the loft, so we can get some ideas for our own.

    Incidentally, we are also a family of musicians, my hubby being the guitarist.

    Sometime come check out my blog at
    crystal-waltz.blogspot.com. You might find some of my postings interesting as well.

    Blessings…..and go play your guitar……

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