Jan 10, 2014

Free Handrail Plans for Bunk /Loft Bed Storage Steps

This stair rail was made ages ago, when we redid the boys room at the old house.  They were designed by me as part of a 3 piece storage stair system for my son's loft bed, which I modified from plans by Ana White.  

The system I designed includes storage stairs, a shallow bookcase at the top of the stairs, and a hand rail.  Since I admire Ana White so much, I have made my plans available to you for free here on my blog.  I hope you find them useful.

Approximate Finished Dimensions:
29" H x 2 1/2" W x 4 " D

2 - 2x2 @ 6 ft
1 - 1x3 @ 6 ft
1 - 2'x4' Masonite project panel 

Cut List:
2- 2x2 @ 1'6 3/4" (ends cut at 45 degree angles as shown in illustration below.  This will be baluster 1 and 2)
1- 2x2 @ 2'10 9/16" (ends cut at 45 degree angles as shown in illustration below.  This will be baluster 3)
1- 2x2 @ 10"  (cross brace 1)
1- 2x2 @ 1'2 1/4" (cross Brace 2)
1- 1x3 @ 3' 4 3/4" (ends cut at parallel 45 degree angles.  measured from long end to shot end on each side.)

Note:  Lucky for you, this was before I had a fancy cross cut miter saw, so although there are angled cuts, the angles are all 45 degrees and can be cut with a cheap miter box which is all I had at the time.  You will have to pay close attention to the direction of your cuts on the upright pieces/balusters, but just look closely at the illustration above and I think you can figure it out.In the diagram above and illustrations below, the blue and green sides will be attached to the the stairs; the yellow and purple sides parallel the front of the stairs. 

Important:  The diagram above is for a railing/storage stair combination attached to the right side of the bunk/loft bed.  If your stairs are on the left side, the angle on the bottom of the balusters needs to be reversed.  If you are confused, it may help you to keep the bottom edge square and physically hold the pieces in position on your staircase.  Then mark the angle direction with a pencil prior to cutting.   The top angle of the balusters are always 45 degrees and parallel the angle of the stairs. 

As with every plan I post, please proceed with the knowledge that I am NOT an expert, I am human and do make mistakes.  Build at your own risk, and always work carefully.  By building these plans, you assume all risks and release me from any liability.  I do not guarantee them in any way.  Please read through all directions before you begin.   With that in mind, if you still want to try them, I'd love to see and hear how your project turns out.  Please leave a comment and let me know what you think.

Step 1  Attach the cross braces to baluster 1 and 2 as shown.

Step 2 Attach the other end of the 10" cross brace to baluster 2.

Step 3 Attach the other end of the 14 1/2"(1'2 1/2") cross brace to baluster 3.  Note:  The bottom edges of baluster 2 and 3 should line up.

**In my original,  I inserted a decorative Masonite panel by cutting a channel (before assembly), about 1/4 - 1/2" deep and wide enough to accommodate the panel, into the bottom of the handrail, the top of the cross sections, and the front of the balusters above the cross section joint.  The panel is cut just shy of the channel depth added to each side.  I cut out random circle designs, then fitted the panel into the channels during assembly adding glue to keep them secure.

Step 4  Insert panels now if you are using channels.  
I messed up on this sketch.  The panel should stick out above the balusters a little, to fit into the grove on the bottom of the handrail.

Step 5  Add the hand rail.  

Step 6   Proceed to  my post Storage Stair System for a Bunk or Loft Bed - Free Plans to see how the 3 parts go together.

Please be sure to check  the original post about our boys room for pictures of the finished product, and while your at it, stop by to see my  other DIY projects.

Don't miss my other free plans!

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