When a child needs to get out of his bed quickly, such as needing to go the bathroom in the middle of the night, the bunk bed stairs might not be the fastest route. Rather than have your child jump down from the top bunk, you can create a safer exit by attaching a slide to the bed. The dimensions of the material you need largely depend on the height of the bunk bed and the slope of the slide. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, a slide should not have a slope more than 50 degrees and it should have at least a 6-foot clearance at the bottom.
Things You'll Need
- Tape measure
- Table saw
- 2 lengths 2-by-6 lumber, cut to size
- 2-by-4 lumber for cross sections and rail, cut to size
- Countersink bit
- Carriage bolts
- Wood screws
- Masonite board with a laminated surface
Measure the distance from the top bunk to the floor as though you were measuring the length of an invisible slide. Use the measurements to help you determine the length of the materials you'll need.
Cut one end of two lengths of 2-by-6 lumber at a 50-degree angle or less. If the slide is for a child in elementary school, cut the lumber at a 30-degree angle. The angled end of lumber is the part of the slide that will rest on the floor.
Find the angle that you need to cut the opposite ends of the 2-by-6 lumber. Hold one length of 2-by-6 lumber up to the side of the bunk bed, in the position it will sit upon installation. Place the T-square along the part of the lumber that is touching the bed frame. Hold the T-square so it is parallel to the wall. Draw a vertical line on the board, along the edge where the T-square touches the bed frame.
Cut the opposite ends of the 2-by-6 according to the measurement you took using the T-square.
Rest the 2-by-6 lengths of lumber on the area of the bunk bed that you plan to install the slide, at least 12 inches apart. Drill a hole at the top end of each length of lumber, centered, and into the bed frame. Then countersink the holes a one-half of an inch. Use a socket wrench to secure the lumber to the bed with carriage bolts.
Cut 2-by-4 pieces of lumber that measure the inside distance between the lengths of lumber installed on the bed. For example, if the lumber is 12 inches apart, cut the 2-by-4's 12 inches long. These small lengths of wood will help support the slide.
Place the 2-by-4 lengths of wood between the frame of the slide so the bottom edges are flush. Secure the cross pieces to the frame with wood screws. Space the cross pieces 10 inches.
Cut a laminated board of Masonite according to the length and width of the slide’s frame.
Attach the Masonite to the frame. Apply a bead of liquid nail to the bottom side of the Masonite board, along the longer edges. Place the board onto the frame and secure the pieces with screws placed every 8 inches.
Add a length of 2-by-4 lumber, cut to size, on either side of the slide to create a rail. Secure the rail to the slide from underneath using screws.
- Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images