The Great American Trundle Bed Race – Part 2

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trundle bedIn case you missed it, this is part two of the Great American Trundle Bed Race posted last month. So at seven days to go before Christmas last year, a visit from the two daughters looming on the horizon, I was well into our last-minute project to build a trundle bed for the guest bedroom.  OK, OK, I’d barely started cutting the wood.  I was starting to sweat bullets over the whole project.

Acceptable Short Cuts

Since I’d decided on beaded panels as a good way to coordinate with the rest of the house, I could now take advantage of ready-made beaded 8 X 4 panels made out of MDF, available at our nearby lumber yard.  No shaper, no router, no lost time.  Ergo, a good decision.

It’s All In the Details

I double checked everything – plans don’t know which mattress you’re using so they can’t know how tall a set of wheels you need, for example.  Are you on carpet or hardwood?  Hardwood floors let the wheels roll easier, so you don’t need a tall set of wheels for the trundle.  The guest bedroom has hardwood floors, so smaller wheels will work.  It’s all in the details.

Counting Down

Days six, five, and four before Christmas… Did I mention details before?  It’s been raining for two days so the finish isn’t drying as fast as I would like.  I need at least a day for off gassing, minimum.  The daughters have way too acute a sense of smell, of you ask me, but no one is.

Maybe their flights will be delayed because of weather.  I check the flight status.  All flights from New York expected to be on time.  Great.

Three Days to Go

But wait – a ray of sunshine – “we” tells me the mattresses have come in, so we can stop worrying about getting them on time, and they can be picked up by someone this evening!  I look around, there is no one else in the room, and “we” is smiling.

Two Days

I haul the bed home in a truck borrowed from the shop.  The pieces are heavy.  No way can “we” and I get the parts into the house without help.  Turns out my next door neighbor’s daughters are visiting – one of whom was the girl-next-door from whom I stole borrowed skate wheels about four decades ago for my first homemade skateboard.  So I call over, ask if they can help, and the four of us middle aged men and women carry the pieces up the side yard and around to the back and into the guest bedroom, piece by piece.

trundle bed drawerI assemble the bed and admire my work.  I love the smell of paint in the evening!  Feeling triumphant, I take the protective cover off the first mattress, drop it into the trundle, and – oh crap – can you believe that it doesn’t fit?  Seems “we” let the store dude measure the mattresses and give her the numbers – which of course were the numbers I used as a basis for every measurement in this trundle bed.

No problem, these are but mere details!

Day Uno

Ann conducts a new round of online research for new mattresses and places an order for new ones from a different store, where thank god they’re in stock.  She then sets out that afternoon to return the ones we bought.   We now have a great new plan in place – while she’s driving to the airport tomorrow to pick up the girls, I’ll go to the new store (which given its location is more of a day trip than a trip to the store, by the way) and buy the new mattresses.

Time’s Up!

“We” is on her way to the airport.  I’ve driven maybe a tad over the speed limit, purchased the new mattresses, loaded them up, roared back to the house, and dragged the first mattress into the house and down the hall.  I go to pull out the trundle – but wait!  What’s this?  “We” seem to have put down an unauthorized throw rug in front of my trundle.  Remember that well-thought-out detail about wheel height?  Yeah

Too late now to worry about wheels.  Hell, two people ought to be able to pull this sucker out, no problem – they’re sisters after all!   Work together!

I get both mattresses in, unwrap them, and drop them into the bed.  I put on mattress pads, sheets, pillows.  How far along Pacific Coast Highway are they by now?  I put on the blankets, even get the quilt down, all neat and tidy.  I still don’t hear the slam of car doors.  It’s done.  Looks good.  Sweet.

The Last Detail

The phone rings.  I pick it up, and it’s my mother, calling from Hawaii.  Seems word has travelled fast, via my next door neighbor no doubt (a lifelong friend of my mother’s), and Mom wants to talk to me about this little endeavor of Ann’s and mine.  “A brand new trundle bed that you built yourself!” she pipes!  I start to glow with pride – until Mom asks indignantly, “A trundle bed?  What were you thinking?  Just where do your father and I sleep when we come to visit?!?”

It’s all in the details…

trundle bed detail

Photo of author

About Brad

Brad Baker is Vice President of Operations at Miller Woodworking in the Los Angeles area, designers and builders of custom cabinetry and interior millwork for the rich and famous. They make the impossible, and their work has been featured in fancy schmantsy architectural glossies more than a few times. All that high end creative stuff aside, he maintains a strong spiritual belief that the real sign of a good woodworker is all 10 fingers. He and his wife Ann Baker co-write for HomeFixated. Ann is CEO of Publicity Pros, a firm that provides “All Things Publicity” services and training for small businesses. She’s a hopeless nerd who revels in anything and everything having to do with the technology of attracting attention. And, no joke, she loves to bake.

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6 thoughts on “The Great American Trundle Bed Race – Part 2”

  1. I’m very impressed that you built your own trundle bed. I’m looking to get bunk beds with a trundle for my kids and was curious if you could tell me how much clearance I need underneath the bottom bunk in order for the trundle to fit. Their bedroom is carpeted, so the wheels would need to be a little taller. They make bunk beds with trundles, but they’re pretty expensive. So I’m trying to find a nice and sturdy bunk bed on Craig’s list and then buy a trundle bed separately…but I have to be sure that there’s enough room underneath the bottom bunk for a trundle. I wish I had the ability to make my own like you did! Thanks for your help!

    • Thanks Mindy. I’m afraid there’s no set answer to your question. It depends on the height of whatever trundle you get, plus carpeting, any clearance you want/need for bedding, etc. If you can, try measuring the trundle you’re getting along with the items mentioned above and that will give you an idea of how much space you’ll need. Good luck with it!

  2. Well, not only are you a master carpenter but a budding Hemmingway, as well. But, I repeat, WHERE ARE YOUR FATHER AND I GOING TO SLEEP IF WE EVER COME TO SEE YOU……
    ALOHA, your adoring Mother……


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