What to do when you lose the metal pins for bunk beds?

Written by john fechik
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What to do when you lose the metal pins for bunk beds?
The two beds in a bunk pair are joined with a pin assembly. (Visage/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

Bunk beds come in various styles and sizes and are made of materials like wood or metal. They provide a space saving option for large families or for small bedrooms or even college dorm rooms. The assembly of a bunk bed requires metal pins to hold the top and bottom bed frames together and are a necessity for safety, but if you have lost the metal pins, you can easily improvise to securely put the beds together.

What to use

If you no longer have the metal pins that came with your bunk bed originally, you have another option. Measure the diameter of the pre-drilled hole where the pins should be placed. The standard size of the metal pins is usually 6 mm (1/4 inch) in diameter and 6.3 cm (2 1/2 inches) in length. You may want to insert a pencil or a thin measuring tape into the pre-drilled hole to measure exactly how deep it is. Go to your local hardware stockist or DIY centre and buy a bolt in the appropriate diameter. When choosing your bolt, try to find one with a long smooth shank. You will need to cut off the bolt head and threaded section of the bolt. This will give you a smooth metal pin to prevent wear on the inside of the pre-drilled holes.

Cutting bolts

The best method to cut the bolt is to place the bolt into a vice and tighten the vice jaws on the threaded part of the bolt. Cut the bolt head off using a hacksaw with a metal cutting blade. Leave the bolt in the vice and cut the remaining portion of the bolt above the threads to the desired length for your bunk bed pins. File the ends of the pins to remove any burs or sharp edges. Insert the pins in the lower bed posts in the pre-drilled holes and place top bunk on the pins.

Bunk bed safety

Be sure to place all four pins in the bed posts to assure adequate support of the upper bed and to prevent the bed from slipping. It is imperative to also use the horizontal metal bracing to keep the bunk beds from swaying from side to side. It is not recommended to allow children under age 6 to use the upper bunk bed and side railings are recommended for all ages on the top bunk. Jumping on the bed and horseplay should not be allowed on the beds, especially since the upper bed could come off the metal pins if it is bounced high enough and fall on the lower bed. It is recommended to always use the ladder or end rail to climb onto the top bunk. A very large or heavy person should not sleep on the top bunk unless the lower one is unoccupied.

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