Sunday, June 12, 2016

Toddler Safety Rail

Our intrepid 15 month old has become an expert climber.  She climbs stairs, chairs and all manner of barricades, including her crib sides.  Since it's a long ways to the floor, we decided to just take the side off of the crib. But, she fell out of bed twice the first night, onto waiting cushions, but was not happy about it.

Looking over the bed rails available locally, and reading some reviews online, we felt like we had no good option in that direction.  I knew, however that I could make one myself.

Using some donated MDF and a couple of  inside angle 4" metal strong ties from Lowes, I quickly fabricated something that matched commercial dimensions, but far exceeded the apparent weight and strength of them.  The finishing touch was two coats of sage green paint to match the walls in our room.  This should hold up for a good long while, maybe as she grows into a bigger bed as well.

Rounded Edges and Corners for Safety

Assembly was a little tricky.  I had to get the two piece, which I had beveled 45 degrees on the table saw, to line up together while I drilled pilot holes for screws and then drove the screws for the angle braces.  Using my table saw top as a work bench, I set up the bottom piece and then used long bar clamps to draw the pieces together.  The trick here was I had attached the angle brackets to the bottom piece already, so the side rail, when compressing its bottom beveled edge against that of the bottom section rode up slightly until meeting the angle brackets.  By tightening things up a bit, I had the side rail secure enough to drill and screw to the brackets.

36" x 26" base, 15" high rail, 1-3/4 " radii on corners
Just to make myself happy, I took the corner of one piece of waste from beveling and glued it into the inside corner between and aside each bracket.  It's comical, really, the brackets providing so much more strength, but it some how seems stronger to me this way.

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