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I Made a Bunk Bed Shelf


My brother sleeps on the upper bunk bed, and he needs a shelf to hold his phone and water bottle because his stuff kept falling over and over again when he put them on his bed. So, I made him a laser-cut shelf. It’s a simple L-shape shelf made of wood and is able to hold a considerable amount of weight.


First, I estimated the area that my brother would put his stuff on, such as Kindle reader, phone, and water bottle. So, the surface area is approximately 88 square inches (11” width x 8” height). 8” was the suitable reach-out of the shelf because if it reached any further, the lever would become longer and so the supports would carry more forces.

Diagonal supports were necessary to help carry a lot of forces on the side of the L-shape that faced the wall. Therefore, I used 3 diagonal supports spreading evenly throughout the width of the surface.

There are 5 parts to cut out using the laser cutter, and I used Rhinoceros 5 to design each of them. Click here to the project folder.


I cut my parts at my school’s makerspace. They use the 50-watt Epilog Helix laser engraving and cutting system. Information about cutting speed and power and frequency can be found in the manual on page 191. Since I used 1/8”-thick wood, I set the cutting to be 30 speed, 80 power, and 500 Hz frequency.

IMPORTANT: Focus and home the laser before cutting!


I used Titebond to glue the parts together. I put too much glue on each joint, so it looked really nasty afterward because when the joints fitted in, there weren’t many areas for the extra glue. So, the extra just poured out of the joints and holes and stuck in the wood grains.

Put an enough amount of glue on the surfaces and spread out evenly. But, how much is enough? I think a layer of glue about 1mm - 2mm (less than 1/8”) thick is enough for me. Remember to put glue only on the surfaces that will join/connect/touch each other.

I forgot to film my assembling process. Due to a huge amount of extra glue, it took me an hour to glue all parts and clean up all the mess :(