Construct an airplane around a platform bed so a child can pretend to fly into the trees and soar among the clouds.
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4' x 8' plywood
1" x 12" pine lumber
circular saw with guide
small wire brads
lumber for cleats
self-anchoring Molly bolts
router with round over bit
tabletop rounds in graduated sizes (available at craft stores)
flush spackling compound
1. The two sides of the bed are 1" x 12" pine boards. Cut them to length, which is the same length as the bed, and soften the edges using a router with a 3/4-inch round over bit. Cut out a cockpit entrance on one side using a jigsaw (figure A). Attach the boards directly to the sides of the platform bed.
2. Cut the plywood using a circular saw with a guide for the top wing, which is 18 inches wide. The top of the featured project measures 10 feet across. Since a sheet of plywood measures eight feet long, add one foot of plywood to each end of the top and soften the ends with a gradual curve using a jigsaw. To attach the two boards to the longer eight-foot section, use wood glue and a piece of ½-inch thick two-inch wide batten. Put glue on both board ends and secure them with the batten using small wire brads to hold the batten tight (figure B).
3. To add some authenticity to the plane, run batten across the top of the top wing to give the feeling that it's holding canvas in place (figure C). Biplane wings were constructed out of canvas but the battens give a neat illusion.
4. Cut the two bottom wing pieces 18 inches wide and much shorter than the top wing since they will come out of the sides of the bed.
5. To secure the structure to the wall and to the bed, attach a cleat to the bottom of each bottom wing piece (figure D). Hold the wing in place and screw through the cleat to attach it to the side rail of the bed (repeat for the other side). Secure metal brackets to the wall beneath the bottom wings using self-anchoring Molly bolts and long screws. This will give the bottom wing plenty of strength to support the top wing.
6. Use two pieces of plumber's pipe and four pipefittings on each side of the bed to secure the wings together (figure E). Paint the pipe silver and the wings/fittings yellow or as desired.
7. The front of the plane (end of the bed) is where the propeller is located. For the backing, draw a circle using a large compass onto plywood, and then cut along the line. For the smaller pieces leading up to the propeller, use tabletop rounds in graduated sizes. Attach them to the plywood base using wood glue and drywall screws. Attach two rounds with glue and screws to create wheels for each side of the plane.
8. Cut the propeller out of pine lumber after sketching the design. Secure it on top of the smaller tabletop rounds with two long drywall screws (figure F).
9. Fill all the holes with flush spackling compound and paint the individual pieces as desired. Attach the pieces securely to the new bed frame once dry.
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