We installed the additional headboard panels because the configuration of the room and the location of the windows in the room meant that we wanted the children’s heads on the right and the ladder on the left.
The KURA plans did not seem to allow this configuration, though I have seen online that there are models of this bed from 2003 that allowed more options for setup.
Additional safety features
Safety rail panel for the lower KURA bed helps our two year old feel secure, as he just transitioned from a crib directly to this bunk.
Likewise metal handles on the ladder. They added a lot of confidence for both the five-year-old and the two-year-old when climbing up to the top bunk.
We are aware that the bunk is now even higher than before and both children are under 6. Use caution and common sense before making these modifications for your family.
KURA bed with drawers and safety rail instructions:
Assemble both KURA beds
With bunk on bottom of one bed, cut off the top frame. You now have the base portion.
Remove lowest rail on long side of base (will need to remove vertical allen bolt and white panel also). Consider designing a post for the center of the longest span that will fit between the MALM drawers later (will need to be very thin).
Use 2 white headboard panels you cut from base bed to create added headboard.
Measure and mark hole locations and drill ¼ inch holes into vertical posts, use speed square to make sure everything is square.
Use jigsaw to cut nubs off ends of 3 slotted panels from base bed.
Insert panels into slotted and use extra screws from parts you just cut off.
Square up and screw in two white end panels separated by slotted cross pieces.
Additional safety rail
Use one white headboard panel to make a side safety rail.
Use table saw to cut a ¼ inch wide by ¼ inch deep groove along the top of the bottom ladder side (outboard) rail of the upper assembly. The length of the groove should be equal to the full length ot one of the white insert end panels.
Measure and cut one of the leftover posts to be the vertical for the side rail.
Drill a ¼ inch hole in the vertical post (a little high, to make room for the new crossing screw) to attach the upper edge of the side rail.
Drill a hole in the bottom of the long base rail (copy the design for the nearby hole in the bottom of the ladder). ⅝ spade bit, followed by a ¼ inch hole all the way through worked for me.
Attach 2 pull handles near top of ladder (I measured 3 inches down from top for top edge of both)
How long did it take and how much did it cost?
Took two days. Got beds used, one for $20 and the other for free off Craigslist. MALM drawers are $75. Handles are $4 each.
What to pay special attention to?
Pay attention to the sagging front beam over the drawers. Needs more support.
I would like to add a vertical support between the two drawers. I think something metal would be great.