I have a fully-assembled loft bed from softwood, in use for about of year, that has head and footboards of this design:
There are 4 rungs on the foot and 5 on the head; the legs are each 85". The headboard feels slightly unstable when pressure is placed on the bed. Even just pulling with my hand against the leg can produce this. I want to figure out a way to remove all movement and make it feel sturdy (I assume the existing movement is not really unsafe but can feel disconcerting).
The assembly instructions had me glue the rungs into the pre-cut notches and then screw them in using two #7 2-1/2" (drywall) screws into each leg. I already drilled a pilot hole in between the two screws and sank another screw trying to stabilize the rungs, but it didn't seem to make much of a difference. I suspect the issue is that the top and bottom screws may have slightly stripped the wood and are too loose, plus the wood glue may not have been applied properly.
As it currently exists, each attachment point looks like this:
and under pressure moves slightly like this:
The screws are this deep, but have been sunk past surface level in the rungs so may not have much "bite" in them either:
I'm wondering what the best strategy to fix this might be. I have a few ideas but don't know which is good, or if I'm missing something better:
Remove the top and bottom screws and drill 3/8" holes instead, and place 3" dowels with wood glue in the holes. This should provide grip against the entire length of the rung and the leg and I'd assume would shift less than metal screws. The middle screw would still provide strength against being pulled away from the leg.
attach metal L-brackets from the inside of the rungs and legs and just screw them in using short wood screws.
just try unscrewing each rung and re-applying wood glue on the contact point between the leg and rung, then re-screwing it using the existing screws.