another question about your technique

Hello All, (No company plugs here, just providing links for detail clarification)
I am ready to finish shaping the posts for my cherry bed and was looking through catalogs and plans at the selection of hardware to attach the side rails to the posts. The plans that I sort of followed suggest a bed rail fastener similar to the type sold by Woodcraft ( http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid269 ). When i perused Lee Valley I found these, ( http://www.leevalley.com/home/Search.aspx?c=1&action=n ) which looks like they would be simpler to apply/attach but I'm not as excited about this as the first example. Another method that I can't find an exaple of is the bolt and barrel nut devices that I've seen numerous times in Fine Woodworking. To those who have built beds, what have you used and are you happy with the results? Anyone tried more than one type of fastener and found one better than the other? Thanks again for your inputs and I hate this great weather we are now having. It makes it real difficult to stay in the shop when it's nice. Marc
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Hello All, (No company plugs here, just providing links for detail clarification)
I am ready to finish shaping the posts for my cherry bed and was looking through catalogs and plans at the selection of hardware to attach the side rails to the posts. The plans that I sort of followed suggest a bed rail fastener similar to the type sold by Woodcraft ( http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid269 ). When i perused Lee Valley I found these, ( http://www.leevalley.com/home/Search.aspx?c=1&action=n ) which looks like they would be simpler to apply/attach but I'm not as excited about this as the first example. Another method that I can't find an exaple of is the bolt and barrel nut devices that I've seen numerous times in Fine Woodworking. To those who have built beds, what have you used and are you happy with the results? Anyone tried more than one type of fastener and found one better than the other? Thanks again for your inputs and I hate this great weather we are now having. It makes it real difficult to stay in the shop when it's nice. Marc
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I would suspect those rail fasteners are wobbly.
My son's old bed rail broke, and I had to replace it. The hardware was old and odd looking. Incredibly, the Woodcraft store had the exact replacement!
It's a Sheraton bolt.
http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyID 96
It's very strong, and easily tightened - after the bed is together.
Lee Valley has bed bolts http://www.leevalley.com/hardware/page.aspx?c=1&p@445&cat=3,40842,41269
These are similar to the Sheraton bolt. Perhaps easier to install.
The Sheraton requires you to mortise in the square bolt, while the Lee Valley just requires a hole.
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If you are going with the Stickley-Mission look (like I think you are) than the sheraton style decorative bolt cover will not fit the style (IMHO).
I have done two beds with these (http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?FamilyID269 ) and have had no problems. Easy to inlay and easy to attach.
Good luck.
--
Stoutman
www.garagewoodworks.com
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I've built two beds with the style shown from woodcraft. They took a bit of fiddling with to get them to slide in and lock properly , just a few shims, but they work ok. One was a sleigh bed that was king sized 82"W 84/86" L give or take . The other is my own queen sized bed . Both are still in use for close to 10 years now with no problems. As for the other style, I've not used them so can't say how well they work. Jim
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I have built about six or so beds and have tried a couple of different attachment hardware fittings and always come back to the traditional bed bolts . I usually get mine from horton brasses ,cromwell conn. Beware of the barrel type nuts if overtightened they tend to apply pressure radially on the wood which in turn can cause the wood to split . The plane flat nuts distribute the load linearly. mjh
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I finished a queen sized bed last year, and I first tried the bed rail connectors like those you mentioned from Woodcraft (mine were from Rockler). I used some on a different project first, and found they didn't fit as closely as I'd like - I could never get them to pull themselves tight, as they're supposed to. I tried playing with mortise depth and shims and even filing down the "hooks", but I could never get a nice tight connection between the two pieces - YMMV. I wasn't too impressed overall. So I ended up making basically my own version of a "bed bolt" - LV and Woodcraft have versions, as linked in previous replies. I didn't want the fancy end caps for my mission style bed, so I used pyramidal wood door pulls cut to a press fit into the countersinks. I also didn't like the idea of a round barrel nut, for the reasons mjh mentioned above, so I mortised a flat-ended opening in the side rail, and used a 3/8" bolt through the post, with a filed-down washer and nut inside the side rail. I also put in a couple 3/4" dowels to take most of the weight, so the bolt wouldn't have to take any weight, and could be used primarily to tighten the connection. I'm sure it's overengineered, but it was sort of fun and the thing hasn't even wiggled in a year (despite my best efforts...) Good luck, Andy
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One little postscript, I usually use a shallow mortice in the bedposts to take the side rail loads then the bed bolt just holds the bed together . Most hardware suppiers have decorative bed bolt covers . perhaps a tweak every couple of years will keep everything tight .
It should be remembered sleeping is not all some folks do in bed ........!!!!!!! mjh

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I bought a set of bed rail connectors from Woodworkers Supply many years ago and used them on a rice bed I built. They were heavy steel angle type with lock pin sections, and held together with 5/16" socket head cap screws. They locked up tight with no joint movement.
They were the best I've ever seen, Naturally, Woodworkers Supply discontinued them, and I haven't seen them anywhere else.
Frank
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How much rice did it take to build it?
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Stoutman
www.garagewoodworks.com
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I bet you did not buy them but conned a lease a t the store...mjh

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Hey Guys, Thanks for all of your replies. I think I will go with the plan's suggested fasteners and also acknowledge Stoutman's comments about the Stickly style I want to achieve. My plans also recommends placing a dowell near the rail's fastener to provide some cross grain for the screws. Anyone here do this as well? Marc (again)
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I think I used the same set of plans, but ditched their fasteners as described in my previous post. I'd recommend doing some sort of mock- up or practice piece with those fasteners, to make sure they'll accomplish what you want. The end cap/cover is easy enough to work around - I can post a photo of my fastener system and end caps if you're interested. But if you try the stock fasteners and they work for you, great! Maybe the brand/batch I got were bums. Enjoy the bed, Andy
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Sorry - forgot to comment on the dowels - if you do end up using this style fastener, I think the cross grain would be a very good idea, and possibly some longer screws into a couple dowels just to be on the safe side. Screwing into end grain, even at a slight angle (as in pocket screws) is quite weak, in my experience. Andy
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Yes. It seems to work well- but I only use that in shop furniture, where I don't care if there is an exposed plug on the surface.
Back to the bed hardware- I like to put a block on either end of the apron, and install threaded inserts into the leg. Bolts go through the blocks, and thread into the inserts- that way, it can be taken apart just as easily as any other system I've seen, but there is no exposed hardware.
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