Cutting A Headboard To Make It King Sized

I have an old bedroom set, but certainly not antique. Headboard, footboard, two nightstands, a dresser and a wall mirror. A very large wall mirror. 51.5" wide and 31.5" high.
Got it from my Grandmother. If I had to guess, I would think it's 1960s era manufacture. Hardwood, dark finish, brass drawer hardware with phillips/slotted combo screws, drawer dovetails are clearly machined and not handworked. Bed is a four poster, but nothing ornate or fancy about any of the pieces. Just clean, simple lines and styling.
The headboard and footboard are full sized, but the wife and I have a king sized bed. We use all the other pieces because they are in extremely good condition, nice hardwood, and they look great.
I've been researching DIY info on how to construct a bed. Would it be possible to "amend" the footboard and headboard to king sized dimensions?
Basically, I'm thinking cut the headboard and headrail in half, edge glue up 22" of wood to be "inserted" in the middle, dowels and edge glue to connect the insert to the two halves of the headboard and headrail, plane the bottom flat, then cut, route and sand the top of the insert. Start looking into a finish that will match.
Rather than vainly and perhaps foolishly attempting to grain match, I planned to orient the inserted sections with the grain vertical so there's a clean break in the middle.
Will it hold together with just dowels and edge gluing? The footrail is 1.5" by 5", but the headrail is 0.75" by 6"
Thanks in advance for any and all thoughts and input.
Ken Grubb Bellevue, WA
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Why not go one step further? Replace the head and foot rails with new ones, of the correct length. I suspect it won't take any more work and will look a lot better.
Because--Instead of dealing with a fiddly joint in the middle, (glue, dowels, dead on flat surfaces, etc) you will have to deal with joints at the posts only.
Your finish will never match, side by side--but if the posts are one color and the rails a (slightly) different color, the difference in surfaces, light, orientation will mask the difference.
It will be as strong as the original.
You will have to spend some more $$ for wood, but you will have the old pieces as surplus for something else.
That's my free advice, guaranteed correct, or your money back.
Have fun!
Old Guy

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I think I would do a lap joint of some sort. Maybe scab in a piece like you are mentioning but then create a piece to overlay on the exposed side with some nice curvy or arched top detail maybe 8" deep so it stands a few inches higher than the existing rail. Then you can scerw into it from the back side through the patched section and overlap the existing sections by 6" or so and screw in from the back there too.
It could be a contrasting color wood or even painted. Look at the other furniture pieces and see if there are any shapes you can echo in the new crown.
Like this _________ --------/ \---------- -------/-------------------\---------
ken snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com wrote:

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I would strongly recommend you DON'T firmly fix large sections of wood together with the grain running in perpendicular directions. Aesthetically it sounds like a great idea, but if fixed with dowels to a piece of vertically running wood, the horizontal pieces will likely split when the humidity drops. Wood movement (expansion and contraction due to humidity changes) is very significant on pieces like you're talking about. See my "funny story" in a previous post. http://groups.google.com/group/rec.woodworking/browse_frm/thread/4bd1b13a4f606ffb/f674c78f50ea603d?lnk=gst&q=josh+table+christmas&rnum=2#f674c78f50ea603d
You could do what you're talking about if you screwed horizontal cleats (like some 1x2 horizontal boards running the full width of the headboard) to the back of all three sections through oversized holes with washers. This oversized holes allow the wood to move a little. The downside is that once the wood expands in high humidity, gaps will show up between the pieces after the humidity drops again.
Alternatively, you could cut the existing headboard in half, as you mentioned, then rabbet the edges (or add a raised panel edge) and insert them as floating panels in a rail-and-style frame. You could either add a third floating panel in the middle or make an extra-wide center stile, which would be more similar to what you described.
Good luck.
Josh
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