How to stop squeaky furniture


I wasn't so sure how to title this as there could be a billion ways to answer it wrong but I am faced with a squeaky furniture problem.
About 10 years ago, my father (God rest his soul) made my son a set of bedroom furniture. The bed is made out of birch and birch plywood. It has no box spring as there are drawer underneath it. The head foot rails are connected to each other by a 3/4"x10" baord with fasteners such as these: http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page &SearchHandleÚDBDBDHDADADDDGGEDEGCGGGGDJDFGCCNGGGDDCDACNDEDJGEDFCNGCGBDEGDCNGDDBDBDJDHDJGFGBDDGEDHDFDADADADBDCDADADADDGCGFGEDADADCDGDADADCDCDADADBDIEEEDEDEEEEEHEEEFEEEIEDEEEEEGEEEFEEEJDADADADBDFDADADADBDADADADADADADADADADADADADBDADADADADDGCGFGEDADADADBDB&filter¾d
(Wow! I don't think that will work. They can be found at the Rockler site and are called "Heavy Duty Wrought Steel Bed Rail Fasteners")
Anyway, recently, the bed squeaks like hell each time he makes the slightest movement. When he roll over at night, it wakes up the whole house and it is getting on everybody's nerves. I tightened every screw I could see to no avail.
What is the secrect, if any, to stop this from happening??
busbus
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My suggestion to stop the squeeking would be to mortise the piece containing the two slots a little deeper.
I think this may work because what you're describing sounds like the hooks are little too big to tightly mate onto the mating slots. The metal is a little thin.
I'm glad you've pointed out this problem. I was just about to start another bed project and I was looking for the "easy way" to join the rails to the head and footboard. Not anymore. I think I'll stick with mortise and tenon and the associated bed bolt.
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I'm not sure what you mean by "bed bolt."
The bed I repaired used dowels for alignment and Sheraton Bolts for strength.
http://www.woodcraft.com/family.aspx?familyid 96
You make a slot for the square bolt in the rail, and drill a hole in the footboard/headboard. This allows the bed to be disassembled and/or tightened.
Is M&T necessary? Or is it just a style/art/pride issue?
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On 31 Jan 2006 17:22:07 GMT, Bruce Barnett

This is *exactly* what I mean when I say bed bolt. However, given all the stuff that happens to beds (jumping, sex, etc.) I prefer taking the time to cut a good old mortise and tenon, then put in the bed bolt.
I've seen clever variations that embed the bolt in the foot or headboard, but basically, that's the same as running the bolt in from outside.
What you're doing requires the bolt to not only pull the rail to the head or foot, but resist shear forces (along with your dowels.) I just don't trust dowels that much, nor would I want 1 bolt that might come loose through racking, thermal cycling, whatever, be the thing that keeps me up off the floor. That's the job for the M&T. Good stout wood that's present anyway when you make the bed.
Check http://www.chbecksvoort.com/chairs.html for a picture of a pencil post bed built by Christian Becksvoort. I've built 2 of those for myself since he published the plans in Fine Woodworking. One for LOML and I and 1 for daughter. That bed uses the bolt and a M&T.
Bed bolts and other hardware can be bought from Horton Brasses.
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Dang Google. I responded to this but it is unclear whether or not it posted successfully.
George, I am glad I was able to help you! Unfortunately, since it is probably too late, I won't be able to use the bed bolt option in conjunction with the M&T--should have thnked of that when my dad built it.
Your suggestion to mortise the one piece brings up a couple interesting questions. First, the bed did not always squeak, that is a fairly recent thing. It started about a year-and-a-half ago, long after it was made. My first question is could it be possible that the fact that he grew like a weed over that time to a solid 5' 9", 180 pound young man--and still growing and eating and sleeping. I have to wonder if this doesn't have a part to play in this?
Another question is: Could it be not from the mortise not being deep enough but from the hardware being pulled, bent, and otherwise misshapen and stretched? He did rearrange his bedroom all by himself a few months back and it has been almost unbearable since then. I am sure he tugged and pulled at the entire bed all at once: headrest, footrest, side rails, the three LARGE drawers underneath it as well as the plywood top and the mattress. That could explain the hooks not fitting tightly...
Thanks for the response!!
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On 31 Jan 2006 10:50:53 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Maybe so. That brings up another thought. Instead of deepening the mortise for the receiving plate, perhaps some all new knockdown hardware as replacement for the stuff in there. If the existing parts are in fact damaged, I'm not so sure you could bend them back. And if you did, the metal has already been weakened.
All in all, this sounds like a warning to not use metal knockdowns.
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You may be right. I wonder if there is a way to incorporate some other way to tie the footrail and headrail to the side rails? If I remember correctly, I think that hardware is not hgolding all that much weight and even if it did, everything wouldn't fall down in a heap because there are boxes built underneath with drawers in them. If the bed collapsed, it would fall all of maybe an inch, if that.
I know you said you wouldn't trust dowel rods but what about a BUNCH of dowel rods? Or could there be another solution?
I guess I should just buy another set of those brackets but if that is truely the problem, I don't know f I want to use them again.
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On 31 Jan 2006 10:50:53 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Or maybe the floor is uneven and the new spot is allowing the frame to rock more? Maybe some strategically placed shims would take care of it. I would get the sheets off it and have him move around on it to really try to isolate exactly what is squeaking.
-Leuf
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

http://www.rockler.com/product.cfm?page &SearchHandleÚDBDBDHDADADDDGGEDEGCGGGGDJDFGCCNGGGDDCDACNDEDJGEDFCNGCGBDEGDCNGDDBDBDJDHDJGFGBDDGEDHDFDADADADBDCDADADADDGCGFGEDADADCDGDADADCDCDADADBDIEEEDEDEEEEEHEEEFEEEIEDEEEEEGEEEFEEEJDADADADBDFDADADADBDADADADADADADADADADADADADBDADADADADDGCGFGEDADADADBDB&filter¾d
A little grease, perhaps?
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Maybe some wax? If it's a wood-on-wood squeaking, some candle wax or maybe beeswax rubbed between the offending surfaces should help - that's one solution for squeaking wood drawers. If it's a metallic squeaking, (i.e. the bed rail fasteners are squeaking against each other) you might need to mortise them in a little deeper and/or get some grease between them (be careful it doesn't drip and mess up the wood). Good luck, Andy
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Stupid Google yet again! It said my reply has been posted but it is not here and i sent it last night around 9:30 or 10:00.
Anyway, Thanks all for your responses. I sort of used your advice, Andy, but I tweaked it some. When we wiggled to bed, we did see that most of the noise was from wood-to-wood, so I tried a temporary fix: I put a piece of self-adhesive felt on the entire rail where the brackets are attached. This stopped ALL the squeaks! But I did notice that one of the brackets was stretched quite a bit--so badly, in fact, that it barely even connected. I am sure this is from my son yanking the bed around. So the permanent solution is the one where somebody said to include a bed bolt in all the corners. I am going to do that as soon as I can because I see the one corner, especially, readyo to tumble down. But at least we all got a good night's sleep and didn't have to hear that stupid squeak-squeak-squeak every time the kid rolled over.
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On 31 Jan 2006 05:49:14 -0800, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Round here they're called "flimsy pieces of junk" and I'm not surprised they squeak.
They're a bad design. They have no mechanism to pull the joint tight and they rely on the taper of the hook's face and the weight of the bed to do it. This might work reasonably well when new, but wear in the joint will wear the hook's face to match the eye. There's now no taper, so weight no longer gives a clamping force - and you get squeaking.
Leave them as they are, but add something else too. A barrel bolt in the bed rails and a bolt in through the headboard leg will pull the joint together nice and tight when you do it up. The weight is still taken by the old hook, but there's no longer any movement and thus squeaking. This is just standard hardware - it might even be sold as a "bed bolt"
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