I currently have a queen-size, four-poster bed with metal rails. As with a
ll metal-rail beds, the torque on the header and footer have stripped the s
crews out of the posts. The bed now wiggles quite a bit and squeaks all ov
I'm thinking of making a bed. If I can't convince my wife to let me make a
platform bed (and have the posts not really supporting the weight of the b
ed), then I'm wondering what my best bet for joinery would be.
I'm considering have the side rails be half-blind dovetail in the side of t
he posts and having the headboard and footboard attach to the posts with be
d bolts (one of which runs through the tail on the rail to keep it from pop
ping out. I'm worried that the natural torque/stress on the dovetail joint
will cause the tail or its socket to compress a bit over time and result i
n the same sort of play in the bed that I'm trying to get away from.
The other possibility that I have in mind is a through-tenon with tusk. Wi
ll I have to regularly hammer the tusk in to keep it from loosening? Can I
run a bed-bolt through the tusk to keep it tight?
If I went with straight bed bolts, how would that go? Do bed bolts get loo
ser over time and require more and more frequent tightening?
If you were going to build a king-size, four-poster bed where the box-sprin
g sits 15" off the floor, how would you attach the side rails to the posts
so that the bed still won't wobble fifty years from now?
On 4/28/2014 10:39 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Tell you wife that if you build a platform bed you can have as many as
18 drawers under the bed.
I have designed and built a couple of beds this way. I have pictures if
you are interested. Other than the under bed drawers these beds look
traditional with head and foot boards.
1. I would make the side rails as wide as possible.
2. I would make the posts integral or well attached to the head and foot
boards. Sliding dovetails would be one way, hidden glue/screw blocks is
3. I would add a 2x2 glue block, inside and vertically to the rails at each
4. I would use plain old bolts through the glue blocks into threaded inserts
in the foot/head boards. A nicety is a dado in the head/footboard/posts
into which the rails fit.
That's pretty much how I built mine almost 30 years ago. It is a platform
bed, though, I wanted the 6 - 36x15x24" drawers in the platform :)
On Monday, April 28, 2014 10:39:48 PM UTC-5, firstname.lastname@example.org wrote:
ill I have to regularly hammer the tusk in to keep it from loosening?
I would go with this option. Cut your mortise first, then make the tenon
to match, perfectly. Cut each the mortise and tenon to fit snuggly, no sl
op. Wood compression would result, more so, from poor quality or soft woo
d, not as a result of perfectly fitting jointery or any torque. Your tusk
should not work its way out, unless the wood is ,again, soft and/or of poo
r quality. Maybe the previous looseness, of the rails, was the result of
the nuts/bolts not being tightened, properly, in the first place, allowing
an initial wobble, and it becme worse and worse, but *I wasn't aware that "
.... ALL metal-rail beds" loosen and strip out their bolts, that way.
An additional bolt shouldn't be necessary, if the mortise and tenon are snu
g to begin with. If an additional bolt is needed, then, IMO, the initial m
ortise-tenon-tusk is severely lacking, in some way. If you are not confide
nt with your mostising and tenoning skills, then practice on some scrap, be
fore committing to the rails and posts. This would apply to your dovetail
s, also, if you go that route.
If you're considering adding extra bolts to the mix, why not just bolt the
headboard to the wall, :), then you'd have only one aspect, of the bed, to
worry about wobbling, rather than two. *This would cut your "worry" percen
tage in half.... and you'd probably sleep better, too. **This is some Roy
Underhill type logic. :)
A stand-alone bed frame? Have your headboard stand alone or upholster a ne
w headboard (plywood), to stand-alone or hang on the wall (with French clea
ts). Differing headboards allows for changing the decor for the different
On Monday, April 28, 2014 8:39:48 PM UTC-7, email@example.com wrote:
Short tenons to register then bolts and steel cross dowels.
1000's of pounds of pull strength, can be knocked down if you want to change location, can always be tightened. Can even make up for pp loose joinery.
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