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:
(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??
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.
I'm not sure what you mean by "bed bolt."
The bed I repaired used dowels for alignment and Sheraton Bolts for
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
Is M&T necessary? Or is it just a style/art/pride issue?
Sending unsolicited commercial e-mail to this account incurs a fee of
$500 per message, and acknowledges the legality of this contract.
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
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
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.
Dang Google. I responded to this but it is unclear whether or not it
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
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
Thanks for the response!!
On 31 Jan 2006 10:50:53 -0800, email@example.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.
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.
On 31 Jan 2006 10:50:53 -0800, firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
A little grease, perhaps?
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
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.
On 31 Jan 2006 05:49:14 -0800, email@example.com wrote:
Round here they're called "flimsy pieces of junk" and I'm not surprised
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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