Arched Bed #10: Break Down Joinery

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Blog entry by newTim posted 10-27-2009 06:12 AM 11518 reads 3 times favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Major Mortise Messup Part 10 of Arched Bed series Part 11: Breaking Down the Break Down Joints »

Where to begin? This time around I thought I’d start at the end then show how I got there. Kind of like one of my favorite books once said, you start by knowing you’re already there. Well enough of philosophy. So often I see bed designs but there are no photos of the connector system of the side rails to the head and foot board. To me this is the most interesting part. Most of the time people use the standard bed brackets as I did on my first bed. This time around I wanted to try something different and I think I may have stumbled on to something. This design uses counter top bolts and metal pins and sleeves. The holes have to line up perfectly with no room for error. Fortunately I have a jig which made this a cinch.

The idea is to be able to easily break the bed down into its component parts and be able to put it back together so it is solid and stable. I think these first two pictures nicely sum up the challenge.

The top photo is the footboard to side rail. The second photo is the side rail to the headboard post. You can see metal sleeves in both the footboard and headboard parts. The pins are 1/4” and will be glued in to each side rail. The metal sleeves (spacers) are glued in to the head/footboard. The purpose of the metal sleeves is to help reduce wear and tear on the wood. Next time I think I’ll put the sleeves in both parts.

The idea is to cut matching holes in the two conecting parts that are the same distance from the top and the exact same distance apart on center. Here’s a shot of the original idea in Sketchup.

And here are a couple of shots of the results. The joints are incredibly strong and fit together easily . Next time I will break down the process of this break down joint.

-- tim hill

7 comments so far

View captkerk's profile


169 posts in 3268 days

#1 posted 10-27-2009 06:18 AM

Clever idea. Looks like it should work perfectly; strong and easily dismantled.

View a1Jim's profile


117120 posts in 3604 days

#2 posted 10-27-2009 07:37 AM

Very cool idea well done

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Scott Bryan's profile

Scott Bryan

27250 posts in 3848 days

#3 posted 10-27-2009 12:20 PM

Tim, that looks pretty neat.

-- Challenges are what make life interesting; overcoming them is what makes life meaningful- Joshua Marine

View bfd's profile


502 posts in 3833 days

#4 posted 10-27-2009 04:18 PM

Tim,The bed is looking great. Great idea for the connection hardware.

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3714 days

#5 posted 12-25-2010 05:38 PM

Looks like a good idea …how is the counter top hardware holding up in the bed scenario ?

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

View newTim's profile


608 posts in 3633 days

#6 posted 12-26-2010 06:15 AM

It is working out great. We have a sleep number bed which is relatively light. However, I’m not. Relatively light that is.

These pictures don’t show it, but there are mattress support rails (ledges) attached to the bottom of the side rails that sit on top of that legde on the footboard so the weight is distributed around the perimiter to the legs and posts and also down through a couple of middle posts and does not stress the connector joints. Still, each joint has two metal pins inserted into metal sleeves so they can take a lot of weight. There’s not much force pulling the joint apart horizontally so the counter top bolts aren’t stressed too much.

This picture shows it better.

-- tim hill

View Dusty56's profile


11819 posts in 3714 days

#7 posted 12-26-2010 11:25 PM

Thank you for the feedback and I’m glad that it’s working well for you.
Very nice headboard as well : )
Who / what was your source for the pins and inserts ?
Happy Holidays !!

-- I'm absolutely positive that I couldn't be more uncertain!

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