Questions re headboard design

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Forum topic by AandCstyle posted 02-28-2017 10:36 PM 871 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3179 posts in 2463 days

02-28-2017 10:36 PM

This is another project for my son. I will make a headboard similar to this one=. When I have made headboards previously I have always used 3 rails but now I am wondering if two are just as good. The top rail will be 4” wide at the ends with 3” tenons and the middle rail will be 5” wide with 3” tenons. The bottom of the middle rail will be 25” above the floor. The mattress is a Purple and rests in this platform which brings the top of the mattress to 26” above the floor. The platform will be bolted to the legs. What is the purpose of a bottom rail and is it valid for this application? Thanks for any comments.

-- Art

4 replies so far

View Luddite's profile


209 posts in 1444 days

#1 posted 02-28-2017 10:57 PM

Hey Art,

Nice looking bed frame. It happens, the niece, wants a bed similar to this one. Are you talking about the headboard right? If so and you’re using a bolted platform you probably won’t need the lower rail. The wide middle rail will do IMHO.


-- T Loftus -- Just on the edge of common sense

View JBrow's profile


1366 posts in 1126 days

#2 posted 03-01-2017 12:06 AM


The only reason I can see for a bottom rail on the headboard is to add some strength and stability to the entire headboard. Sometimes, beds are scooted across the floor (often carpeted) when rearranging furniture in the bedroom. The bottom rail helps keep the legs in place and reduces some of the stress on the rest of the headboard joinery when the bed is re-positioned.

Since the Purple platform does look very easy to scoot across the floor and the mid rail is about 2’ from the floor, the bottom rail may be unnecessary. However, it looks like a lot of time and effort will be spent building the headboard. Therefore, I would probably opt for a bottom rail. The amount of lumber and additional effort is not a lot and could save on some repairs later on.

By the way, I like the design.

View pintodeluxe's profile


5798 posts in 3019 days

#3 posted 03-01-2017 05:24 AM

I use a bottom rail and two bed bolts per corner. It may be overkill though.

-- Willie, Washington "If You Choose Not To Decide, You Still Have Made a Choice" - Rush

View AandCstyle's profile


3179 posts in 2463 days

#4 posted 03-01-2017 03:39 PM

Thanks for the replies. I know that I tend to over-engineer my projects so I wondered if this was another example of that. It sounds like nobody knows, but nobody is unwilling to take the risk. As JBrow suggested, there is great risk and little reward. :) However, Terry’s point is that the frame of the platform will, essentially, become the bottom rail and I think that is valid. Unfortunately, I will not be able to report the results of the experiment 100 years from now. haha

-- Art

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