Extending a head/foot board... how to attach..

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Forum topic by Bob Areddy posted 12-17-2011 05:33 AM 2617 views 0 times favorited 4 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Bob Areddy

192 posts in 3397 days

12-17-2011 05:33 AM

Topic tags/keywords: headboard footboard bed

So my sister asked me to extend a headboard and footboard for her to fit the new bed. The new bed frame is 9” wider. So I came up with a design of a couple of “wings”. Here’s a drawing of the headboard, and the two pieces that I need to attach together. You can also see where the bed frame will attach as noted in the grey rectangles.

The “wings” are 4.5” wide each, 3/4” pine. On the headboard, they’re 42.5” long. The bed frame will attach to the wings. The rails of the headboard and footboard are about 1 7/8” thick.

So the question is how do I attach them? When I first designed everything, I imagined loose tenons, but now I’m having second thoughts. If the tenons are 4” wide (2 on the headboard and footboard), and go into each piece about 1”, I’m not sure if that would be enough strength to hold the whole thing up.

Another issue is that the existing rails are quite old, and not exactly straight. There’s a gap between the edge of the wings and the rail on a couple of the pieces, up to about 1/16” wide at the widest point.

I told my sister that she probably won’t be able to match the finish, and she said she’ll just strip the whole thing if necessary.

-- --Bob

4 replies so far

View vkumar's profile


10 posts in 2631 days

#1 posted 12-17-2011 07:16 AM

Link is not working for me

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Bob Areddy

192 posts in 3397 days

#2 posted 12-17-2011 03:20 PM

Sorry, linkI should work now

-- --Bob

View vkumar's profile


10 posts in 2631 days

#3 posted 12-18-2011 07:19 AM

I don’t know if I have answers to all your questions. But here are some basic guidelines on joinery..
The surfaces to be joined need to be planed and parallel.
You can use loose tenons, , I would use more tenonsw, say about 4 per joint. Of course these will do no good if the mating surfaces are not flat. Another thing use plenty of glue.
Others may have better advice.

View Loren's profile


10377 posts in 3642 days

#4 posted 12-18-2011 09:43 AM

I might cut it in half and add a sort of art deco sort of thing in
the middle.

Those wings will only look good if they are thinner of the same
thickness as the body of the headboard. If cut it in half and
you put a thing in the middle, it can be thicker and still work
aesthetically. The added thickness will allow you to run a groove
or other loose-tenon sort of thing in it. Additionally, you can add
reinforcement to the back and avoid re-engineering the relationship
of the bed rails.

Further, 3/4” pine is not that strong. That’s karate-chopping wood.

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