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Forum topic by grub32 posted 973 days ago 2026 views 1 time favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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grub32

209 posts in 1682 days


973 days ago

Topic tags/keywords: bed legs

I am getting ready to build a bed for my wife’s bday. I have lots of 4/4 stock. Has anyone made bed posts using 4/4 stock and mite ringing them together to make about 3.5×3.5 inch square leg? Is this something that is going to be strong and durable? If I choose this plan, I am going to domino the legs together and reinforce the inside with poplar.

What are your thoughts?

Any and all suggestions are appreciated.

Grub

-- Science Teacher by Day, Wood Butcher by Night!!


22 replies so far

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1054 days


#1 posted 973 days ago

You will want solid posts as opposed to hollow ones that mitered corners would make.
The head and foot boards need to be sturdy and the bed rail to corner post joint will take an enormous amount of stress.

A large mortise and tenon joint, or perhaps a commercially made metal connector to secure the bed rails to the corner posts are necessary here.
This is not the place to “whimp out” because you have 4/4 stock. Glue it up solid. Dress the edges to hide the 4/4 if you want.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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richgreer

4522 posts in 1708 days


#2 posted 973 days ago

A am also about to build a bed. I have the lumber and the plans pretty well worked out in my head (I never use published plans).

My bed will also have big, heavy duty corner posts (3.5×3.5) and they will be solid (glued up) wood. In my case, I will be gluing up some 8/4 lumber.

DS251 is correct about the importance of a solid connection between the rails and the posts. Yet, you need to be able to dismantle this connection to take the bed down. I’ve decided to use 2 conventional bed bolts at each post. I’m going to add a decorative piece on the outside of each post that covers both holes. It will pivot in the center to expose both holes.

As an FYI – I am a real “no hardware” woodworker. Yet, for this connection, I can’t think of a way to avoid hardware. However, I will have no visible hardware.

My wife’s birthday is March 9th – so I need to get started shortly.

If curious – I don’t follow any published plans, but I am inspired by this bed and something like this is what I will make with bubinga and curly maple. I have purchased some stunning waterfall bubinga for this project.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/Gallery/GalleryImage.aspx?id=27538

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View DS's profile

DS

2131 posts in 1054 days


#3 posted 973 days ago

Rich, With a large mortise and tenon joint from the rails to the posts, you can pin the tenons to the posts with removeable bolts from the inside face of the head and foot boards. This is usually strong enough without using commercial brackets.

-- "Hard work is not defined by the difficulty of the task as much as a person's desire to perform it.", DS251

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casual1carpenter

353 posts in 1109 days


#4 posted 973 days ago

Grub, correct me if I’m wrong but you want to do this?

Just my thought but you are talking a lot of precision work here, a little off angle, a little cup, a little wander, etc and you might not get the results you desire. I understand you wish to hide the glue joints in addition to using material already on hand. Depending on the woods individual characteristics, I think the grain is going to show the joint to the informed people.
My ex would not have gotten mad if I spent a little money on her birthday, and you still have some of your stock to build something else.

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casual1carpenter

353 posts in 1109 days


#5 posted 973 days ago

DS251, I wonder if one could adapt your M&T post to rail thought by using a double mortice and a separate tenon / spline glued into the post, perhaps with additional pinning or other.

The dowels could likely remain unglued and driven out to dismantle this connection to take the bed down. Granted they would need to be tight and if driven too many times would become loose.

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casual1carpenter

353 posts in 1109 days


#6 posted 973 days ago

WudnHevn has a valid point I believe, found references to Bird’s Mouth Spars for sail boats. It’s more that I do not trust glue and a simple miter joint that much, and there is also the point of rail attachment to consider.

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grub32

209 posts in 1682 days


#7 posted 973 days ago

Well I think I will use the stock i have and face the ends so it doesn’t look like it was glued. I appreciate all the insight.

Grub

-- Science Teacher by Day, Wood Butcher by Night!!

View Les 's profile

Les

199 posts in 1324 days


#8 posted 972 days ago

Solid glue up posts are the ONLY way to go. With good glue joints, it will be hard to detect after finish. As far as Rail hardware this is the only way to go. You can’t see them once the bed is put together and the more weight you put on the bed the tighter they get.

http://www.woodcraft.com/Product/2003269/3200/Bed-Rail-Fastener.aspx

Here is a photo of installation in the foot board post.

-- Stay busy....Stay young

View richgreer's profile

richgreer

4522 posts in 1708 days


#9 posted 972 days ago

Les,

I have seriously considered that type of rail hardware. My fear is that this type of hardware can bind and it can be very hard to take the bed apart.

Is there a brand that you use that is less prone to binding?

-- Rich, Cedar Rapids, IA - I'm a woodworker. I don't create beauty, I reveal it.

View Les 's profile

Les

199 posts in 1324 days


#10 posted 972 days ago

Rich,

No, I have always used this one. I have never had a problem with binding, just a slight blow under the bed rail and off it comes. I have seen movers use a short length of wood and sit one end on the floor and drop the rail on it. It pops right off. For the cost you can order a set and play around with them.

-- Stay busy....Stay young

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1603 days


#11 posted 972 days ago

My thoughts on mitering the legs together are that you are either very optimistic, or exceptionally gifted. I would make the legs out of solid. For connecting rails to legs I’d use knock down hardware, or a bolt in an insert with half moon washers:
http://www.scfhardware.co.uk/product.php/242/1/bf10yp_easy_fix_bed_fitting/9ffce1ad89372708bed4996311e13465
http://www.scfhardware.co.uk/product.php/248/0/nut08_m8_nut_zp

View TJU's profile

TJU

72 posts in 1290 days


#12 posted 972 days ago

I just made a bed last spring with 3.5” posts. I debated the same things. I decided that I didn’t want to fuss with the miters becasue it is hard to clamp and I also made it hollow. I have no regrets in how it’s made. I used bed bolt to connect the rails and the bed is solid. If you are concerned about it’s strength you can glue blocks inside were the mortises and bolts are. I ended up makingthe legs with 2 of the sides rabbeted so they fit together with good long grain gluing. after 1/16” round over on the edges you can’t see the glue lines unless you get close and look for them. It is something like what you would do with white oak legs. If you can tell me how to insert a sketchup drawing I can show you my leg.

Tim

-- Although the voices aren't real they have some pretty good ideas.

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grub32

209 posts in 1682 days


#13 posted 972 days ago

That is the hqdware that I bought from woodcraft yesterday. I feel that mitering the legs would not be a monumental task…at least not as difficult as you make it out to be.I am only worried about it’s strength and this the reason I will glue em up and veneer the faces.

Can I tell you that I love my domino for this type of work.

Thanks again,

Grub

-- Science Teacher by Day, Wood Butcher by Night!!

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grub32

209 posts in 1682 days


#14 posted 972 days ago

Tim, I would love to see the drawing. I would assume you can save it as a jpg and load it to a photo site and insert the link…if you can’t do it send it to me and I will create the link for you to post.

Grub

-- Science Teacher by Day, Wood Butcher by Night!!

View BobAtl's profile

BobAtl

49 posts in 1327 days


#15 posted 972 days ago

I’m thinking about building a “big girl bed” for my great niece and appreciate the info y’all have shared here.

I was at the Rockler store this morning and they also have several hardware options for attaching bed rails. I’ll probably go with one of theirs. Just thought I’d throw that in the discussion as another source/option to consider.

-- Bob, Atlanta

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