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Forum topic by Chris P posted 02-19-2013 02:02 PM 5585 views 0 times favorited 22 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Chris P

88 posts in 1039 days


02-19-2013 02:02 PM

Topic tags/keywords: bed frame joinery

I’m looking to build a bed frame very soon and I’m wondering if anybody has suggestions on how to do the joinery that meets the side stretchers to the head and foot board. I would obviously like to be able to assemble and disassemble it if needed. If possible I’m trying to avoid store bought brackets or metal hardware but am having a hard time thinking of a suitable joint that can be disassembled and still be strong enough. I’m not completely opposed to the hardware idea but if I can I’d like to do it with joinery. Any ideas? Thanks!

-- Chris, Long Island


22 replies so far

View Cinch123's profile

Cinch123

3 posts in 1424 days


#1 posted 02-19-2013 02:54 PM

How about a through mortise with a tusk tenon? You would not be able to slide it all the way against the wall (the tenon and tusk take up a little room) but you would be able to knock out the tusk and pull the bed rails out of the head and foot board.

View Cosmicsniper's profile

Cosmicsniper

2199 posts in 1912 days


#2 posted 02-19-2013 03:44 PM

Love that idea, Cinch. A sliding dovetail is another good approach.

-- jay, www.allaboutastro.com

View TimberFramerBob's profile

TimberFramerBob

68 posts in 677 days


#3 posted 02-19-2013 04:20 PM

a simple mortise and tenon joint would work fine(trust me),....oak peg that you could knock out, maybe even draw bore it…..plenty strong and you can get it tight to the wall. A through tenon with a wedge might work loose….depending on how much your bed moves…..;)

-- ..........a man who works with his hands, his brains, and his heart.....is an artist.

View 404 - Not Found's profile

404 - Not Found

2544 posts in 1723 days


#4 posted 02-19-2013 06:26 PM

A minimal amount of hardware for your consideration if you can’t find a joint that fits

I’ve done a couple of beds with these and they’re very strong with stub tenons or dowels on the rails.

View needshave's profile

needshave

150 posts in 713 days


#5 posted 02-19-2013 06:48 PM

I’m building one right now using Mortise and Stub tenons. Drawing tight with two hex head bolts on each corner thru the tenons into barrel nuts in the rail. The head of the bolt is covered by fake tenons on the outside. It is very very strong and I wanted it that way. The bed is for my son and new wife and well…....it’s for my son and his new wife!

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pintodeluxe

3574 posts in 1567 days


#6 posted 02-19-2013 06:56 PM

I would use FWW’s method of bolts hidden under faux tenons. Here is a link to the video series…
http://www.finewoodworking.com/item/56992/build-a-mission-style-bed

I would hate to try to bang apart a pegged M&T joint just to move a bed.

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

View stefang's profile

stefang

13633 posts in 2088 days


#7 posted 02-19-2013 07:29 PM

There’s a great article in FFW mag. dated Feb. 2005 issue no. 175 by Jeff Miller. He shows several different excellent options for what you want to know about. You can also find the same article at this link if you have access.

http://www.finewoodworking.com/woodworking-plans/article/anatomy-of-a-bed.aspx

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View steve's profile

steve

348 posts in 747 days


#8 posted 02-19-2013 11:48 PM

I realize you mentioned you didn’t want to use hardware if at all possible…I just want to show you the system I used a few months ago…The brackets are from Rockler…Believe me when I say I am a type of woodworker that does not like to use even a brad nail, but these brackets made the Bed VERY strong, it doesn’t move, not at all.
And, they are un-seen. But I do understand your “want” to use a traditional wood joint.
I still use wooden drawer runners on everything, except kitchens, I like to use joinery also, but just give it a look.

-- steve/USA

View pete57's profile

pete57

134 posts in 2164 days


#9 posted 02-20-2013 12:52 AM

I have built several beds, each being better and better, but I use a mortise and tenon joint. I us a 1/2” mortise in the leg and a tenon on the rail. I drill 2 one inch holes from the other side about 1 inch deep and then a 3/8 inch hole through to the mortise. I fit the tenon into the leg and drill the holes 1 inch more. There is a bolt online at Fastenal called a hanger bolt. I use them about 3/8 X 5 inches and do that to all 4 legs. I have a couple solid 3/8 solid capped nut to get the screw down to the washer (3/8 washers are 1 inch in diameter and back that off to put a regular nut on. The legs at the end of the bed you see I use Escutcheons to cover those. Some use one dead center but I do not like my beds to squeak at all. I could never afford those nice bed bolts and had this stuff readily available in my work. I have a tall pencil post bed now and when I want to take it down I just undo the the nuts and load it up. If I lose the nuts and washers, it is less that if you lose the bed bolts?? I have done this for a couple customers and they liked it.

-- Humble Wood Servant

View Chris P's profile

Chris P

88 posts in 1039 days


#10 posted 02-20-2013 01:56 AM

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. I think a tusk tenon is just too bulky for the style of bed I’m going to be making. I think I’ve narrowed it down to either straight up hardware or a stub tendon with a bolt through the other side. I’m going to have to agree with pintodeluxe on not wanting to bang a peg out of a mortise and tenon just to move a bed. although I love the idea of using all wood joinery incorporating some sort of hardware is just so more practical. I think I have a little more designing to do before I make a final decision but as expected lumberjocks to the rescue!

-- Chris, Long Island

View Moron's profile

Moron

4725 posts in 2647 days


#11 posted 02-20-2013 02:43 AM

What ever floats your boat works in the end

I no longer debate the merits of what works for some and what works for others but this one works for me.

I move a lot.
My life requires me to do so.
I hate beds that break
I’m not fond of a squeeky bed
I have to be able to move it in and out easily
it cannot fail

ever

The bed has to be able to go through hell and back

Mortise and tenon combined with mechanical fixture

In the end, its only a luxury of holding a mattress off the floor

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

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Moron

4725 posts in 2647 days


#12 posted 02-20-2013 02:49 AM

that mortise and tenon, pulled together with a bolt ….its locked solid

think about it

its not much different then a nice work bench

?

-- "Good artists borrow, great artists steal”…..Picasso

View Chris P's profile

Chris P

88 posts in 1039 days


#13 posted 02-20-2013 04:21 AM

Moron that’s a great way to look at it, in the end what works, works right? As far as what the needs of this project goes I think the mortise and tenon pulled together with a bolt seems to fit those needs the best.

In the end a bed that doesn’t squeak or hit the floor will help me sleep at night rather knowing that it’s being held together with some sort of fanciful journey. Now to the sketchbook!

-- Chris, Long Island

View TCCcabinetmaker's profile

TCCcabinetmaker

925 posts in 1108 days


#14 posted 02-20-2013 07:34 AM

stopped dove tail joint on the rail. Never tried it, but it should work.

-- The mark of a good carpenter is not how few mistakes he makes, but rather how well he fixes them.

View sprucegum's profile

sprucegum

323 posts in 751 days


#15 posted 03-05-2013 12:14 AM

neeshave’s method with the stub tendons and bolts is a very solid design I made one that way for the wife and I when we were younger still holding up well :-} I think rockler sells some nifty little brass bed bolt covers.

-- A tube of calk and a gallon of paint will make a carpenter what he ain't

showing 1 through 15 of 22 replies

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