Bed Frame Design

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Forum topic by gbinco posted 01-31-2015 09:49 PM 942 views 0 times favorited 1 reply Add to Favorites Watch
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12 posts in 1330 days

01-31-2015 09:49 PM

I’m going to be making a king bedroom set, I thought I’d start with the bed but I’m stuck on the design. I’ll be using Rockler’s mortised hardware. I was planning to use all solid walnut plus a walnut plywood panel in the head board.

After some searching on LJ it seems that everyone uses 5/4+ for the bed rails. Is that generally what’s deemed the minimum thickness for rails on a king? Is that for overall strength along the length supporting the mattress or mostly for the joints? Would 4/4 for the rail plus a piece laminated at each end to strengthen the joints be sufficient?

If I were to guess, I’d say 6/4 for the full length of the (8” tall) rails would be best…

I want to do this right so that it’s sturdy enough to outlast me, but also don’t want it to be heavier and more expensive than necessary.

When I was trying to source 10/4 for the posts I was told that lumber that thick is very difficult to find and keep straight. That’s the first time I’ve heard of such a problem, is that the case? I would prefer to have 1 piece posts over laminating which would have visible joints…

The horizontal components connecting the posts will primarily be ~2.25” square, 1 piece will be 4/4x~5”. I was planning to use mortise and tenon for all of the head board and foot board joints. This will be my first time doing M&T joints, so I will be doing a lot of practice before starting this project. Should I divide the tenons for the 5” piece into 2 tenons? Or is 1 ~4” tenon into a 2.25” post going to be stable/strong enough? Should the tenons on the 2.25” pieces also be divided?

Here’s the design in sketchup.

1 reply so far

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3051 posts in 2253 days

#1 posted 02-01-2015 12:51 AM

Just to get the ball rolling-I would use st least 5/4” stock for the rails; 4/4 just seems to thin for me, especially since you will be mortising the connectors into them. If you laminate a scab onto each end of the rails, how will your box springs/mattress fit? I routinely laminate stock for legs and cover the laminates with home made veneer. I think a 4” tenon should be adequate if it is 1.5” long and well fitted.

Regarding your design, I would extend the bottom of the headboard so it is below the surface of your mattress or our pillows will want to disappear into the void. Usually, the mattress would be lower than the top rail of the foot board. Think about tucking in sheets and blankets and the vertical placement of the center rail. HTH

-- Art

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