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mr

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Evening all, project no 1 and post no 1. I'm looking for some specific advice as well as any general tips and pointers for my first "major" project. I will be making a single bed shortly and have been drawing and reading plans for the past month or so - so I have a general vision as to how it's all going together. However there are a couple of areas where I'm a wee bit unsure as to best way to go about things.
First some details; the bed will have to use knock down fasteners (it has to move up three flights of stairs from workshop to bedroom when its finished. The side rails and head and foot end rails will be 20 mm thick 140mm wide. The material is Ash. I had planned on using cross dowels in the side rails and pinning these through the thickness of the leg posts. However I'm beginning to think that the thickness of the tenon in the 20 mm rail may prevent that, (is there anything to prevent me from using the whole thickness as a tenon?) the bolt would have to pass lengthways though the tenon into the rail and the thickness or lack of would seem to preclude that. Am I barking up the wrong tree here? Is there a better method? I can of course glue the head and end rails and leg assemblies, they would still be portable. I'd appreciate any words of wisdom any of you may have.
Mike
As I preview this post I thought of an alternative method which would be to place cross dowels above and below the tenon into the leg itself. Any thoughts as to whether this might be a better idea?
Thanks again.
 

mr

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Hi Jason thanks for the swift reply. Ive looked at the site you left the link for, am I right in thinking that with the fittings you mention, and pictured on the site, that M&T joints aren't required at all and that the connectors shown are all there is to the "joint"? In the picture on the site the fixings appear to be surface mounted and only fixed to the wood with screws - is that the case and is that sufficient ?
Thanks again.
Mike
 

jasonB

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Thats right no need fot m&t joint, screws are all you need, haven't had one fail yet :D

Jason
 

Midnight

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I canna claim to have a wealth of experience with bed-making... but I've built one... no hardware used at all in its construction... anywhere... nothing but wood... knock down construction too... end recipients seem well pleased with it too...

Mike, re your tennon shoulder question; there's nothing at all stopping you using the full rail width as the tennon, the only down side being it needs a correspondingly big mortise to accomidate it... With bed rails, the strength is in the top and bottom shoulders, not the cheeks..
 

mr

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Hi Midnight, thanks for your reply can you give me a little more detail about how you achieved the knock down construction with no hardware? While I see the advantages of the hangers for want of a better word, I'm intrigued by the idea of keeping the hardware out of the equation.
 

Midnight

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The idea was pretty simple, executing it cost me some grey hairs :shock: (apparently they make me look more distinguished)...

long tenons on the ends of the rails, long enough to pass through the legs and still have enough "meat on the bone" for a tapered mortice and vertical wedge... Tusk tenon joints I believe they're called...

Result is a frame that doesn't squeak... (apparently this was important for a newly-weds bed).. plenty rattles n groans (they weren't mentioned in the spec soooooo.. :twisted: ) but no squeaks... Assembly was easy once I'd recovered from carrying it up 3 flights of stairs... only tool needed was a soft faced mallet to gently tap the wedges home.
 

mr

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Hi Thanks for that, not sure I can afford any more grey hairs. I do like the idea of the tusk tenons but not having thought about it beforehand Im not sure that Im going to have the meat on the bone you mention alas. Ill have to look at my lengths again. Lesson learned - know what youre going to do before you buy the wood. Slippery slope time - still thats (partially) the point. I'm now beginning to question other parts of my plan for eg beginning to think my proposed pine slats won't be up to the job not that theyre going to have to cope with newly weds - at worst an excited two year old. At least he bounces...
Thanks again.
Mike
 

Newbie_Neil

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Hi Mike

Welcome to the forum.

If Steve Maskery picks up on this thread, perhaps he'll explain how he does his secret bed corners.

Cheers
Neil
 

Midnight

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eg beginning to think my proposed pine slats won't be up to the job
ahhhhh.... that's where the grey matter gets a work-out... working with Youngs Modulus...
 

Steve Maskery

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Steve Maskery picks up the thread, and has S tattooed onto his chest.

Ah yes, I've made a bed or two in my time. Some of them have worked out quite well too.

First I would say, make what you like. I don't like tusk tenons, cos they are shin-skinners, IMHO. Yes they can look good, but better suited to trestle tables than beds.

Neither do I like the hangars. I think they look cheap and nasty (sorry to anyone who uses them and likes them - you can, of course defend your own corner), and my experience of sleeping on a bed that did use them was that they were not very rigid. Yes they rely on weight, but that doesn't mean they are rigid, they wiggle and sqeak when you turn over, for example.

I use a length of M12 screwed rod and a couple of nuts and washers.

First cut off a 2mm veneer from the fronts of the tailboard legs and the backs of the headboard legs. Save them.

Counterbore a 19mm hole to a depth of about 12mm, then drill right through at 12mm. Thread a nut onto a length of studding and pull it into the counterbored hole until it is no longer proud of the surface. Glue that veneer back on, and chamfer the edges. No-one will ever know.

On the rail, rout a 12mm groove down the centre of the inside face, to 6mm beyond the centre of the board. Run a rabate cutter around that groove, to a depth 6mm THIS side of the centre. Fill this rebate in with a piece of wood. You now have a 12mm square hole down the board, to a length of, say, 150mm.

Now rout out a pocket in the inside face of the rail, to within, say, 4mm of the outside face. You can now get in there with a washer, nut and spanner.

To use, thread a length of studding into the leg. Don't turn it too far or it will push off that veneer. Slide the rail onto the stud and attach the washer and nut. You can tighten it as much as you like and the bed will be rock solid, whatever you are lucky enough to get to do on it.

On the drawing I have also shown the stub tenons, but these are for location and for bearing the vertical load on the joint, rather than for keeping the two pieces together.



Hope this helps.

Cheers
Steve
 

Midnight

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I don't like tusk tenons, cos they are shin-skinners
granted if ya leace the ends square cut they're gonna take some skin... just a matter of time, however... properly shaped and intigrated into the rest of the design they can be nigh on impossible t clatter...

trust me... I tested that thoroughly..!!
 

mr

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Hi all ,
Thanks for all your replies so far. On the tusked tenons idea, I'm almost certain not to have the length in the material for side rails to achieve it, though I will reasses tomorrow when the wood turns up. Steve thanks for your detailed plans, I'm still thinking through all that but its an attractive idea. Not sure how I would achieve cutting the veneer strips but as I say Im still thinking through that.

Youngs Modulus? eek! thats all I can say.
 

Midnight

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Steve... pics aren't my strong-point..

I knocked off the edges and corners of the projecting rails but that was the easy bit... I oversized and shaped the top cap of the footboard in such a way that when walking as close as possible arond the bed, the projecting ends and bowed centre of the top cap threw you away from the rail projections. Granted you could still hit them if you really tried, but when taking a normal stride the resulting blow wasn't sufficient to cause harm.
I'd to pay particular attention to this cos one of the recipients has had his lower leg rebuilt using stainless rods and is notoriously dozy in the morning. He's commented to the effect that the design of the top cap works, pushing him far enough away to avoid the projections...
 
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