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Thread: Attaching bed rails to posts with thread inserts

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wall View Post
    I think I'm going with the concealed bed bolts with a mortise & tenon joint. Anyone have any thoughts on: 1) a single tenon ( 5" tall x 3/4" wide x 1" long) with the bolt running through the center of it or 2) 2 tenons stacked (2" tall x 3/4" wide x 1" long with a 2" space between them). The bolt would run through the space between the tenons. Bed rail is 8" x 1 1/4"
    Single tenon. You need all the strength you can get with a king size bed. That's what Ken Rodel uses in his Fine Woodworking bed video.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rainey View Post
    Single tenon. You need all the strength you can get with a king size bed. That's what Ken Rodel uses in his Fine Woodworking bed video.
    Thanks for the reply. Does the tenon dimensions seem appropriate? No issues drilling a hole through it for the bed bolt?

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wall View Post
    Thanks for the reply. Does the tenon dimensions seem appropriate? No issues drilling a hole through it for the bed bolt?
    Interestingly, Kevin Rodel uses a stub tenon only 1/2 inch long ( and a 1/2 thick ) for the rail joints using bed bolts. His rails are for a queen bed, they are 7 inches and he uses a 6 inch stub tenon. If your rails are 8 inches, you could easily use a 6 inch tenon. Any reasons that he used 1/2 stub tenons for the rails? The joint relies on the bed bolt to pull it tight so you do not need any real tenon length ( because it is not a glue joint )?

    I covered my bed bolt with medallions

    medallion.jpg

  4. #19
    The bed rail fasteners in the queen size bed my son and his wife sleep on is more than 20 years old and the bed has been moved several times. It is still solid. My late wife and I slept on it about 20 years and my son and his wife have used it daily 7 or 8 years now. It is made of oak. If you make a good snug mortise for the plates and use 2 inch or longer screws I am pretty sure you will have no issues. I think the main issue is if you use too short a screw into the end grain of the rail. Those screws in particular have to be long because the holding power of the end grain is not great. 3 inch would be good and since the rail is so long there is no reason to use a shorter screw. In the headboard and end board you probably cannot use a 3 inch, I couldn't. In one design I have made three times now (including my son's), the legs are 3 inch so you can use a 2.5 inch screw. Another design I've made twice has only 1 3/4 inch material in the legs so you are limited to about a 1 1/2 inch screw. Those beds are doubles but have held up fine with couples in them occasionally. I sleep on one of these beds when I visit them. It is very solid.

    I am not saying this is the only joint that will work. Many will work. But these fasteners are the easiest to use I have found that make a good solid bed. I have no interest in making a bed that will not hold up. The other advantage is they do not show when the bed is assembled.
    Last edited by Jim Dwight; 05-05-2021 at 3:54 PM.

  5. #20
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    I was thinking about the hidden bed bolts as pictured above. Or flip the common type around. And I 'thought' Benchcrafted had something like that for their bench kits. But they're the conventional exposed style using a barrel nut.

    My personal concern would be with using them with the rails flush with the inside of the post. The notch and pocket for the screw more or less forces you into putting the thread insert 5/8" from the face of the post. Seems kind of close to me. If the rail were set in (out actually, I guess) you'd have more meat there for the insert.

  6. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wes Grass View Post
    I was thinking about the hidden bed bolts as pictured above. Or flip the common type around. And I 'thought' Benchcrafted had something like that for their bench kits. But they're the conventional exposed style using a barrel nut.

    My personal concern would be with using them with the rails flush with the inside of the post. The notch and pocket for the screw more or less forces you into putting the thread insert 5/8" from the face of the post. Seems kind of close to me. If the rail were set in (out actually, I guess) you'd have more meat there for the insert.
    Agree. I'm going with all bed bolts now. and going to mortise/tenon all rails and position them in the center of the 3 3/4" square posts. The headboard bed bolts will pass all the way through the posts, because I don't care if a bolt is exposed on the back of the headboard. The 2 footboard bed bolts will be concealed. If I drill (7/16 hole) it in the center of the tenon, for the bolt, I think I'll have plenty of wood on either side of the bolt.

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wall View Post
    If I drill (7/16 hole) it in the center of the tenon, for the bolt, I think I'll have plenty of wood on either side of the bolt.
    You should be fine. I note Roger also mentioned a stub tenon. Less chance for break out of the bolt.

  8. #23
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    For more information check out the Late Charles Neil on YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJC0Mz1B6aM
    Dan

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rainey View Post
    You should be fine. I note Roger also mentioned a stub tenon. Less chance for break out of the bolt.

    These are the bed bolts I bought. Bed bolts. But now I'm wondering with the size of the rail (8" x 1 1/4" x 82"), whether I should use 2 bed bolts per connection. Or, would 1 bed bolt be sufficient ? Would the 2 bolts weaken the tenon? I was planning on a stub tenon ( 3/4" thick x 5 1/2" width and length around 1 1/4"). Does that seem too long for a stub tenon ?

  10. #25
    I've made a bunch of queen sized beds. I used the hook/plate hardware on the first one and never used it again. (Those beds rack as you move them around and can squeak with "vigorous bouncing".) I now use tenons on the ends of the rails about 1/2" long and the full width of the bed rail (minus a small shoulder). The stub tenon serves to make sure the holes in the leg and rail are registered and makes assembly of the bed easier. I clamp the bed together then drill holes for 2 bed bolts for each rail connection. I either leave the heads exposed or hide them in a counterbore covered with the same wood as the leg. These beds could be dropped out a 2 story window and not rack. They do not squeak regardless of how much vigorous bouncing they are subject to.

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Wall View Post
    These are the bed bolts I bought. Bed bolts. But now I'm wondering with the size of the rail (8" x 1 1/4" x 82"), whether I should use 2 bed bolts per connection. Or, would 1 bed bolt be sufficient ? Would the 2 bolts weaken the tenon? I was planning on a stub tenon ( 3/4" thick x 5 1/2" width and length around 1 1/4"). Does that seem too long for a stub tenon ?
    Stub tenon should be 1/2 to 3/4 inches. No need for longer - this is not a glue dependent joint. One bed bolt only fir each post. And only 4 bed bolts needed - 6 inches would be nice.

  12. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rainey View Post
    Stub tenon should be 1/2 to 3/4 inches. No need for longer - this is not a glue dependent joint. One bed bolt only fir each post. And only 4 bed bolts needed - 6 inches would be nice.
    Thanks for your advice, appreciate it.

  13. #28
    Minutiae brings lots of opinions! When I was a kid I worked for an old guy who was still mad about the Great Depression....the one with no
    prescription pills. He insisted bed rail stub tenons be 1and 1/8. “Most go shorter, but MY way makes it easier to put the bed together if you
    are working alone”.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mel Fulks View Post
    I suggest using bed bolts and making small covers for the heads from the same wood. Many years from now the bolt up beds will be saved
    when other beds are thrown out.
    I used an idea I saw from an article where the covers for the bolts were made to look like the ends of through tenons. They fit into a mortise a little deeper than the bolt head and a rare earth magnet held the plug to the bolt head.

    Cliff
    Mudhead: "Doesn't Louise count?" Porgy: "Only to 10, Mudhead."

  15. #30
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    When I built my daughters bed.. bought "bed bolts"... the threads were not standard... if someone took it apart to move it and lost the nut, they were in deep trouble...

    Returned the "bed bolts" and used 3/8" x 7" standard galvanized bolts with a flat washer on each end...
    2 advantages:...
    first is if a nut is lost, it is easily replaced..
    second is that you can use any standard socket to install them.. do not need a special wrench..

    I used the brass covers on the holes...

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