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post #1 of 10 Old 01-30-2018, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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Dovetail questions

I am designing a bed frame with some Japanese style joinery and dovetails, I want to make the slats for the bed and connect them to the bed using dovetail T-Halving joints and I wonder whether that will support the weight of the bed and two people without a brace down the center. Picture for reference
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post #2 of 10 Old 01-30-2018, 11:33 AM
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If Iím understanding your question correctly, you want to dovetail the slats into the side rails. Although thatís a nice way to space the slats, the dovetail will not make the slats any stronger. The slats can still sag without a center support.

If you don't have time to do it right the first time, when will you have time to do it over?
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post #3 of 10 Old 01-30-2018, 11:35 AM
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Welcome to the forum! When you get a minute go ahead and complete your profile with first name and location. That helps us to help you.

I guess it depends on how many slats, how great the span, and how large or small the people are. Twin bed with 4 slats, probably be ok. King bed with 4 slats, probably fail. You would probably need that center support for a king or queen bed, maybe even a double bed. And you'd be better off with 6 slats over 4 slats.

It also depends on the direction of the grain on the slats. Quartersawn would be stronger than flat sawn in this application. How thick will the slats be?

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post #4 of 10 Old 01-30-2018, 11:47 AM
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For a queen or king bed, a bad idea.
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post #5 of 10 Old 01-30-2018, 12:32 PM Thread Starter
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Still designing this, but it will Tatami style so many slats spaced 2-inches apart for the time being, and there will be a support beam in the middle
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post #6 of 10 Old 01-30-2018, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beardedandlost View Post
I am designing a bed frame with some Japanese style joinery and dovetails, I want to make the slats for the bed and connect them to the bed using dovetail T-Halving joints and I wonder whether that will support the weight of the bed and two people without a brace down the center. Picture for reference
What dimension wood? How many slats per bed? What size bed? What type of wood?

What size people will sleep on bed?

Actually, the design you slows weakens each slat by 1/2.

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post #7 of 10 Old 01-30-2018, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeC View Post

Actually, the design you slows weakens each slat by 1/2.

George
The only way I can see getting away with something like this is to cut a rabbet on the side rails. Cut a small dovetail, 1/4" deep and 1/2" long to align the slat on the rail.
Then the slat can sit on the rabbet edge and align in the corresponding dovetail slot. make the side rails deep enough that the slots and rabbet don't weaken it.

Use regular 1x slats because the whole slat will be sitting on and supported by the rabbet.
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post #8 of 10 Old 01-30-2018, 02:44 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andr0id View Post
The only way I can see getting away with something like this is to cut a rabbet on the side rails. Cut a small dovetail, 1/4" deep and 1/2" long to align the slat on the rail.
Then the slat can sit on the rabbet edge and align in the corresponding dovetail slot. make the side rails deep enough that the slots and rabbet don't weaken it.

Use regular 1x slats because the whole slat will be sitting on and supported by the rabbet.
This is something I was considering
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-01-2018, 08:27 AM
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the last few box springs I've helped move were actually hollow in the center. so the only bearing surface on the whole thing if I remember correctly was around the perimeter!?! all of the structure was on the top surface. and I am pretty sure there aren't springs in there anymore...


just saying it adds a different perspective of the role of the slats.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-01-2018, 11:49 AM
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We recently replaced the mattress and box spring set on our full sized bed and discovered that new box spring was too flimsy that the whole set sagged in the middle. The 1x4 oak slats are positioned on the side rails with small wooden blocks glued and pegged to the side rail sills. I ended up gluing and screwing 1x4 center vertical pieces to each slat to support the center. We had two twin sized beds made by an Amish firm (Yutzy Woodworking) for our spare bedrooms and they have cast aluminum fixtures for joining the rails to the head board and foot board. They also have cast aluminum dovetail fittings screwed to the side rails to support the slats. The ends of the 1x3 slats are dovetailed and lock into the aluminum fittings. No central support as these are twin beds, but the supports would work for any size bed.

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Last edited by Jim Frye; 02-01-2018 at 11:50 AM. Reason: typo
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