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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Firstly, let me preface this all by saying that I am an idiot. This will become self-evident soon enough...

so we have MOST of a bed that looks like this one:



However, the color is different, and the vertical slats are a bit wider, but it is pretty much overall the same design.

One of the footboard posts came undone. The biscuit joints failed (the biscuits cracked)

We disassembled the bed and had the mattresses on the floor for a while. Then somehow, instead of taking the time to fix the foot board, my wife convinced me to throw the foot board out.

anyway, I would like to make a new footboard - or not - for this bed. But my question is this:

Instead of making a new footboard with two rails like in the picture above, can I just make a single rail like the one in the photo below?



Please ignore all the curves and the differences in the headboard between the two. I just want to know if

Can I just use a simple single rail at the foot of the bed to connect the two posts? Or do I NEED to have two rails (an upper and a lower) for strength or to prevent the legs from splaying out???

Second question:

What type of joints should I use to connect the end rail(s) to the foot posts?

The side rails use bed rail screws (not hooks) to connect to the foot posts. Should I do that for the end rail to connect to the posts?

Or should I use a more solid joint?

and now, the third question:

The posts were an actual 2.5" X 2.5", and the rails are an actual 1" X 4.5", but I can't find lumber around here in those dimensions. I am assuming I am going to have to find smaller pieces for the rails (say, three of 2X3 and laminate them together). Does this sound reasonable?

Also, what type of wood should I use? I took the one remaining post down to the lumber yard, and they said it looked like it was mahogany or sapele. He then pointed me to the PHILIPPINE Mahogany (since they don't have any "real" mahogany) and said I should try that. I politely declined.

so if worse comes to worse, can I use pretty much any inexpensive hardwood and just try to stain it?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
One more thing: The bed was originally made by Tools of the Trade out of Fairhaven, Vermont. I can't seem to find any info about them. If anybody has any clue about what they may have used to make their beds, it would be much appreciated. It is a rather warm and reddish looking wood. Wish that woodworkingtalk allowed you to upload photos.
 

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I think it's Red Oak and that's what I'd use. Most Lowe's Carry it. Yes you can use One single 5" rail. How was the box springs supported on the rails? How were the rails attached to the foot of the bed originally? what Kind of Tools do you have to do this work?
 

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Philippine mahogany is "real" mahogany, just one of many sub-species. Typically less expensive.

Take a look at Phind's excellent site for details of the various mahogany sub-species.

http://www.hobbithouseinc.com/personal/woodpics/#letterM

Sapele is in the mahogany family. Sometimes this can be easier to find depending on your location and local lumber mills.

You should be able to make a footboard with a single rail work.

If the rail is 4.5in deep, this is a good depth for a mortise and tenon joint. I would think a good fitting mortise and tenon when glued would be more than strong enough.

If you were really concerned you could use a bolt and barrel nut attachment, like this hardware from Lee Valley.

http://www.leevalley.com/US/Hardware/page.aspx?p=40445&cat=3,40842,41269&ap=1

I often laminate boards/pieces together to give me thicker or wider stock to work with.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
@ Missionismission:

Thank you again, my friend, for saving my bed (and possibly my marriage):

You said:

"I think it's Red Oak and that's what I'd use."
I might do that. It does look more like red oak to me than something like mahogany.

"Yes you can use One single 5" rail."
thanks for the confirmation. Can you suggest the best type of joints, or whether I should use knockdown hardware? (You might want to read on first before answering.)

"How was the box springs supported on the rails?"

There are cleats on the rails (thanks for your explanation in the other thread about them). Plus I am pretty sure there were slats as well.

so technically the slats rested on the cleats and the box spring rested on the slats.

(my wife threw out the box spring when she threw out the mattress and the footboard.)

"How were the rails attached to the foot of the bed originally?"
for the END rails, they originally used 2 biscuits at each end of the rail. The biscuits are 1/8th inch thick, and they were an 1/8th inch apart.

The SIDE rails use knockdown bed rail bolts... I can't find an exact photo. Two bolts are screwed into the ends of the rails, and the heads of them stick out about a half inch. On the bed posts, there is a shallow mortice and there is a metal plate with sort of a "keyhole" cut in it. The head of the bolts slide though the larger part of the keyhole and slide DOWN to the smaller part of the keyhole.

"what Kind of Tools do you have to do this work?"
7-14 circular saw. Cheapo jigsaw, couple of Japanese handsaws, plunge router that I also have a homemade router table for (hey, it works). Some hand planes, a random orbit sander, glue, clamps, duct tape, some cheapo dowel sets. A few small

Unfortunately, no band saw nor table saw for ripping. The legs are square so I don't need to turn them.

I think the big challenge will be laminating and then ripping back to size. I'm not really set up for ripping - especially red oak that is 2.5" square.
 

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Where are you located?

I have some red oak boards just gathering dust. Not my favourite wood these days.

I can cut to length and laminate to make some 2 1/2 x 2 1/2 x ?? long posts if you will pick up the shipping.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ok, a few things:

first, thank you to David Paine for the link and for the suggestion of the mortise and tenon joint.

I am pretty sure the Philippine mahogany he was pointing at was the Luan (or however it is spelled) wood that is VERY light. In had a yellowy-green tint to it rather than a warmish tint. He also said it was the CHEAPEST hardwood they had. and it was cheap - cheaper than poplar or cedar or doug fir or alder and maybe just slightly more expensive than clear pine. So I am guessing it wasn't the real deal.

~~~~~~

Secondly, while I still haven't been able to find a photo of the bed online, I was able to find a photo of a loom that was made by the same Tools Of The Trade from Fairhaven, Vermont. The bed frame is dyed / stained, and it looks very similar to the color of this loom:

http://community.knitpicks.com/profiles/blogs/high-fiber-ghost-of-christmas-and-birthday-presents

(I would embed the photo but it is HUGE).

~~~~~~~

Also, I don't know the name for the type of knock down connector used to join the SIDE rails to the posts, but this photo should help:

NOTE: Ignore the dimensions in this photo:



Again, please ignore the dimensions in this photo.

So in the post, there is a shallow mortise. In the ends of the rails there is a bolt screwed in NEARLY all the way (about a 1/4 inch gap remains). The head of the bolt slides into the large part of the hole in the metal plate (which is screwed over the shallow mortise in the post).

(Actually, there are TWO bolts in each end of the rail and the posts have TWO of these metal plates, one for each bolt).
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for your kind offer. I actually have a good source for red oak if that is what it turns out to be. I fear the shipping charge might be expensive.

Maybe, just maybe I can use this repair as an excuse to my wife to purchase a band saw.
 

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Lowe's usually has sized pieces for sale. If they had 2 1/2" by 24 " then you could glue 3 of them together to get your posts and with your glue up create a tenon joint for the rail. Even with only a Circ Saw you should be able to get decent results. Here's how I would do it...



You could fabricate rail hangers from aluminum "L" and cut slots in it to accommodate small lag bolts in the legs screw one side of the L to the rail then slide the slots onto the bolts in the legs and tighten them down. Works well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thank you again, missionismymission:

You said:

"If they had 2 1/2" by 24 " then you could glue 3 of them together to get your posts..."

Just to be sure, I think you mean a 2-1/2" X 1" X 24", right?

Or do you mean a 2" X 1/2" X 24"

They also sell 3 X 3 X 3 boards, which I am guessing is going to be just about 2.5 inches by 2.5 inches by 36 inches, right? (why are lumber sizes so confusing???)

I know that red oak is tough to work with but I think I could plain it down, since the posts will only be about 17 inches tall. Heck, I don't even mind using my router table and taking a 1/6th inch off at a time. Or, I could use it as my opportunity to finally practice ripping red oak with a hand saw, something EVERYONE always wants to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hey everyone, see this???

:clap:

that's me doing The Happy Dance!!!

Just heard from the designer who made the bed, Arthur Weitzenfeld, of Vermont Furniture Designs. Apparently he was the designer at Tools Of The Trade, and he remembers the type of bed they made.

Turns out the bed is SOLID CHERRY!!!

The biscuits look like they are cherry, too. Although it is a bit darker cherry than what we have at the lumber yard around here.

Of course, now you will have to look at this:

:wallbash:

that's me realizing I threw away all that cherry wood from the footboard instead of just keeping it and trying to fix it originally.

So for now, I am going to attempt the single foot rail design, and when I have better tools and a good jig for my router, and when I have more confidence in my wood working skills, I will try to do a restoration that is faithful to the original design.

Mystery solved. Thanks everyone for your help.
 
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