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turkeysandwich
 
Reinforcing a bed frame - beginner wood working questions

I have a king size bed frame which has become really loud and squeaky, especially during heavy "use."

It is a basic wood bed frame with the side runners connection to the head board and the foot board with metal hooks. There are four wooden cross slats attached to each of the side runners with screws. There are individual supports running from the ground to the center of each of the slats. These supports seem about a quarter to a half of an inch too short causing the center to sag slightly. On top of the frame I have the box spring (in two pieces) and mattress

I'd like to reinforce it to cut down the noise and overall make it feel a little more sturdy. It is really hard to pinpoint but I think the squeaking and noise is coming from the slats.

My plan is to add three more slats and three support boards (beams?) running parallel to the side runners for the entire length of the bed. The slats will be screwed in to the side runners and also into the support beams.

I have very little experience working with wood, so hopefully one of you can help me out.

Does it really matter what kind of wood I use? It will be hidden so look is irrelevant, but I don't know about the strength requirements. I'm not a small guy so I need something which will hold up. Can I simply use MDF or do I need to spend the extra money and get something stronger?

Will a place like Home Depot cut wood to size? I don't have access to a saw and live in an apartment so I don't have the space to store or use anything more than the basics.

Can I just pick up some self drilling wood screws and use those, or do I need to drill pilot holes prior to screwing in the screws?

Any other input or things to look out for?
Old 06-30-2009, 11:51 AM turkeysandwich is offline  
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acetic
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by turkeysandwich View Post
I have a king size bed frame which has become really loud and squeaky, especially during heavy "use."

It is a basic wood bed frame with the side runners connection to the head board and the foot board with metal hooks. There are four wooden cross slats attached to each of the side runners with screws. There are individual supports running from the ground to the center of each of the slats. These supports seem about a quarter to a half of an inch too short causing the center to sag slightly. On top of the frame I have the box spring (in two pieces) and mattress

I'd like to reinforce it to cut down the noise and overall make it feel a little more sturdy. It is really hard to pinpoint but I think the squeaking and noise is coming from the slats.

My plan is to add three more slats and three support boards (beams?) running parallel to the side runners for the entire length of the bed. The slats will be screwed in to the side runners and also into the support beams.

I have very little experience working with wood, so hopefully one of you can help me out.

Does it really matter what kind of wood I use? It will be hidden so look is irrelevant, but I don't know about the strength requirements. I'm not a small guy so I need something which will hold up. Can I simply use MDF or do I need to spend the extra money and get something stronger?

Will a place like Home Depot cut wood to size? I don't have access to a saw and live in an apartment so I don't have the space to store or use anything more than the basics.

Can I just pick up some self drilling wood screws and use those, or do I need to drill pilot holes prior to screwing in the screws?

Any other input or things to look out for?

I'm having a bit of trouble picturing what you want... So I'm not sure if something like 2x4's would work, or if you'd need a sheet of something cut into the dimensions you'd need. If it's a sheet you need, MDF is alright, but heavy-- and under the right (or wrong) force snaps easily (depends on which direction you're reinforcing)... Something like pine isn't too much more and could possibly be better (it really depends on how you're reinforcing it specifically, and what the dimensions are).

Home Depot will (should) cut stuff to the sizes you need, but it's usually $1 per cut, with the first cut being free.

Pilot holes aren't 100% necessary unless you're using MDF, but I strongly recommend them. Make sure the screws you get aren't too long or too short. If you are just reinforcing stuff and it doesn't need to come apart at a later date, use glue between the pieces before you screw them together, it'll help prevent squeeks and groans.
Old 06-30-2009, 01:51 PM acetic is offline  
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_mike_
 
i wouldn't screw the slats into the side rails. i've never seen a bed like that, and i think it would be better (less prone to cracking) if they float a bit. i wouldn't do any vertical slats, if that's what you meant.

i don't know the width of a king-size, but my initial thoughts are MDF would bend and crack in the middle, unless it was very thick.
Old 06-30-2009, 02:03 PM _mike_ is offline  
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illig
 
can you take a pic or draw a diagram? i think most of us are having trouble picturing what you mean
Old 07-01-2009, 09:03 AM illig is offline  
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turkeysandwich
 
Hopefully this quick paint diagram makes a little more sense. This is an aerial view of what I am planning on doing.



In its current state, there are only 4 slats, each with a seperate short support running down to the ground in the middle.

In my proposed version I will add more slats and add the three support beams running from the ground to the bottom of the slats to provide plenty of support.

I went to Home Depot yesterday and it looks like I will just go with pine for all of it. Their saw was broken though and I didn't have time to go somewhere else so I'll have to pick up the wood next time I'm out.

Edit -

The slats will be
3" wide
76 1/2" long
3/4" thick

The supports will be
3/4" wide (I'm assuming this will be wide enough to screw into)
9 7/8" tall (Exact height from ground to bottom of slats)
81" long

Last edited by turkeysandwich; 07-01-2009 at 10:12 AM..
Old 07-01-2009, 10:05 AM turkeysandwich is offline  
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illig
 
How are the slats secured to the side runners?

What you need to realize is that only platform beds need lots of slats due to the lack of a box spring...

In your bed, the box spring (with its wooden frame) is the key structural piece keeping everything straight. The bed frame itself is just there to hold the box spring, so all you should have to do is screw in (or better bolt in) some L or T brackets between the existing boards, to just tighten things up. Use wood glue between the boards to get a longer lasting joint.

I have a platform bed (mattress directly on top of slats) and i therefore have a large number of flexible slats that act as support and suspension for the mattress.
Old 07-01-2009, 11:03 AM illig is offline  
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ThaOre0
 
To get rid of squeaking (connecting hardware rubbing together), roll the screws/nails/dowels in wax or a bar of soap.
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Old 07-02-2009, 03:58 PM ThaOre0 is offline  
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ford_ll
pwned
 
Hi, you are great

I have done some wood work before. I think if you want to finish your work successfully.You need to find a carpenter, maybe just need his advice for your task. Because they have the necessary tools, and they are very familiar to this work. Good luck.
Wish you finish your work quickly.
Old 08-27-2009, 11:30 PM ford_ll is offline  
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Sarah Palin
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _mike_ View Post
i wouldn't screw the slats into the side rails. i've never seen a bed like that, and i think it would be better (less prone to cracking) if they float a bit. i wouldn't do any vertical slats, if that's what you meant.

i don't know the width of a king-size, but my initial thoughts are MDF would bend and crack in the middle, unless it was very thick.

king size bed is 76" x 80"


if your center supports are too short causing a sag, address that issue first, you want to make sure it's level or even 1/8" higher than your sides.

I wouldn't screw anything in, instead keep your side to side slats which run from your side rails, on a king size you should have enough that theres no more than 2-3" gap between them. a 2x4 is too thick

For further reinforcement, put 2 35.5"x 80" pieces of mdf or plywood on top of your slats. You will notice your bed feeling firmer, that's a sign of support.

Squeaky beds usually occur either in teh boxspring, the mattress springs or where the side rails meet the head/footboards, they rarely have anything to do with the slats, but if like you said you have a sag, then you need to fix that because it will damage your matt/box over time

I used to build beds for a living, let me know if you need any more help
Old 08-28-2009, 07:30 AM Sarah Palin is offline  
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