King-Size Bed Construction Details

Tips on building a king-size bed. April 27, 2007

I am going to be building a king sized bed for a client. I do furniture and cabinets and have only done a few beds over the years. Do any of you have any favorite construction techniques or hardware, specifically in regard to the rail fasteners and the slats that would make a really good product? On a king size bed, do you have a center support?

Forum Responses
(Furniture Making Forum)
From contributor S:
I really like the sprung laminated bed slats that firms like Hafele do.

From contributor A:
I always use bed bolts on all the corners and place four additional adjustable feet under the slats for a king size bed. I use three cross slats with one running the length of the bed down the center. Using the bed bolts along with the additional feet make the bed really stable with very little movement.

From the original questioner:
I looked in the Hafele book and can't find bed slats. Can you point me in the right direction?

From contributor S:
Sorry to say I've just looked on the Hafele USA web site and they don't have them listed - apologies, I'm in Europe where they are listed.

From contributor P:
I have assembled beds in two ways. One being traditional with the nut trapped in the rail with the bolt head recessed in the post, the other with the bolt in the rail and the nut in the post. With the bolt in the rail, it is recessed in with a T shaped routed groove and then covered with a piece of wood to keep the bolt from falling out. The T area allows the bolt to slide back and forth. The only advantage to this is you won't lose the bolts if the bed is moved. As far as support, I have used the angled irons and span them with a piece of U channel steel. I have also spanned them with one inch slats and then put plywood on top. The slats were on a queen, and were requested; the steel was on a California king, if I remember right. If you are doing custom work, I wouldn't buy rails from the catalog.

From contributor L:
I built a bed about 4 years ago and used the 145 mm bed brackets from CSH and they are very easy to use and stay tight (in fact, I think they tighten with use).

From contributor J:
Will you have a footboard also? I screwed a ledger board on both the head and foot to support a full length center support. Incidentally, some kings have two twin size box springs instead of a one piece. Try to get a one piece up some stairs sometime. I would get some light 1 1/2 inch angle irons and have them spot welded to make an upside down T for the center support. Then the bed slats would be short ones. In fact, I made two for one family (usually one a family was enough) - they had two homes.

From contributor D:
I've never seen a one-piece king box spring. Coincidentally, a couple of weeks ago this topic came up about a sleigh bed we made about seven years ago. The customer asked us to modify the center brace we made to catch the two box springs. It originally consisted of a couple of small posts connected by a wooden brace notched into ledgers on the head and footboards. For some reason, they claimed they can now feel the bracing for the two box springs. Princess and the pea kind of thing, I guess. Who makes one piece king size box springs?

From contributor P:
I have built a few beds using a couple of different methods of construction. I found a book, "Beds," by Jeff Miller, to be a good source of information. Depending on your headboard and footboard construction, be careful about wood movement between the headboard and legs.

From contributor J:
Contributor D, you are right about not seeing a one piece king box spring. I guess I still remember that narrow winding stair, and it must have been a queen.