When you assemble a bed frame, you want to accomplish two things. First, you want it to be solid as a rock. Next, you need to be able to assemble and disassemble the bed frame quickly and easily for moving. Well as you might guess, there's hardware available that handles both jobs and it works great. HOW THEY WORK. The drawing at upper right shows how the bed rail fasteners I used (and most other types) work. The male plate of the fastener (left in drawing) is mortised into die end of the side rail. It has a pair of tapered hooks that engage two slots in the female plate of the fastener, mortised into the leg. As the rail drops into place, the tapered face of the hooks pulls it tightly against the female plate locking the leg and rail together. All it takes to reverse the lock is a solid "thump" on the bottom of the rail.
MORTISES. The only catch is, to get the best result, the fasteners have to be mortised snugly in place, flush to the surface. This means cutting eight mortises, four of these into tough end grain. So it didn't take me long to decide that routing these mortises was the best way to go. It was an easy job using a simple jig. You'll find the details on page 30.
FINISH UP. Once the shallow plate mortises were routed, I got out a hand drill to complete the job. As you can see in the upper drawing, both parts need a relief area drilled out behind the plate. The side rail mortises simply need a couple of shallow holes to provide clearance for the nubs on the back of the plate (Fig. 1). On the legs, I drilled a deeper, secondary mortise behind the slots in the plate to accommodate the fastener hooks as in Fig. 2.
: Seated in a snug fitting mortise on the leg, the slotted plate provides a solid attachment point for the side rails.
Shallow holes provide clearance —t for nibs f
NOTE: For details on routing mortises for fasteners, see page 30
V-dia. Forstner bit
Holes positioned behind slots
Drill series —-of overlapping ^ holes ^
behind ^ slots
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