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So, I've made this bedframe that's rather tall, the frame is 32" off the ground, and the legs are each bolted on with two 3/8" bolts running perpendicular, and horizontally.

Having not actually used it yet, it feels very stable, but for safety I'm considering some sort of lateral support. Not actually being a structural engineer, I'm not sure if that's overkill so long as everything else is pretty stable, or if it's a better safe than sorry thing.

Any thoughts/experience is appreciated.

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Bedframe

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

Lateral support is probably very important. Over time your bolts will not grip as strongly, and the legs will start to wiggle. Bracing the legs to each other or to the top of the bed will counter this rotational tendency. You'll need to fasten each leg at two points to make this work right, so you might consider the following options for securing each leg to the adjacent legs:

  • Strapping a wide (probably 6+ inches) board across two legs, fastening at the four corners, or
  • Trusses, fasten the bottom of the left leg and the bottom of the right leg to the same point on the lintel, or
  • an X shape between each pair of legs, with a fastener in the center.

As this is a bed and will be subject to... ahem... use, you'll probably want some sort of bracing.

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Thanks! My plan was to go with the Truss approach, is it reasonable to leave one side open, or is that a poor idea? You mentioned an X shape between any pair of legs, would it not be required to do such for at least one pair in each direction? –  Arelius Feb 7 '12 at 22:42
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I'm not sure about leaving one side open. In theory every leg is already rotationally secured against another, but in practice this whole thing is about redundancy. Also, when I wrote "an X shape between any pair of legs" I should have written each pair, I'll edit that. –  Shimon Rura Feb 9 '12 at 3:54
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