I would like to carry out a similar project as the one described in this thread(Can I use bolts to attach a bed to the walls of my room?).

I have seen several similar projects but they do not seem concerned about the expansion of the 2meter long beams of wood against the wall.

I have considered leaving an expansion gab at the end of the beam but have not worked out how to hold it securely to the perpendicular beam bolted to the wall.

Would 2meter long support beams not expand in length sufficiently to cause the wall to bend/crack? Can they be securely bolted to the beams bolted to the wall and thus make a solid frame?

1 Answer 1


Wood expansion is mostly an issue across the grain, and can almost always be ignored when considering movement with the grain (your 2m dimension). See this post on woodworking for some more details.

Assuming you're using 1x4 material as in the linked question, and assuming you get plain-sawn stock and not quarter-sawn, the most movement will be along the 4" (well, actually 3.5") direction - swelling to e.g. 3.75" and shrinking to 3.25"* . You may see some slight movement along the 1" (actual 3/4") direction, but that might swell to e.g., 25/32" and shrink to 23/32"* .

Note that if you air condition the space, the actual movement will be much less than if the space were not conditioned, or if the piece were outside.

*These numbers are examples and may not be indicative of actual movement.

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