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Problem

We inherited (parts of) a brass bedframe from my spouse's grandparents. We bought a new mattress which came with a modern bedframe of metal rails. The brass headboard has two 6.5' bedposts that connect to the frame and the headboard. The footposts, though, are freestanding. The overall structure looks like this picture although ours is nowhere near as fancy:

Example

See how those super tall footposts aren't connect to each other at all once they get above the bedframe? Now imagine the bedframe is much weaker than the posts and children are swing around pretending to be ninjas. I need to reinforce the frame. Right now, with the posts attached, I can apply a small force at the top and easily distort the frame.

FrameWarp

In that GIF, the threaded feet are holding the frame up so it was easier to attach the post. In use, the post would be heavy on the ground - mostly under its own weight - which would offer slightly more resistance than what is shown. However, I think it'd still be fairly easy to rotate the post all the way to horizontal and destroy the frame if I tried. It's a very long moment arm.


Proposed Solution

I was thinking I could add angle iron that runs between the posts and the vertical bolted to the frame and post.

Viewpoints

Diagram

AngleIron


Question

Is this likely to be strong enough? Will it just tear up both sides at once? Is there a better solution? I have MIG welded in the past but I don't have a welder handy. If welding something to reinforce the frame is really the best / only option, I can probably find or rent one. Bolting things is no problem.

I don't know if the bedposts are antiques but the grandparents had them for 50+ years so it's unlikely I'll be able to find replacements if I mess them up. If the solution is to get a new bed frame, we just won't put the footposts up.

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    Remember about learning about "give me a long enough lever and I will move the world"? That is what you have there. Reinforcement of just the bottom section will need about an inch thick steel(maybe more).
    – crip659
    Jul 18 at 21:18
  • Amazing how parents always blame the children for acting like ninjas. In a room they are not allowed to play in.
    – crip659
    Jul 18 at 21:55
  • Something like the headboard(footboard) is what you should have, not as high. Maybe something made out a nice piece of wood, just above the mattress, anchored to the poles and the side railings under the bed.
    – crip659
    Jul 18 at 22:14
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    I assume the posts are tubes, what thickness do their walls have? Increasing the thickness of the new connection might mean it'll be the tubes will warp and tear. I would definitely pursue a means of reinforcing them (or you might find yourself a little closer to the ground during ninja visits or a particularly amorous night), but you might also want to use this as a learning moment for the ninjas not to do that :)
    – MiG
    Jul 18 at 22:36
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    @Ecnerwal Not permitting is, unfortunately, not a guarantee that it won't happen. It'll only take one time to damage something. Retrofitting most of a brass footboard to attach to the posts is a good idea. I'll look for something that can fit. Jul 19 at 14:36

1 Answer 1

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Connecting the bottom of the two posts will simply share the load between the posts.

You need to triangulate from the bottom of the bracket holding the post to the frame in order to resist the twist. Something like this (note the blue lines):

modified version of OPs drawing showing location of bracing

I'd suggest also triangulating along the side of the bed (90° to the angle of motion shown in your GIF), just to help out. You could probably have a bracket that bolts to the existing bracket, then weld or bolt that to the frame.

Your angle iron between the posts might also be useful, but only in addition to the triangulation.

Only slightly less seriously, since you indicated (in a comment) that you put a steel pipe inside the brass post, you could use a smaller diameter pipe on a flange screwed into the floor. Then you just drop the bed post pipes over the ones on the floor. All the kid ninja moves momentum will be transferred directly to the floor and the bed and post shouldn't go anywhere. At least, not until he grabs above the 3' steel insert.

It would look something like this:

quick sketch of post in post in post suggestion

Where the yellow is the brass bed post, the dark grey is the steel post you've already added, the red is the floor flange bolted to the floor, and the light grey is a new steel post screwed into the floor flange.

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