Our wooden bed frame is three years old. At first it was perfectly solid and silent. But lately it's started creaking whenever we get in or out of it, and it's become unbearably loud.

The noise comes from the the corner, where the horizontal piece of wood at the side of the bed joins the vertical corner piece. They're bolted together and I assume the bolt had worked loose.

I've investigated tightening the bolt, which only helped a little bit temporarily. Also the bolt has started to wear down from repeated tightening, and I don't have the right tools anyway. I don't know if just making it really, really tight would actually solve the problem as I've been told it shouldn't need to be tightened very much.

My question is: How can I prevent the actual noise of the wood slipping against itself and creaking? I've read about using oil or talc... Or should I take it apart and fit something in between the two pieces of wood?

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    Bee's wax, disassemble the joint and work into the contact area. Commented Feb 14, 2014 at 2:02

2 Answers 2


If you can disassemble the frame, separate the siderails from the head and foot boards. Use a crayon or candle to wax the mating surfaces of the wood. This will help eliminate the squeeks. If the bolt has machine threads apply a small amount of thread lock (Loc-tite) which is available at the local hardware store. Get the smallest tube you can as you literally need four drops. One drop for each bolt. If the bolt has wood threads get some chair-lock. It is a glue designed for assembling chairs. Again apply a drop to each bolt. It also is available at the hardware store. While at the hardware store pick up the correct tool you need to tighten the bolt. Assemble the bed tightening the bolts until no movement is felt at the joints. If you can allow the bed to sit unused for an hour or so your adhesives can set.


Be careful when tightening the bolt more, it might pull out of the wood completely if it is screwed into the wood somewhere. If it is a bolt that goes all the way through the wood with a washer on each side, though, you can probably try tightening it more or even replacing it with a new one and that may help.

If you don't expect that you might need to disassemble the bed again at some point in the future, you can just glue it together permanently using a high strength wood glue (your local hardware store should be able to recommend one).

Also, you can reinforce the joint by drilling one or two holes into the boards where they meet so that you can stick a wood dowel pin between them, if your bed doesn't already have them. Make sure you pick a drill-bit that creates a tight fit with the pin. If it's too loose, it won't help. If the bed already uses them, check if they have become worn out, in which case it might help to replace them with new ones.

The dowel-pin-holes are also the most effective place to apply any wood glue, especially if the surfaces that meet at the corner are laminated or otherwise treated, which may block the glue from adhering to the wood.

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    Dowels are the way to go but don't use glue. A 3/8" dowel uses a 3/8" drill bit to install, it will be a tight fit. The trick will be to get the holes in the exact spot and in the proper plane. More on that later if need be.
    – Jack
    Commented Feb 13, 2014 at 23:59

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