|Original full size antique bed|
One of our guest rooms was well-equipped with a queen size bed, but the second guest room had a full size bed(that previous guests complained about).
Granted the second guest room was filled with a beautiful antique bed and matching dressers over 100 years old, but that was part of the dilemma. Do we replace the mattress with another full size mattress, or could we somehow fit a queen size mattress?
When I initially approached Mike about the idea of a queen size mattress, he didn't want to remove the antique furniture in the room. But a funny thing happened overnight. Mike woke up with an idea for converting the full size antique bed into a queen size antique bed. And his idea was to preserve the original antique bed without damage, in case the Antiques Road Show ever came to town.
Of course as these things happen, we had only 3 days to find and buy a mattress, convert the antique bed, have the mattress delivered and be ready for guests on Thursday evening.
Were we up for the challenge, or just plain crazy? Yes and yes.
Mike did all the work on this project, and I asked him to describe his steps.
1. Measured headboard and foot board width and checked queen mattress dimensions on Google. Determined that headboard and foot board were just slightly smaller than width of a queen mattress. Decided we could make this work.
2. Removed full size mattress and box spring set to gain access to the embedded bolts of the antique wooden side rails. Removed the side rails from bed with quarter-turn repetitive turns.
3. Checked the size of the embedded captive nuts in headboard and foot board by inserting 3/8" and 5/16" bolts. These did not fit and were not a common thread.
4. Used a long magnet stick and ice pick to extract the non-standard captive nuts from the square leg sections of the foot board and headboard.
|Removable metal tab|
|Queen size metal frame|
6. We purchased a queen metal frame designed for use with a modern brass bed. This had brackets on each end designed to attach to a headboard and foot board.
|Paper template tracings|
7. Next step was to create wooden adapters as an interface between the metal bed frame and headboard and foot board. This was necessary so we didn't damage the antique. I created a paper template of the holes by affixing a piece of paper over the headboard and foot board holes and used a lead pencil to lightly rub and create an outline of the holes that match the dowel pin locations and also the access hole to the captive nut.
8. Using the paper templates, I created four oak transition pieces. I drilled 1/2" dowel pin holes and 5/16" holes for the bolts(which matched the 5/16" diameter bolts in the new bed frame.
9. I used the largest bolts possible for maximum strength.
|Mike affixing the oak adapter pieces|
11. The dowel pins were installed to where they protruded slightly from the oak adapter pieces so that I could align them to the headboard and foot board. At this point I tapped them in with a small hammer and inserted the 5/16” bolts through the captive nut assemblies on each corner to tightly secure them to the antique headboard and foot board.
|Bolts and dowels in place|
|View from outside the bed|
12. With the wooden adapters secured, we stayed consistent with the original bed frame height and to be able to store stuff under the bed. I raised each corner of the bed frame and used 5/16” carriage bolts, washers, and nuts through the slots of the metal bed frame to secure it firmly to the headboard and foot board.
|New dowel legs for additional support|
14. I hammered furniture t-nuts into the bottom of each of these dowel sections, and threaded the feet into them. I slid these wooden leg extensions onto the bed frame and used aluminum shim stock to take up the slack between the vertical tubular steel and the 1” diameter holes.
|Queen mattress in place|
Mike did a fantastic job completing this project, effectively compromising between his desire to keep the antique bed intact, and my desire for a queen size bed. I am now convinced he can do anything...