Basically, I want to be able to make the platform of this bed easy to take apart, because I'd like to be able to easily move it by myself. I'd like knock-down fasteners to be used in a way that the frame can be assembled and re-assembled repeatedly without damaging the lumber or hardware.

The picture below is a rough mock-up of the bed frame from the underside. Bottom of The Bed Frame Platform

Here's a quick rundown on the frame:

It's a queen size. In the above picture, the brown corresponds to the wood, the light gray corresponds to headboard brackets, and the dark gray corresponds to mounting plates for the bed legs.


The wood will be red oak.

The outer boards will be 8/4 (1.5" thick) and 5.5" wide. Two will be 60.75" long and the other two will be ~82" long. The middle inner board is also 8/4 (1.5" thick), but it will be 3.5" wide with a length of ~71". The skinny strips will be 4/4 (0.75" thick) rails for the bed slats. They'll be joined to the long adjacent boards with biscuits for alignment and screws for strength. (I don't want the rails to be knock-down.)

Current Hardware

The leg mounting plates are approximately squares with 2.4" sides. I'd like to keep them near the innermost corner of the miter joints. If that's not possible, then I'd like to keep them as close as possible to the miter joints by placing them all on the vertical boards (in the picture).

The head board brackets are ~1.5" wide by ~5.5" long. The center headboard bracket will be kept in its place. However, the other two outer brackets can be drawn in more, but I'd like to keep them as close to the edge as possible.

I'm planning an attaching the above hardware to the lumber with tee-nuts, because threaded inserts with knife type threads do not go easily into red oak.

Design Constraints

I would prefer for all of the knock-down hardware to be visible only on the bottom. It's okay if it's visible on the top, but I'd be a bit worried about moisture from the mattress corroding the hardware or damage to the mattress from the hardware. However, if it would be visible from the outside perimeter edges, I will revert to my original plan of using floating tenons.

Knock-Down Hardware I've looked at

  • Cam Bolts and Screws: I've looked at a wide variety of cam bolts and screws. However, I'm only interested in ones that have threaded inserts for the bolt as knife type threads do not work all that well in hardwood. I'm currently looking at Cam Bolts with a 6mm diameter. These would be my first choice with metal dowels for reinforcement (if needed).
  • Countertop Joint Fasteners: I've only briefly looked at Rockler's Tite Joint Fastener
  • Metal Dowels: I was thinking of using these just for extra strength. I'd like them to be of a uniform size, if they are used. However, I'm not sure how big the holes should be for the dowels due to the wood expanding or contracting.

The Question

Will any of the above options work for this bed frame? Would other knock-down fasteners work? Is it completely infeasible?

My preferred option would be to run a pair of cam bolts & screws along each joint of 8/4 wood, with metal dowels if they are needed for strength.

  • Well-framed Question, bravo. But you're making this a bit harder for yourself than you need to, even in a softer wood than you're using just standard screws can be driven, extracted and re-driven multiple times with success. So be realistic about how many times this will actually need to be broken down and reassembled elsewhere. Only going to be a handful of times? Standard screws will do you.
    – Graphus
    Commented Apr 11, 2018 at 13:01

2 Answers 2


Your approach is decidedly non-standard, and worryingly so.

I'd recommend you stick with the standard approach - bed bolts, head/foot boards and side rails. The approach you're showing is necessarily restricted to very short support elements on your hardware, and given the stresses beds are subjected to that's not a good idea.


Can you use hook on headboard brackets for the long boards? In fact, you could use them for connecting all of the top pieces together.

Now to handle the legs. Maybe you could resaw the outer boards in half. On the inner piece, on the outer side, counterbore a recess for a hex head, and drill a hole through the board. Epoxy a hex bolt in place, with the shaft of the bolt protruding into the bed area. Once you glue the two pieces of the rail together, you've created a captive bolt that won't turn. Drill corresponding holes in the legs, and secure then with a lock nut. You're want at least two holes bolts per leg for alignment.

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