I'm building a Murphy bed with 18mm plywood.

I would like to use knock-down joints for the sides of the base (outer-frame). My research led me to cross dowels (see below)

When doing some tests joining with cross-dowels, I was confronted by the following challenge:

Because the planks are large, I have to use a hand drill. Drilling accurately is quite difficult. For the edge I There are jigs to help with this but they're so expensive I'd can't quite justify it. I'm considering building my own jig with wood/perspex and metal drill bushings.

Alternatively, I considered using the another type of connector that is often used vertically in knock-down beds.

Specification: Size: 52 mm, Width: 17 mm, static load Both Horizontal & Vertical approximately 250 kg

I have a hand router (in case a recess is required).

Concrete Questions

Would this type of connector be structurally as sound as a knockdown joint?

What must I consider when using such a connector?

Design: bed Cross dowels: cross dowels alternative connector: connector

  • 3
    Re. using a hand drill and having difficulty in drilling accurately enough, that's easily tackled. Obviously you start from accurate layout and after that good technique will ensure the holes are plenty accurate enough, if necessary by drilling successively larger holes starting from a small pilot. But if you want to build a jig to help by all means do so, it's good practice apart from anything, if it's only for this job though no need to bother with metal bushings which will simplify and speed its construction.
    – Graphus
    Commented Jan 26, 2019 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


This is an old question, but it still deserves an answer.

Would this type of connector be structurally as sound as a knockdown joint?

For the intended use, definitely. For connecting the frame of your Murphy bed, no.

What must I consider when using such a connector?

You need to think about the size and direction of the load. Bed rail connectors have a wedge that fits into a tapered slot, and the weight of the mattress etc. pushing the wedge into the taper is what makes the connection strong. Once you remove the weight, the bed is easily disassembled with a good whack on the bottom of the bed rail.

Use the barrel nuts. You can absolutely build your own jig from a piece of scrap.

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