Monday, December 1, 2008

On Modding a 70-year-old Bed

My daughter A. owns a beautiful handcrafted bed made from black walnut in the 1930's by her grandmother when she was in high school. As such things happen, it suddenly became an urgent project to replace her perfectly functional twin bed with the old walnut full-size bed.

We needed an inexpensive way to get a mattress that would fit, and she liked the $149 dollar foam mattress at Ikea coupled with the curved birch bed slats. So we got it home, set up the bed, and... the 53" slats were too small for the 54" bed, they barely made it to the edges of the wooden rails and would easily slide through. So we needed to come up with a way to make it work...

When you're dealing with a bed that was lovingly crafted from black walnut, you don't want to muck it up. I'm happy that we found some nice 1"X2.5" red oak strips at Home Depot, screwed them in with way more screws than it probably needed, gently nailed a half-inch pine spacer on each side, and put it back together in less than an hour. My new cordless electric screwdriver worked great! A. is very happy with the result and I'm not embarrassed by my work, which stands up adequately with the integrity of the original piece of furniture.

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