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Convert full size bed to queen size

Jacomo's picture

Hi,

I am a new member saying "Hello" to all. I look forward to learning from all of you.

Now my question. I have an antique 4 poster full size bed. The rails are joined to the head and foot boards with positioning dowels and bolts. I would like to convert this bed to a queen size. Has anyone done such a conversion project or have ideas or a reference?

Thanks,

Samson's picture

(post #84766, reply #1 of 17)

That sounds like a very difficult proposition as the difference in the two matress sizes differ in both their width and length.  The length may not be that hard to deal with as new rails can likely be fabricated fairly readily, but modifying the head and foot boards, depending upon its design (how elaborate etc.) sound like a big challenge.  It might be better to just make a new bed from scratch.


Edited 1/23/2007 7:52 pm ET by Samson

Jacomo's picture

(post #84766, reply #9 of 17)

Thanks!

This is a beautiful antique bed plus I have 3 other pieces that match. It is simply too nice not to use.

tinkerer2's picture

(post #84766, reply #2 of 17)

A queen size bed houses a sixty by eighty inch mattress and spring.  I think the double bed is something like fifty four by 74.  So you see that the queen is larger both ways.  The newer beds are now often sold as combo's, but I think they are probably more towards the queen size.  The headboards extend beyond the double size and of course the rails are eighty inches.  If you wanted to convert the double to the queen you could probably replace just the rails but the mattress would extend beyond the headboard and footboard about three inches on each side.  You would also have to make provision for the spring to overlap the rails.  If you have the old style open coil spring, that might be a little tedious.


Edited 1/23/2007 6:05 pm ET by tinkerer2

Jacomo's picture

(post #84766, reply #10 of 17)

Thanks for your thoughts.

My idea is to build a new frame and suports and attach the head and foot boards similiar to that done in the original.

hammer1's picture

(post #84766, reply #3 of 17)

I have a bunch of antique beds. It's not the most elegant solution but you can buy a modern size metal frame and attach the foot and headboard to that. Many of those frames only come with brackets to attach the headboard, so you have to get one that has brackets on both ends. These will also move the mattress and foundation lower. Modern bedding is much thicker than the old stuff, you almost need a stool to climb up when you put them on an old frame. The bedspreads and/or dust ruffles cover the frame so you don't really see it. The only problem is that you will have to drill for some lags in the bed. I figure it's better than not using the bed. You can always make a wood frame with top and bottom rails as well as side ones. Allow them to stick out past the headboard to fit the mattress, most won't notice the few inches.

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

Beat it to fit / Paint it to match

Jacomo's picture

(post #84766, reply #11 of 17)

Thanks.

I have thought about a large metal frame, but they are too low. I like the charm of the high bed with the four poster.

joinerswork's picture

(post #84766, reply #4 of 17)

Jacomo,


As others have pointed out, your problem is two-fold.  It may be possible, depending on the design of the bed, to make new, longer rails, and rabbet a plywood platform into them, flush with the top of the rails, so that a Queen mattress will lay on top, and come flush with the outside of rails.  Support the ply from underneath, with slats, laid from rail to rail, every few inches, or channel irons.  Feasibility of this will depend on how wide the outside all measurement is at the head and foot.  You can gain another inch or so of width by making the rails out of thicker stock, so they overhang the head and foot, and bevel or round their ends back to come to the head and foot, ( the mattress corners are rounded somewhat, so it'll match).  Now, a mattress on plywood will not be the softest, and that might not be an option for other than a "guest" bed, for occasional use.


Regards,


Ray Pine

Jacomo's picture

(post #84766, reply #12 of 17)

Ray,

Thanks for your thoughts.

Rounding the resultant corners and edges of the frame is a good idea.
This bed is vey comfortable as is, and is used in a guest room. I want to make the conversion for use in the master bedroom. I don't think that I would use a plywood platform,; just several slats. The bed has forged angle iron brackets to support the spring. When I bought this bed it had a coil spring that rested on these brackets. I put slats on the brackets and then a box spring on top of that. It is very comfortable.

Jacomo

joinerswork's picture

(post #84766, reply #15 of 17)

Jacomo,


Many period beds have side rails the same size as the posts (3x3, 4x4).   In that case, a standard double box spring inside queen length rails, fitted flush with the top of the rails, will allow for the queen mattress to lap over the tops of the rails and come flush with their sides. If needed, a short piece of thin plywood between mattress and boxsprings at the foot end, will easily support the 8" or so extra length of the mattress (compared to box springs), without  loss of comfort.


Ray

Jacomo's picture

(post #84766, reply #16 of 17)

Ray,

The rails on this bed are 1 1/4 x 5, and there is also a footboard so the bed is not long enough for a queen mattress. But, you have given me the key to an idea. I could make rails that are wider to accomodate the width of the queen and longer to fit into the existing dowel points and bolt position. My thinking is to have the rails narrower at the bottom than the top with a uniform "bevel" from top to bottom.

I could then fit the full box spring in the existing bed width flush with the rail as you suggest and use plywood pieces at one or both ends also flush with the top of the rail to fill the extra queen length. Since my wife and I prefer an extra firm bed, I do not think the comfort factor would change much. We currently use a platform bed.

I like this idea a lot because of its simplicity and ease of adapting to the existing head and foot boards.

Many thanks for continuing to think about my question.

Jacomo

joinerswork's picture

(post #84766, reply #17 of 17)

Jacomo,


Sounds like you have a plan.


Regards,


Ray

Omah's picture

(post #84766, reply #5 of 17)

It would be helpfull to send a photo or sketch if you can.

Jacomo's picture

(post #84766, reply #13 of 17)

I will try.

philip's picture

(post #84766, reply #6 of 17)

I second Omah-send a photo or sketch as at the moment the problem appears to be on how to extend the width of the head and footboards- the existing structure may or may not be suitable for this. I have actually done this for a customer whose bed was suitable for this type of butchery- and I made sure that he knew what was to happen first....

Philip Marcou

Philip Marcou
Jacomo's picture

(post #84766, reply #14 of 17)

I will try to send a photo or sketch.

My thinking is a separate frame to which I would bolt the head and foot boards. Not interested in " butchery".

Tom77's picture

(post #84766, reply #7 of 17)

I have done this type of conversion twice, and both times I fabricated add on pieces to widen the headboard and footboard.  Then new rails were built and joined to the headboard and footboard in the same manner as the original.  Unfortunately I don't have pictures.  Both projects were done to provide the customer with a second bed for visitors, and they worked well for that use.


Your four poster bed may not be a good choice for this type of conversion because the posts won't be at the corners after the conversion.  This may look "funny".  However, if you decide to persist and want additional information, let me knows through this forum and I will provide more information.


Good Luck, Tom.

Fine Woodworking in Boulder, CO, at www.woodtableau.com

Jacomo's picture

(post #84766, reply #8 of 17)

The method you suggest is what I have been thinking about doing.

I am aware of the size differences between full and queen and have thought about making a wood frame to accomodate the larger size. I would then bolt the head and foot boards to the frame much like the original.

The problem with the 4 posts not being at the corners is OK. The bed looks too good not to use it and perhaps the bedding will disguise some of this shortcoming.

I appreciate