Since the foot of the bed overhangs the deck by about 20 inches, I decided to add some legs for support. Figuring out how to do that to a bed frame made of t-slotted aluminum was a slight challenge.
I added large 1/4” thick aluminum plates to the foot of the bed to provide attachment points for the folding legs.
Unfortunately, I felt disinclined to like attach the metal hinges for the folding legs directly to the aluminum plates. I’d had my fair share of drilling through metal, and drilling through 1/4” thick aluminum did not sound like fun.
I’d actually been worrying about this very detail for quite some time. The solution finally popped into my head after literally weeks of ruminating: attach the hinge to a piece of wood, then attach the wood to the underside of the aluminum plate using VHB tape. Genius!
Like the Dual Lock fasteners, the VHB tape is sort of a cheat, but it works just fine, especially because of the upward pressure of the leg pressing up against the aluminum plate. Best of all, there was minimal crawling around on my hands and knees, no drilling holes through metal while lying on my back, and no need to remove the bed frame from the van. Nice.
A bit about VHB tape—VHB stands for Very High Bond. As in, this stuff really sticks. 3M markets VHB tape as a replacement for screws, bolts, rivets, and welds. While I agree that it’s very strong stuff, I wouldn’t use it any place where a failed joint could result in injury. I also wouldn’t use it any place where I might have to separate a joint in the future. VHB tape is so strong that, when used to adhere items to a wall, don’t expect to be able to remove the item without also taking bits of drywall with it. It’s pretty much like super glue in tape form, so be careful how you use it.
Back to the subject, the aluminum plates also created another challenge: the thickness of the plates made the slat on top sit higher than the others.
It took me days to come up with a solution. I’d settled on two or three other, more complicated solutions before I finally figured this one out: use thinner wood. Duh. I also counterbored pockets to accommodate the heads of the fasteners.
It’s not perfectly flush, but it’s much better. So now that you’re clued in to the some of the nitty-gritty details about the bed, you’re probably still wondering how on earth the darn thing works, aren’t you? How exactly does it convert from a chaise to a bed? How do I keep it from sliding around when I don’t want it to? All that is coming tomorrow, in my first fumble and bumble video. You’ll see what I mean by that.