Old Iron Bed

lovemrmeweyJuly 9, 2014

I have an old decorative iron bed which I have had for 45 years. It has iron rails which were apparently designed to have the old wire springs to hook over the edge. Thus, the rails are straight across with no edge for box springs to settle in. Now that my granddaughter wants to sleep in it occasionally, I am looking for a solution to keep springs from sliding off the edge of rails. Anyone dealt with problem? It attaches to head and footboards with a projection which slips into a circular joint which it would not be productive to try to change. Help and thanks!

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If I'm imagining the bed correctly, I don't understand why you want to put a box spring on it. A box spring acts as the base, which the bed frame already is. I'd just put a mattress on the bed and call it good.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:22AM
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Thanks for your response. But a mattress would just sink right into the floor through those railings on the sides - nothing to lie on!

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 11:33AM
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Are there holes for the old wire springs to hook into?

If so, weave some very strong cord from side to side and hole to hole. Our ancestors wove rope across bed frames, with a featherbed or mattress of some sort atop the rope (see "rope beds").

If there are holes, how large are the holes? Can you post a photo?

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:17PM
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Post a picture of the rails.

I can't visualize what the problem is

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 12:21PM
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I have a bed like this and used 1x4 boards the width of the bed. I attached L brackets, similar to the ones in the link, to the bottom of the boards; the other end of the brackets fit into the slots in the side rails. I hope that was clear! The boards support to the box spring, but it does slip and slide on them a little. I suppose you could use additional brackets on the top of the boards to hold the box spring in place.

Here is a link that might be useful: L brackets

    Bookmark   July 9, 2014 at 8:41PM
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If the box spring overhangs enough on both sides, you can screw some screws into the bottom of box spring, on the outer frame, leaving them out enough that they prevent the box spring from sliding.

You also might be able to switch the rails (if the top and bottom fittings are interchangeable) so that the L part can hold some wood slats and then carefully screw the box spring to those slats (from the bottom).

    Bookmark   July 10, 2014 at 11:57AM
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Thanks All! I must be deficient in my description and will post pictures as soon as I get it out from storage for use!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2014 at 9:42AM
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I had a wire spring set under my mattress when I was a girl in the '40s and '50s. In fact, all the beds were like that. The springs were held up by bed slats, 1x3 boards that fit across the frame and sat on a lip of the frame and spaced about 2 or 3 feet apart. Then the springs sat on the slats, and the mattress on the springs. Every spring cleaning, Mom would lift the mattresses and vacuum the dust out of the springs.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2014 at 9:42PM
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