Help -- attach headboard to metal frame?

dedtiredJuly 26, 2014

I bought a beautiful Pottery Barn metal headboard off Craigslist. It is like new. I want to attach to a metal bed frame. Pictured below is the hardware that came with it. Four of everything except one washer, which I am sure I can replace. Here's my conundrum. What order does everything go in and which end of the bolt faces the wall? This is not exactly a decorating question, but thought someone here might know.

All the hardware is shown sitting on the back of my mouse pad. Ignore that gold seal in the middle. So, WWYD?

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Can you show a picture of the bed frame and the place on the headboard where the bolts would go - both sides of it, please.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 5:08PM
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Will this help?

Here is a link that might be useful: How to attach a headboard to metal frame

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 5:10PM
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The holes in the headboard and the holes in the frame line up perfectly. I just can't figure out the order of the hardware. I know the nut goes on last, but which side does the big washer go?

Thanks for the video link, but I can't really see what hardware they are using.

Here's pic of how the hardware arrived at my house, but I think they just disassembled it and stuck it back on any old way, not on the correct order. Some bolts had two big washers and some had none.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 5:15PM
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This is a guess, and a test. I had to think this through recently for my daughters frame.

The bolt goes inward, toward the frame which encompasses it, with the largest washer placed on the bolt directly against the frame to help secure the bolt from moving. By placing the bolt inward along the frame, you never scrape skin.

Next the medium washer is placed on the inward (opposite) frame side, then the smallest washer in front of it to allow good nut fit and finally the nut screwed tightly on.

Well, that's my 2 cents. Maybe someone whose certain will wander byâ¦

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 5:49PM
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I recently installed 2 wood headboards on metal frames. The hardware sent with the headboards wouldn't mesh with my frame, so I hit up my local Ace Hardware. The Helpful Hardware Man told me to line things up like this: from the top of the bolt down, washer, headboard/frame assembly, washer, lock washer, nut. Put another way, take your bolt, put a washer on it, thread it through the holes in the frame and headboard, put a washer on the bolt on the back side of the bed, put a lock washer on the bolt, finish it off with a nut. I'm not sure of the purpose of the lock washer, but DBIL and Helpful Hardware Man both said I needed it. DH had no opinion.

The instructions that came with my headboard had the bolt head on the inside toward the mattress and the end/nut side on the backside of the headboard toward the wall.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 6:03PM
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Oh my gosh, I love you. I did discover that the bolt head has to be closest to the mattress because otherwise the bolt would run right into the mattress. I wonder where the big round one goes? Maybe I will make that part up. Thanks! I'll let you know what happens.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 6:21PM
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I could only get one bolt through on each side. It's supposed to have two on each side so it is sturdy. I thought they would line up, but they don't. Jeez. Anyway, I think I will resort to using some wire to run through the second hole in the headboard and a hole in the mattress frame and call it done.

Here's what it looks like. I still have to center the bed on the wall. I paid $75 for it, plus the aforementioned aggravation.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 7:18PM
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What big round one? Are those round things in the upper right of your picture metal or rubber? If they are rubber, I'd put them right behind the bolt head on the mattress side of the headboard/frame assembly. I'd probably do the same if they were metal. :-)

The little ones under the nuts look like lock washers. They would go closest to the nut. As you mentioned, you are one small washer short. Ace is the least around here. They'll sell you one washer, unlike Big Orange where you have to buy a 55 gallon tub o'washers to get just one.

Good luck! Let us know when you've got it assembled. Pictures, too?

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 7:19PM
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Does your headboard have self-leveling feet? Mine did. I had to adjust them up a bit to get the holes to line up. If you can get the holes to line up by moving the headboard up a bit, and you don't have the leveling feet, stick sticky felt pads under the headboard legs until you get it the height to line up with the holes in the frame. Does that make sense?

Wire is going to be noisy. Think metal on metal noisy. If push comes to shove and that is what you have to do, consider using zip ties. At least they may not be noisy.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 7:24PM
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Oooo, zip ties. Good thinking. No, it does not have self leveling feet. I the moment they are suspended about half an inch off the ground. One hole in the headboard lines up with one hole in the frame, but two won't.

I put the big rubber round things in between the headboard and frame so they wouldn't be rubbing on each other. I think that is wrong. Nothing it tightened so I can change it if necessary.

Why do I get myself into these things??

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:09PM
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Well, it is a very pretty bed, ded, even if it is hard to put together! Love your pillows, too. Congrats on a job well done-even if not quite finished.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 8:39PM
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I had to take the mattress and box springs off my beds to get things lined up. If your headboard feet are 1/2" off the ground, you might need to choose different holes. This process isn't difficult, just frustrating and tedious. You can do it! 3 or 4 of the big, thick felt rounds ought to make up the 1/2" so the headboard can rest on the floor. Or if you have a full-ish bed skirt, you can do like I did once and put books under the feet! Scraps of wood would work too.

I also put felt rounds on the back of my headboards so that they wouldn't mar the wall.

It's looks great! Like cyn, I love your pillows!

    Bookmark   July 26, 2014 at 9:02PM
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Thanks. I WILL HAVE TO GET BACK TO THIS PROJECT TODAY. tHE BOX SPRINGS AND MATTRESS ARE TOO HEAVY FOR ME TO WRESTLE. (oops -- caps lock). I may have to press my muscular son into service. I can kind of slide them back on the frame to make some room to work. I can tell by measuring that there is no way that two sets of holes are going to line up.

Cyn, the pillows are from my den sofa and will go back there. I was just trying to see if throw pillows would work there and what size, but thanks.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 11:06AM
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Nice! Esp for $75!!

Love your pillows btw

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 11:10AM
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Why, thanks, Mtn.

I used Bbstx idea of zip ties to replace the second bolt. It works very well. Thanks, Bbstx.

My son the contractor finally explained the order of all the hardware to me by using the shish kabob analogy. Imagine the long bolt is the skewer. First slide on the medium size metal washer so it is against the bolt head. Next slide on the leg of headboard, then slide on the large rubber washer (to prevent metal on metal), then slide on the metal bed frame, then the locking (small) washer and finally the nut. Ta da. It worked. Along with the zip ties and lots of cursing.

I am going to need to use the felt pads under the feet of the headboard because right now it is levitating.

Thank you all. It takes a village -- or a forum or whatever.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 3:50PM
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YAY!!! If it is too hard to build up 1/2" of felt pads, get my-son-the-contractor to cut you some small pieces of wood that are the same diameter as the headboard legs. Paint them black (use a sharpie if you don't want to drag out paint, brushes, etc). Put felt pads on the part that will touch the floor. Glue them to the headboard legs. No more levitating!

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:00PM
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I'm glad you got this figured out. It's a wonderful frame and well worth your effort. Congrats.

    Bookmark   July 27, 2014 at 4:14PM
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