Collectibles-General (Antiques)/Antique twin bed

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twin bed b
twin bed b  
twin beds a
twin beds a  
QUESTION: Bob

Have 2 twin beds that are nice, but the siderails that came with them have no "ledge" on the siderails. And even if they did, the width (space between the siderails) is not large enough to fit a twin mattress. It's close, but won't work. Twin mattresses are typically 39" wide. The space between the side-rails is 38". The siderails have 2 pegs or wooden dowels that fit into the headboard and footboard, with a "hidden" bolt that has a recessed area on the inside of the side-rail, so we are placing them in the correct location - no way not to.

We also have a 3/4 bed with similar rails - no "ledge". Was this common for that period (unsure of the age), and what would you suggest be done to allow a boxspring and/or mattress to work with this set-up? Also - what was done "back in the day" by people that had these beds?

Thanks so much.

ANSWER: please use the follow up function and post a picture of the very top of the headboard post looking down on the top of it.

are there any holes where anything was screwed to the borrow of the rails?

sizing is pretty nuts in my experience twin mattresses are 38 x 74 and 39 x 74. most manufacturers make the 39 as you have discovered but it depends on the manufacturer it seems.  you might be surprised to find that a custom sized mattress is not any more expensive that standard measured ones--depending on the quality of each.

what i have always seen to 'hang' a mattress is a large angle iron, four of them fastened to the inside of the rails for the mattress to sit on.  these are usually about 6 inch by 6 inch and 1/4-3/8 thick. or make a ledge and attach it.

hope this helps

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Bob,

I don't have a pic, but I re-measured the distance (width) between the side-rails. It is 36", so even a 38" twin is not going to fit. The distance to the outside edges is 39", so a boxspring or mattress could fit on TOP of the rails, but would need to figure out a way to hold it in place.
So can we assume that these very nice beds will need custom mattresses? I can add the "ledge" to the inside of the siderails - but again, that won't matter if the space is not wide enough.
Thanks again.

Answer
you can add the ledge and will have to have a mattress made.  putting a mattress on top of the rail can be done but i dont think it would look right.

adding the ledge is easy, cut and stain the wood and screw it into the existing rails then make slats, at least 5-7 slats.

almost every city has some mattress making companies.

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robert klein

Expertise

In regards to American antique, vintage and collectible furniture I can help with wood identification, styles, age, periods, historical coatings, materials, techniques, repair, restoration, refinishing, and value. I do not study mid century and later furniture nor do I deal in lamps, and other smalls. robertsantiques@cox.net You may ask for values and I will give you current market values, I will not give you 'feel good' values. Understand that there are many factors that contribute to market value. If you want a feel good, unrealistic number, please call a local inexperienced appraiser. It is my desire to help you and in doing so I increase my knowledge as well. For that I thank you.

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I have been in the antiques furniture and restoration business and in the sales of antique furniture for 40+ years and have continued my education in the trade attending workshops and seminars by various organizations, institutions, and private collectors.

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Professional Refinishers Groop, Int., AIC, Antiques Dealers Association

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BA Florida State University BA University of West Florida 1971

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