|Many customers or potential customers are fearful of how much
work it will be to assemble their log furniture once it is
purchased. Hopefully this article will help to clear up some of
the questions that naturally arise. While assembly instructions
vary between log furniture manufacturers, there are many
similarities as well. Following is an overview that should give
you a better idea what is involved:
Dressers, Chests, Night Stands and Armoires
Most rustic cased goods, such as dressers, chests, night stands
and armoires require very little assembly at all. As a general
rule we take off doors and drawer handles to avoid damage during
shipping, as they tend to protrude and be at risk. There are
holes in the drawer fronts or doors, and screws are included, so
for these items it is simply a matter of placing the wood
furniture handle over the holes, inserting the screws through
the door or drawer into the hole, and tightening things up.
Amish Low Post Log Beds
Most of the Amish manufacturers like to assemble the headboards
on the log beds themselves. Sometimes we ask them to leave the
four corner legs off for ease in shipping, as the beds can be
somewhat massive and making them smaller helps save on shipping
cost. All of the Amish furniture makers I know use Gorilla Glue,
which is an incredibly strong glue. Once they glue the
headboard, you might as well forget trying to take it apart. I
know people who have tried to take them apart, and broken a
piece of the bed instead.
So as a general rule, Amish headboards and footboards come
completely assembled. At the very minimum, the ladder portion
that goes across between the two posts is already assembled and
glued. If the posts are not attached, you have to plug the two
horizontal ladder portions of the bed (headboard and footboard)
into the four corner posts.
Amish beds are generally 100% wood. That means the mattress and
box springs are supported by a wood frame. As a general rule,
two logs run down the side of each bed, at the base of the box
springs. These logs are plugged into the headboard and footboard
at each end. The bottom of these two logs has holes drilled for
three "cross logs" which go across and support the bed. The
middle cross log, on most Amish beds, has a little log piece
which goes down to the floor to offer a higher degree of
So there you have it. If you've never seen an Amish bed frame
before, you might have to look at those logs for a minute to
figure it out. But once you understand, it's really pretty
straightforward. You will want a screwdriver, as you will want
to drive some 2 ˝ inch wood screws near where the log ends, or
"chucks" as they are called, plug into their appointed holes.
This secures the entire frame, and, together with the heavy
dollop of Guerilla glue already administered by the Amish, makes
it even stronger. A rubber mallet also comes in pretty handy at
times, to tap an ornery piece of wood into place. But you can
use a regular hammer, if you protect the wood by putting a book
or something in between.
Low Post Log Beds with Metal Frames
Assembly of low post log beds with metal frames is even easier.
Generally the ladder portions come pre-assembled, so all you
have to do is plug the "chucks" into the four corner posts and
drive in the wood screws provided to secure them. Most or our
beds with metal frames have pre-installed lag bolts on the
headboard and footboard logs. You simply take the metal frame
and hook it over the lag bolts on each, then fasten the nuts to
secure the bed.
Log beds with metal frames are very sturdy and probably a bit
easier to assemble then the 100% log beds. They also take a
little less room sideways, as they don't have the log side rails
on the side. You can get decorative log side rails to fasten
over the metal bed frame, if having a bed frame showing bothers
you. You can also cover up the metal bed frame with a skirt, and
it will not show when the bed is made anyway.
Assembly of Canopy Log Beds
Assembling a canopy log bed is a bit more challenging than the
others, simply because of the height and size of the logs. This
is definitely a two person job - I know some pretty mechanically
minded men who tried to do one by themselves and really had
quite a time. It doesn't matter how handy you are, you need
someone to hold one post while you are working on another! Other
than that it really isn't too hard. There are simply logs to
plug into the top part as well as the bottom, and actually, it
wouldn't hurt to have a couple of people to help hold the parts
as you fasten the screws.
If I Can Do It...
I am not known for being mechanical or handy, but I put together
a low post log bed with a metal frame in less than ˝ hour with
the help of my 11-year-old son. So if you are mechanically
challenged, it really is not so bad. But if a log bed is what
you have always hoped for but you really are overwhelmed by the
thought of putting it together, why not make some chocolate chip
cookies for one of your screwdriver-wielding friends and let
them give you a hand. In my humble opinion, however, putting a
log bed together is not nearly as hard as some other assembly
projects I have tackled. So get out your screwdriver and have at
About the author:
Cari Haus, president of Log Cabin Rustics, has been selling log furniture and log beds on the
Internet for more than five years.
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