Help me fix my broken futon frame?
February 5, 2017 5:57 PM   Subscribe

I’ve had this futon for twenty years. I used it for about 12 years, had it in storage for another 8, and have begun to use it again. (more inside)

The rear rail cracked once, and then I got some helping building a new one, but the wood was too soft and it cracked again.

That’s ok though, it doesn’t seem to have had a structural impact. I’m mostly using it for a couch at the moment and don't change it to a bed often.

Does anyone know how I can fix this thing? I’d like to sell it so that I have a better chance of selling it or passing it on, finding it a new home.

I tried checking some futon stores to see if they’d just sell me a rail, and some stores agreed, but could not find the right manufacturer. The manufacturer doesn’t seem to exist anymore.

So what do you think I should do? I was thinking maybe I could buy a metal plate to mount on both side of the rail to keep the screw from tearing out. Or does anyone know of a place I can buy a rail? Or a way I might be able to resell this futon responsibly?

posted by Borborygmus to Home & Garden (6 answers total)
Call customer care at Futon Planet and ask them where you could get a replacement rail.
posted by Rob Rockets at 6:08 PM on February 5, 2017

Don't bother fixing it. List it with the flaw and say someone handy should be able to fix it.

You won't get very much for a used futon even in perfect condition so it is not worth spending time and effort to repair yourself.
posted by srboisvert at 7:31 PM on February 5, 2017 [2 favorites]

From the pics I can't tell if the join is at a place where movement is necessary (e.g. to fold the frame). If it doesn't need to move my fix would be getting two long screws, at least six inches or more, and using those instead of the horrible "self-assembly" bolt-and-nut-thingy. The screws must be long because they're going into the end of the split piece, and screws don't hold so well when they're going with the grain. Obviously, screws make it harder to take apart, but assuming the frame doesn't need to be disassembled often that's not a big deal.
posted by anadem at 9:23 PM on February 5, 2017

You've definitely gotten your monies' worth. If a new rail is reinforced with metal, the connecting frame will likely need reinforcing as well. Simply, a wooden futon is designed for a cetain weight and activity, as a metal futon is designed for a different weight and activity. I don't think its worth repairing. Can a portion of it be repurposed or recycled?
posted by mountainblue at 7:00 AM on February 6, 2017

I'm think if you were to replace the rail with a 2x4 and use lag bolts to secure the new rail in place. Make sure the lag bolts are long enough so they go into the rail three or four inches. Be sure to pre-drill the rail for the bolts.
posted by tman99 at 8:59 AM on February 6, 2017

Since you say the thing works mostly OK as is, I'd try a quick repair before going to a huge project. The metal plate you mention is called a mending plate at your local hardware store.

The method of repair depends a little on the nature of the damage. If the crack opens up far enough to get some glue in there, I'd start with glue, either epoxy or Gorilla. Apply the glue and bring the crack together with a clamp. When the glue has set, install a mending plate on each side with screws, and finally install a bolt across the break/glue line.
posted by SemiSalt at 12:19 PM on February 6, 2017

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