One of the most difficult repairs to make to an antique bed, is a broken hitch. The “hitch” or “connector” as some people call it, is the point at which the headboard and footboard of a bed connect’s to the angle iron side rails. It is a cast iron piece that is poured around the outer tube and gives a reverse image of the end of the side rail, so the side rail drops in and self tightens.
If the “hitch” breaks, it will be impossible to set the bed up or support your mattress. Repairing a broken hitch is not an easy task and can not be done with simple welding methods. Cast iron can not be welded………It can be braised, but not welded. There’s a big difference. It’s necessary to heat the broken hitch with a torch and get it close to the same temperature it was when it was originally poured in the foundry. Then it needs to be brazed, a technique that takes considerably more finesse than simple welding. All of this can only be done, if the broken piece is still available. A good rule of thumb………stay away from a bed with a broken hitch. Unless you have a really good welder that knows how to repair cast iron…..and few do……find yourself another bed that’s in good shape.
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