“I lost the side rails to my bed……can I buy an extra pair from you”? I can’t begin to tell you how many time’s I’ve heard this.
What most people aren’t aware of is this……… antique side rails that go to old antique iron beds, are NOT interchangeable. They may look very much the same and sometimes even almost fit. But when it comes to side rails fitting…….if they’re not the rails that were made for the bed….there will probably be some play in their fit. That’s not what you want your iron bed doing……rocking back and forth.
Why are all iron bed rails different. Because this was pre-industrial revolution and businesses were not concerned with quantity turn out. They were more concerned with quality and making their own item the best. Having your side rails fitting someone else’s iron bed just wasn’t a concern. Small independently owned foundries all made their own “hitches” or “connectors”, which were conical shaped molds, that the side rail would drop in to and self tighten.
If you happen to misplace your side rails in a move……the first thing I’d do is file a claim with your insurance company….because a bed without side rails is worthless. The next thing would be to check scrap salvage yards or EBay. I’ve seen a number of sets of side rails for sale on Ebay. They probably won’t fit……but the can be ground down (as long as they’re bigger) that the hitch on the head and footboard. Grinding is a very tricky thing and must be done with a lot of finesse.
Bottom line………hang on to your side rails and let the movers know how important they are. And if by some chance they get misplaced, you’ll be filing a claim with their company.