Although we have become very adept at converting the original old antique iron double size beds, there are a few things that should be addressed before starting the conversion process. The MOST important element is the gauge of the perimeter tubing. Interior rods and tubing size aren’t really an issue. But what goes around the outside of the design, will determine the rigidity and overall strength to the eventual conversion.
We have done a number of thinner gauge beds in the past. But if a bed is going to be used in the manner most people use their beds, larger tubing is a must.
The biggest downfall with thinner gauge conversions, is that they don’t allow you to prop up pillows and lean against them, without an un-nerving degree of “flex” to the headboard. This isn’t an issue when the antique iron bed you start with has at least a 1″ diameter tube going around the outside design. Additional tubing can be added, to create the wider head and footboard, without compromising its structural integrity. When the perimeter is the thinner 1/2″ diameter solid rod, adding addition lengths to it will only de-stabilize it and create more “flex”.
So when selecting an antique iron bed, that is currently a double size (because that was the largest size made back in the 1800’s, that you have eventual intentions of converting to a modern king size……. be sure it has at least 1″ tubing on the perimeter.