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How to sleeping soundly - a carpenter's tale

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  • How to sleeping soundly - a carpenter's tale

    A little story to keep my 'this could only happen to me' reputation intact...

    The bed I inherited in my furnished apartment here in Italy is something between a single and a double size which has this minimalistic designed sprung base consisting of traversal hardwood laths about 3 1/2" wide by 3/8" thick sprung into very slightly oversize plastic lined slots in the sides of a supported metal frame which the bed mattress sits on. The idea is that the hardwood laths have just enough free play in the slots to allow them to spring slightly up and down without actually dropping out thus giving the bed mattress a bit of bounce and at the same providing ventilation via the spaces between the laths. A good design in principal, that is until it's subjected to my 220 lbs of dead weight when I collapse on the mattress after a hard day of work - ok, well maybe not so hard a day!

    Several times over the past few weeks I've rolled over in bed during the night and had my fantasy dreams abruptly awoken by sounds like a quick burst of fire from an AK-47 as my weight has bent several of the laths a little too far causing them to pop out of their slots at the speed of light and fall to the floor, quickly followed by the mattress, the sheets and of course yours truly, cocooned somewhere in between.

    I can say with total conviction that this is definitely not the recommended way to have your dreams interrupted!

    Springing those laths back into their slots in the early hours when you are half asleep, not to mention half naked, is a very dangerous and delicate operation which requires a fair amount of controlled force and concentration alongside sufficient agility to quickly jump out of the way to avoid being accidentally whacked in a very sensitive part of your anatomy by the reciprocal springing of a lath which doesn't want to go back into it's slot. Sorry, no photograph of my re-springing technique since it would probably be classed as some sort of bondage pornography.

    Totally brassed off with these early morning rude awakenings I recently set about sorting this problem out. Now any normal fellow would probably have cut a sheet of plywood to fit on top of the metal frame to completely cover the laths and fix the problem the easy way but of course, being a carpenter of sorts, and not any normal guy, my approach needed a little more reasoning and applied logic which went like this ....

    Why try to solve the problem from above when the real problem * was occurring below? Stop the laths from bending down too far and they'll stay in their slots.

    * Some might say that the real solution would have been for me to lose weight but I'd already dismissed that as an idea plucked from the realms of fantasy and totally improbable unless I were to have an accident which lopped off at least two of my legs!

    Following a Saturday morning trip to work, I raided the sheets of plywood scraps in the factory and much to the amusement of a bunch of weekend maintenance onlookers set about making up a long A frame to place lengthwise under the laths at just the right height to stop them flexing so far down that they pop their slots. My solution won't win any Italian design awards but at last I now have a stable bed, ventilation between the laths for the mattress and can get a decent night's sleep 15" above the floor without my dreams being interrupted.

    Now if only my darling wife were out here with me I could give my fix a really energetic acid test to see how it holds up - 'it' being my fix! - or maybe this is just me still dreaming!

    Do any folks out there have any similar furniture mishap stories? If so please share. I surely can't be the only one to have things like this happen to me - can I?
    Attached Files
    Last edited by jim_mex; 02-29-2012, 03:24 PM.
    Jim in Mexico

    Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
    - Albert Einstein

  • #2
    Goodness John oops, he meant Jim, you do know how to tell a story!

    Also, quite the ingenious solution to your problem.

    Thanks for the chuckle.

    Hi Bill - hope you don't mind me 'finishing' your comment a little - glad, I made you smile!
    Last edited by jim_mex; 02-29-2012, 04:00 PM.
    Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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    • #3
      Great news Jim, we have exactly the same bed in the spare room! :P
      Frieke
      www.friewoodart.webs.com

      Visit Frieke's gallery

      Don't let the pain of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present.

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      • #4
        Great news Jim, we have exactly the same bed in the spare room!
        LOL Frieke! - I can't believe my luck!
        Can I please sleep on the floor at Easter - to begin with!!!!
        Jim in Mexico

        Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
        - Albert Einstein

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        • #5
          hahahaha Jim....it's just a joke...I just had to tease you! It's gonna be real fun !
          Frieke
          www.friewoodart.webs.com

          Visit Frieke's gallery

          Don't let the pain of your past and the fear of your future ruin the happiness of your present.

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          • #6
            **** Jim. I remember beds like that years ago in a couple furnished houses I rented when I was right out of the US Navy. Several years ago we needed a little more storage for clothes in a bedroom in our house in Washington State, so I built a six drawer queen size capt. bed...(wish I had made it a King Size because we are getting a larger mattress and now I have to expand the frame. I can just see you in that perfect dream (!!!!^^##) and bam...there you are on the floor. Good laugh now but not then I'm sure
            Hawaiilad
            Larry

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            • #7
              hahahaha Jim....it's just a joke...I just had to tease you! It's gonna be real fun !
              Grrrrrr Frieke! You caught me hook , line and sinker!
              ...and just after I went on ebay to buy a second hand camp bed!
              I should have stuck to bringing a hammock and 2 big hooks to bash into the walls of your spare room - LOL!

              Hey Larry - Back home I also have a Queen sized bed base I made as one of my first woodworking projects. Its built like a UK brick crap house and it's so heavy in the frame that I had to cut it in half to move it from one of our early homes to another during a house moving exercise and then needed to built a bolted splice joint in the side rails to put it back together again, but both Norma and myself love it and I'm sure it will outlive both of us.
              Jim in Mexico

              Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.
              - Albert Einstein

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              • #8
                That's pretty hilarious Jim...
                You sure can spin a tale.....

                Thanks for the funny,
                but no thanks for the visual of a half naked man fighting with the laths, (though that's pretty funny too...).
                Jim

                The limits of the imagination are imaginary.
                No task is too tedious for Art.
                Rock and Scroll

                My Gallery

                My Website
                Featherwood Woodcrafts

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Bill Wilson View Post
                  Goodness John oops, he meant Jim, you do know how to tell a story!

                  Also, quite the ingenious solution to your problem.

                  Thanks for the chuckle.

                  Hi Bill - hope you don't mind me 'finishing' your comment a little - glad, I made you smile!
                  DOH!
                  My mind thought Jim, but my fingers typed John.

                  Actually I think my mind stopped working as it desperately tried to block the mental images of you, in your skivies, trying to reassemble your bed in the middle of the night.
                  Homer : "Oh, and how is education supposed to make me feel smarter. Besides, every time I learn something new, it pushes some old stuff out of my brain."

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                  • #10
                    Jim,check bottom edge of the headboard ,thats where the instructions, and the LOAD limit are posted .In Italian ,if it's demestic ,if imported Lord only knows, better check specs on the floor ,hope your not on the second floor or above ,Now that I think about it ,I'll bet your one of those guys that tear off the tags on your mattress,too LOL Your are a mess love your stories!
                    M.V.B.
                    Carl
                    P.S. You better check and make sure your wooden girter isn't between the joices
                    "Home Of The Dust Free Scroll Saw"
                    Remember (IT is WHAT it IS)( Unless YOU change IT!)

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                    • #11
                      Jim, I think you have missed your calling my friend. I do believe you should have been a writer. I love your tales and got a chuckle at the graphic images in my mind's eye upon reading your story. Perhaps you should consider a career in journalism. At any rate I am glad you are finally getting a good nights sleep.
                      Tammy

                      Pressure makes diamonds

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                      • #12
                        Better than having a rope strung bed. You could always string up a hammock I do like your fix though. Great job!

                        DW
                        Life is hard. It is even harder when you are being stupid.
                        John Wayne

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                        • #13
                          Too funny. Still wiping the tears of laughter from my eyes! Even though I'm laughing, I'm glad to hear you have solved the problem without further injury.

                          Jan

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                          • #14
                            Hi Jim,

                            I'm not sure if I'm happy or sad to say that you're not the only one....

                            A few years ago my wife and I went to her Grandmother's funeral in the middle of nowhere, Minnesota. We stayed in her uncle's guest room, which had a queen sized bed with similar laths set in a wooden frame. Most every night a lath or two fell out, but there was still enough to support us. We reset them and didn't give it much thought. Until the night before the funeral itself, when we awoke at 0-dark:30 wrapped together in the middle of the valley of the collapsed bed. Getting out without waking the rest of the house was a trick!

                            And then I had to explain to Uncle Army Ranger Colonel that his favorite niece and I had broken his bed.... I promise! We weren't being very vigorous!

                            --Rob

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                            • #15
                              Hmmm -- Jim, How long have you been in Italy? And have you been sleeping in the same bed all that time? It appears that there is some cause for the failure of the bed after all those months of serving you well. Perhaps the food is good and you have put on some weight -- OR perhaps those "fantasy dreams" are getting quite wild OR maybe the slats have been rotting. The speculation could go on and on.......
                              Mtnman Jim

                              taking life as it comes and trying to make the best of it

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