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Old 12-19-2011, 06:47 PM   #1
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Default How to raise futon frame

I want to use my current futon frame in my van but it won't fit across the back and it's a bit too low to go over the wheel wells; it needs to come up about 3". I've talked to several people at Home Depot and the local hardware store about this but thought I'd ask here too. Below is a picture of one of the legs and part of the frame:


It's a tubular metal frame. I can't move it in one piece but can take it apart and reassemble it in the van; that's the way I usually move it.

Here's what I've come up with so far:

1) Purchased bed risers - they do make these, for people who have trouble getting in and out of bed. But the only ones available locally are plastic and I've read a lot of negative reviews about them; they break easily, I think they just don't hold the weight. There are wood ones made but I'd have to order them and I don't have time to wait for shipping, especially now with the holidays here.

2) Cement blocks - Home Depot had some but I don't think the frame would sit evenly on them. They're also really big - and really heavy. I'd rather not add that much weight if I can help it.

3) Plain wood blocks - I'm just not sure how to stabilize the legs in them. I don't have the space or the tools to do any major woodworking, anyway.

4) PVC pipe - it does come in a size that matches the diameter of the leg, which is 2", and it comes in other sizes. I could try matching the diameter and hope it wedges in there nicely, or I could go with a bigger piece of pipe; the suggestions at the hardware store then were to add shims. I also looked online and found a site that has lots of ideas for how to use PVC pipe, so I asked the owner. Here's his reply:

Quote:
...I think in your situation you could cut the appropriate diameter pipe to the length you want (not more than 6-inches), insert them over your bed legs and then, if necessary, use the shims that the clerk mentioned to you.

Next, drill a small hole (say, 1/8-inch or so) through the pipe, shims and bed leg. Finally, insert a bolt with a nylon-thread nut to keep it all together snugly.

That oughta work.
I do have a drill so I could manage that - I think .

Right now that seems about the best suggestion but I'm wondering if anyone has any other ideas. I really would like to keep this as simple as possible.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Meg
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Old 12-19-2011, 07:15 PM   #2
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Default Re: How to raise futon frame

Is the bottom of the existing leg solid or hollow? It's tubular steel, but is it open to the floor, or closed off/plugged?
I'd get a piece of PVC slight larger in inside diameter than the outside of the leg, so the leg would fit snugly inside it.
Then decide whether to make each leg "sleeve" 3" longer than the distance from the horizontal bed frame to the floor,
and effectively make the legs longer, or to use the PVC "sleeve" as the stabilizer for something you could pack into it,
like some sort of shims, like checkers stacked, to lift the leg inside it the required height.
In either case, your setup would be like a telescoping leg, with a longer PVC "sleeve" supporting the horizontal bed
frame, or using shims inside the PVC "sleeve" to push the existing legs higher by resting them on the "stacked checkers"
inside the added PVC pipe.
I'm not explaining this very well, am I? Think of a telescoping leg which is permanently extended an extra 3".
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Old 12-19-2011, 10:54 PM   #3
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Default Re: How to raise futon frame



That's the basic idea I used to jack up my Costco vehicle shelter. I used metal pipe because what I did needed to be higher and stronger. PVC should be ok for a 3" lift for your futon.
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:19 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to raise futon frame

These are expensive compared to the block type: http://www.elderstore.com/leg-x-furn...extenders.aspx Fits up to a 2 inch diameter leg.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: How to raise futon frame

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
These are expensive compared to the block type: http://www.elderstore.com/leg-x-furn...extenders.aspx Fits up to a 2 inch diameter leg.
Not to muddy the waters, here, but the futon really should be bolted down to the floor, as should anything that could kill you in an accident.
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Old 12-20-2011, 01:52 AM   #6
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Default Re: How to raise futon frame

Wow, they *are* expensive. But they look like what I was thinking of with the PVC pipe; I wonder if that's what they're made of. The regular plastic doesn't seem to hold the weight well. ( I see they have some of those too.)

To answer your question, Mike - the legs are hollow and open at the bottom. And I think what you're describing was what I was thinking of. I know about telescoping legs; my massage table (I used to be a massage therapist) had those. I think they worked just like the legs on a walker - push the button in, slide the pieces, then let the button pop back out. My table had metal legs; the wooden ones had a similar system, you just had to completely unscrew the bottom piece to reposition it.

I walked to the hardware store this afternoon to get a piece of PVC just to try it out. The salesperson had another couple of ideas:

1) A thicker bolt than what was suggested in the email, but maybe then I wouldn't need shims? I'm not sure if he meant that I should put it through both the leg and the pipe or just through the pipe and have the leg rest on it. (I'm not sure how stable that would be.)

2) A plain wood block with hinge-like things (I'm being really technical tonight ) to screw into both the leg and the block to keep the leg from sliding off it. I like this idea because if I use the PVC I'm not sure if I'll be able to get the holes lined up exactly on both sides of the pipe and the leg. Plus, this setup seems easier to take apart later on when my situation changes.

The piece I bought was 6" long and 2" in diameter. I haven't had a chance to try it yet; the first thing to do is see whether the leg even fits inside the pipe, and I didn't feel like removing the bedding and mattress just so I could lift up the frame to check that out. Maybe tomorrow.

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Old 12-20-2011, 01:58 AM   #7
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Default Re: How to raise futon frame

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Not to muddy the waters, here, but the futon really should be bolted down to the floor, as should anything that could kill you in an accident.
Thoughts on this, anyone? I can't bolt anything down. Should I forget the futon frame, keep the mattress folded up somewhere, and put it on the floor when I need to use it?

Meg
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Old 12-20-2011, 02:53 AM   #8
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Default Re: How to raise futon frame

Booster is 100% right.

However, most of us rely on luck sometimes. When I think of all the trips I've made in my cargo van bringing home wood, appliances, sinks etc............... and all trips to the dump with debris.............. If I had been in an accident I would have been squashed.

You can probably figure out a way to secure the frame. Maybe to the side with a cable lock or cargo strapping. The microwave oven should be secured somehow also.

I read online where someone was killed in a car crash when their laptop flew forward and hit them in the head. It was reported that they would have been ok but for that blow to the head.
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Old 12-20-2011, 03:58 AM   #9
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Default Re: How to raise futon frame

Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Booster is 100% right.

However, most of us rely on luck sometimes. When I think of all the trips I've made in my cargo van bringing home wood, appliances, sinks etc............... and all trips to the dump with debris.............. If I had been in an accident I would have been squashed.

You can probably figure out a way to secure the frame. Maybe to the side with a cable lock or cargo strapping. The microwave oven should be secured somehow also.

I read online where someone was killed in a car crash when their laptop flew forward and hit them in the head. It was reported that they would have been ok but for that blow to the head.
I, too, am VERY guilty of hauling all sorts of things around in the car that could have killed me. All of the things Marcopolo listed, plus gasoline, welding tanks, steel and aluminum bars, etc. It is all risk reward, and I try to make it very short, careful trips. I am much more aware of the loose stuff in the Roadtrek, where one day of driving covers more miles that a decade of hauling close to home. I have even heard of folks injured by their flying pets in an accident.

For the futon, you may want to do a setup like Marcopolo showed, with the pipe flanges and pipe. Screw the flanges to the floor and put a bolt through the pipe and futon leg. That should be plenty secure.
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Old 12-20-2011, 04:57 PM   #10
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Default Re: How to raise futon frame

Quote:
Originally Posted by booster
Quote:
Originally Posted by markopolo
Booster is 100% right.

However, most of us rely on luck sometimes. When I think of all the trips I've made in my cargo van bringing home wood, appliances, sinks etc............... and all trips to the dump with debris.............. If I had been in an accident I would have been squashed.

You can probably figure out a way to secure the frame. Maybe to the side with a cable lock or cargo strapping. The microwave oven should be secured somehow also.

I read online where someone was killed in a car crash when their laptop flew forward and hit them in the head. It was reported that they would have been ok but for that blow to the head.
I, too, am VERY guilty of hauling all sorts of things around in the car that could have killed me. All of the things Marcopolo listed, plus gasoline, welding tanks, steel and aluminum bars, etc. It is all risk reward, and I try to make it very short, careful trips. I am much more aware of the loose stuff in the Roadtrek, where one day of driving covers more miles that a decade of hauling close to home. I have even heard of folks injured by their flying pets in an accident.

For the futon, you may want to do a setup like Marcopolo showed, with the pipe flanges and pipe. Screw the flanges to the floor and put a bolt through the pipe and futon leg. That should be plenty secure.
Good points by both. I would think there should be a way to use some sort of add on restraint, aircraft cable and a
combination or padlock, like a safety chain on a trailer hitch, just short enough to keep the futon frame/mattress
from entering the cab area, in the event of an accident. There's no guaranteed outcome in any accident, but I might
add a tether of some sort to improve the odds a bit.
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