After my recent post about our vintage beds, I received a question from a blog follower now living in Great Britain. She was wondering what to do about the fact that bed rails for vintage beds often do not fit our newer box springs; many times, I find that they are long enough, but not wide enough.
I've fixed this problem two ways:
(1) I've set the rails in the head board and foot board backwards and upside down. The box spring then rests on the flat side of the rail, rather than inside of the angle. This isn't the best option, because it puts more stress on the box spring. (It really only works on the frame that has a disk-slide-into-place fitting.)
(2) I've made cross supports using 2 x 4's instead of the standard 1 x 4's. (They rest between the bed rails.) This raises the box spring off of the rails and distributes the weight evenly. I think this is a better option.
Then, sometimes, the rails are not long enough. If you have an iron bed, you'll need to take the rails to a welding workshop. They can help you extend the rails. If you have a wood frame, you likely have metal rails, which can be purchased from any dealer of mattresses or furniture. If you have wood rail, you can make new ones ad attach replacement hardware (unless you're able to salvage the hardware from the original rails). There are two standard styles of bed rails for wood bed frames--cleats and bolts. You may need to transform the bed from the cleat fittings to to bolt fittings, but there is almost always a way to make it work for you!