Sofa bed is installed

Well this has been the most frustrating part of the build so far. I’m not exactly that familiar at working with metal and it started to show pretty early on. I couldn’t really find any suitable brackets at the local Wickes but bought some anyway and wasted an afternoon fitting them for them to only bend within about 5minutes of installing them…

Here is the rubbish we installed first time around, I had no choice to install it to the side of the leg due to access under the van as we need to access the bolt head from below… which just caused the force of the bed folding mechanism to bend it:

cheap brackets

It was a wasted afternoon anyway and after some research and posts on a few forums I opted to go down the Rivnut route something that I had been put off with previously due to cost of tools etc. Basically it allows you to essentially created a strong threaded hole in a metal surce when you only have access to one side. Ideal for our scenario. I needed the bed to be secure as I didn’t want to launching forward if we were to have a accident etc. 99% of the time the seat will not be carrying any passengers so I settled for a rivnut tool that could go up to M6 size, anything higher and it just got out of budget.

Here is an installed M6 rivnut

The cheap brackets were no good so we opted for some 5mm mild steel angle, my dad managed to get some off cuts from work so these were perfect for what we wanted. They did need trimming down though. It was at this point that I realised the angle grinder was my least favourite tool :/. TIP: do not buy cheap cutting discs!

pain to use

cheap cutting disc…

In the end I got my dad to finish it off for me as I was crap using the grinder and would have probably taken my leg off before long. He also seems to have a bench grinding disc in the garage so he tidied the cuts up nicely.

By this point the brackets were pretty small and I don’t have a workshop table top (pillar?) drill so had to devise a little vice of my own to hold the brackets in order to drill them safely. I also bought some better drill bits… more expense!

self made vice

holding the bracket securely

We only cut 4 brackets and I decided to use all of them on the rear legs as these took the majority of the force when the bed was folded up and down. I used an M8 bolt and nut through both to secure the leg through both brackets to stop it twisting.

brackets installed bolted through.

I found some smaller brackets in the shed that I used on the front legs, I will have to see how these hold up, I do have some more 5mm steel left to make more for the front but like I say I’m not a fan of the angle grinder. I will see how these smaller ones hold up for now I think. There is a rivnut installed in each of the front legs so It should be strong enough.

front brackets… lets hope they last

I might have to shorten the legs or wheel legs but I’m going to see how it is after we have ply lined the floor. Headroom is pretty tight at the moment so it will be even worse when the cushions are on.. I’m happy to slouch though if it means I don’t have to re-install the bed! 😉


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