Wednesday, April 19, 2017

A tail of one headboard, part one

Or more accurately, a tall tale of a headboard at Annie's tail.

But before you get bored , let me head off any misconceptions that this is a tale about a tail. Or holes we bored in our head while bored. Or a bored matriarch boar, or a Boer Revolt boorish military  leader. Or beet soup.

This tale is tall only because Annie is a tall Transit, and needs a tall headboard at her tail, because where the head of the bed is.

We have a fixed bed at Annie's rear. It's made up from 2+2/3 Harbor Freight 3-section motorcycle ramps. The plan is that our heads will be at the back end, because that will make it easier to scoot on and off the bed. We won't be sleeping crosswise.

There is space between the bed head and the rear doors. A headboard will serve two purposes:
1. If we're sitting up in bed, we need a headrest.
2. The back side of the headboard can be used to hang some tools, like jumper cables.

However, if the headboard is fixed in place, it will be hard to make the bed, or change and tuck in fresh sheets. From past experience, we know that it's a pain to do that while sitting in the bed.

So I decided to make a swinging board. No, I do not mean a raunchy web site.
We had an extra complete motorcycle ramp, so I decided to use that for the board. It would have to fold down to be able to reach the bed, and be nice and rigid when erect. To repeat, I am not talking about a raunchy website here.

The ramp is made up of three hinged sections. It is a bit wider than the rear door opening, but cutting off the top of the rail and one rung  makes the bottom two fit pretty neatly.

Off with their rungs!

Since the door tapers in toward the roof, that section needed to be a bit shorter.
So I removed the rung by drilling out the pop rivets, cut the topmost rail a bit shorter, and drilled and pop riveted the rung in its new home.
I had hinges left from the ramps I used building the bed frame, so so I attached the headboard assembly using those hinges.


The next question was how to keep the sections from folding when the whole thing is extended.
I had several answers. The first few ideas didn't work.

First off was barrel bolts:
Way too much leverage torquing the latches.

While we're looking at that pic, note the bolts I have screwed into Annie's frame. The idea is that the headboard would be sandwiched between the upper and lower bolts. The lower ones fit into a pre-threaded 8mm bolt hole. The uppers fit into an untapped bolt hole. It's clear that this hole was not just a stamping hole in the sheet metal, but was designed to hold a bolt. I tapped 'em at 1/4-20.

The next idea was to stick the headboard to the bolt using industrial strength Velcro.

The Velcro idea sorta worked, but it wasn't a very strong grab. Too easy to lose it's grip.

SO, I moved on to magnets.
First couple of tries didn't do well either, but I finally arrived at this.

A steel angle bracket is attached to the middle panel and engages the lower magnet.

Similarly, a scrap piece of sheet steel is screwed to the top panel, and engages the top magnet.

The headboard closing sequence looks like this, mainly because I took the pictures while closing the headboard.





The top of the top section just misses the top of the closed door, but would likely hit on a bumpy road. So I added a bit of cush.

Next step (part 2) will an attempt to make the inner side look more pleasing to the aesthetics committee.
Here is a preview:

If the aesthetics committee does not approve, I will need to start raising bail.