Anna Burris. Futon. March 23rd , 2018.
Angle brackets are an important piece of metal hardware so it makes some sense to look for these first. Angle brackets reinforce a joint and help support constant and changing loads on your futon frame. Look for angle brackets that reinforce the cross member of the armrest and stretcher rails. Again, sometimes, just counting these reinforcements will reveal a lot about the quality of the futon frame you are looking at buying.
So you've just moved into your new house or apartment and you're looking to fit it out with furniture. However, what do you do if your apartment's too small for a decent sized bed? Bedding can take up a lot of essential space and it can be a really big problem if you're living in a one-room flat. This is where futons will come in really useful.
Another issue the black metal frames suffered from were bending stretcher bars or rails. Again the hollow nature of these strecther rails presented issues with breakage and bending. Early designs involved a steel tooth design that would fit into pocket welds on the arms. These would snap off over use. The alternative design was to run a bolt through the arms and into the rails. While better it still did not address the issue of bending stretcher rails.
This isn't just an issue with one manufacturer in particular. We've seen this from 4 different metal futon frame manufacturers offering these frames. There is just not enough materials or quality of construction to justify these frames as a viable furniture solution for consumers. It should also make people question purchasing one of these frames when they only carry a 30-90 day warranty. Any manufacturer who warranties a piece of furniture for this amount of time doesn't expect it to last very long and neither should you as the consumer. 98% of our futon related service issues over a 10 year period resulted from failures with black metal frames. Often within the first year of ownership.
When investigating a futon frame consider these three things: 1) Hardwood will tends to be stronger than pinewood, 2) Solid wooden cross members will tend to outlast jointed cross members and 3) The More reinforcement the better. Most modern wood futon frames have six major parts; a left arm, a right arm, a back deck, a seat deck, and two stretcher rails (sometimes called cross rails). The hardware that fasten all of these wooden pieces together are most often made up of an ingenious bolt and barrel nut (dowel nut) system that act very much like little vice clamps that hold the joints in place. This makes futon frames easy to assemble and disassemble which can have many advantages.
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