Threaded connection; rails to headboard


Knowing I work wood, a co-worker stopped me yesterday to ask a question regarding a bed he would like to repair/restore. The best explaination he could give me is the rails are threaded(male?) and the headboard/footboard are threaded as well (female?) and the is a crank used to tighten it up. Made of cherry he says. Question is regrading the design, where can I find illustration for this type of bed, and part two, how were threads cut back before the Beall Tool :). Thanks for any help you can offer. Rick

I restored a bed like this about 30 years ago. It was cherry, made in Ohio around 1840 and needed some missing rope buttons replaced and some finish work. The threads were cut with taps and dies, and there was a left hand thread on one rail and a right hand thread on the other (I don't remember which was which now). I don't know about a crank, I used an old plumber's strap-type pipe wrench (with a canvas strap) to tighten it up. The trick is that you need at least one helper because the headboard and footboard need to be started at the same time to get the bed together and tight. You also need to work back and forth from one side to the other because if the frame racks out of square, the threads bind up. I have photos and a drawing of the piece somewhere in my archives if you're interested.

I've never hear of this style bed. I would be interested in seeing the pictures if no one else is.
Craig, thank you so much for the information. I will forward it to myself at work and share it with the gentleman who asked the question. Not sure yet the nature of the repair he wants, so I may be back knocking on your door.  Thanks again, Rick
Craig and all,

There has been some talk lately of inappropriate threads and postings on the Forum.  Congratulations to all on this thread for a great example of exactly how the Forum should function, a good question and a great answer that benefited anyone reading the exchange.  Thanks for information I never had and, I suspect,  would not have found if I had looked for it elsewhere.