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Rope Bed Design

Greetings all,

     Thoughts of Pennsic bring the return of the "Keeping off the ground" 
bed discussions. I guess after last year more beds will be in evidence.

     I saw a rope bed once that I could not believe how great it was. No 
sagging, no wedges to tighten, compact, and can be made big enough to 
sleep 2. I have no idea the period it's from but it looked like it was 
right off a Viking ship.
     I will try to explain then draw some lame ASCII diagrams. If anyone 
wants to know more I'd be happy to try to draw a real diagram and fax or 
mail you a copy.
     Start with the two main side rails cut to desired length. They MUST 
BE round, like logs. The ones I saw were about six inches in diameter. 
Into these pieces are placed pegs (or heavy nails or screws) about every 
two to four inches. The rope wraps on these so they must be pretty strong. 
A few degrees away from the line three of four legs are placed. These legs 
MUST BE as long as the bed is to be wide. See views below:

                       _ ___________                _
                      | |___________|   __________/| |
                      | |/             |___________| |
                      | |                         \| |
                      | |                          | |
                      | |               __________/| |
                      | |\__________   |___________| |
                      | |___________|   ___________| |
                      | |/             |___________| |
                      | |                         \| |   TOP VIEW
                      | |                          | |      both sides
                      | |               __________/| |
                      | |\__________   |___________| |
                      |_|___________|             \|_|

     Holes are drilled in the legs mid way. Attach the legs with bolts or even a
single rod. Without the ropes the whole thing almost lays flat. With the ropes 
on the whole thing is like a WWII cot. When downward pressure is placed on the 
bed it makes the bed ropes tighter. No wedges. The more weight that is on it the
tighter they get.

                      (_).         .(_)
                        \  \     /  /
                          \  \ /  /
                Pivot--->   \ .\/     END VIEW - (not to scale)
                            / \  \
                          /  /  \  \
                        /__/      \__\

     The one I saw also had one more interesting feature. A single piece of rope
is used for the bed, weaved back and forth. After the rope is on the first time 
they hand woven cloth, strips of old blankets I think, into the ropes, as if it 
were a loom, they were bunched in real thick, probably 3 or 4 old bankets were 
used. After this is done it can be taken off as a single piece, the end result 
is very comfortable, can be laid on directly and is much faster to put on the 
     Because the edge rails are round and the hooks for the ropes are on the 
inside, underneath, it is very easy to get in and out. The example I saw was 
only about 18 inches high and plenty big for two, keep it low to be more stable.
If you have a big enough pavilion give one a try.
     I understand they squeak though...


Luther the Bedmeister - luther@infodata.com