Here are the first drawings. At this stage I planned simple head and footboards, the same width and thickness as the side rails, so as to be able to bring the bed into use quickly. The design for a panelled decorative headboard is presently in early stages. We may leave the footboard as shown, the original having just such a simple arrangement.
The first challenge was to design a very strong, simple, foolproof connection between the bedpost sections. I have built poster beds in the past, connecting the sections variously with hanger bolts or sections of threaded wood. Neither of these methods proved to be a perfect solution. From a lifetime of experience Jim gave me his advice, which was to connect them with a long length of threaded steel rod, through a continuous hollow central core running the length of the post. Right away, I had to modify this plan, because the posts would be connected with the rails and boards of the frame by means of bedbolts passing crosswise through the centre of the lower post sections. A longitudinal rod would block that. So the rod fastening the lower post section could not be allowed to run down to the floor. I solved that difficulty with a plan to embed collar nuts in the heart of the legs into which the rods would be screwed. The thrust would be borne by large washers abutting the collar nuts; (see drawing).