In the early days of waterbeds, folks who had some basic woodworking skills could build a very functional waterbed frames from scratch.
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Even today, there are inexpensive plans available that can make building your own waterbed frames much easier. The cost of a factory frame may well be less than building a frame from scratch. However, there is something about making things with own hands that always had a unique appeal to many of us.
Like many other consumer products, many waterbed components, including waterbed frames, are made outside of the United States.
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Depending on where the waterbed frames are made, the quality of the wood used may be not up to par. Many areas of the U.S. have very strict air quality standards that make it more expensive to apply wood finishes such as stain, varnishes and paints. Offshore producers often do not have such restrictions. The cost of lumber has been rising steadily over the last few years and frame quality can suffer as some manufacturers attempt to cut costs.
The environmental movement has help to drive the recycling of building materials including wood. There is a definite trend toward recycling everything from antique hardware to hardwoods. Imagine being able to build your own waterbed frames from recycled oak other hardwood for less than the cost of a factory made pinewood frame.
If we examine the average waterbed frames rail, it is typically made from two by ten inch lumber. The length depends on the size of the bed. Factory made frames will have a notch along the bottom length of the rail. This square notch allows the rail to fit properly over the decking and is critical to the structural integrity of the bed.