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by Heidi Braley
A futon bed is a space-saving piece of furniture that can quickly be put together with a couple of simple tools. If you can follow a diagram, step by step, you will find yourself with a nice new futon ready to seat or bed your surprise overnight guest. Each of the bolts will be hand-tightened personally, and you will be confident that the futon is assembled correctly.
Clear an area to put the futon bed together. Typically, give yourself a couple extra feet more than the expected footprint of the bed, since it is easier to work if you have room to move around the futon.
Unpack the futon bed and the included hardware. Lay out all the hardware and sort it according to the size and shape. In the written directions, there will be a list of the hardware packed with the bed. Throw out the cardboard packing material and any plastic wrapping.
Lay out the frame. Lay down the two outer sides parallel to each other, with the lip on the inside. Then lay the front and back braces perpendicular to the sides, with the holes facing inward. Bolt them together, dropping the bolts in from the top and then the washer and nut from the bottom. Tighten the bolts with the Allen wrench and the open-ended wrench. Check the diagram for the correctly numbered bolt to use.
Attach the spring-loaded adjustment arm to either side of the steel lip, according to the diagram. Bolt it at the front and at the back, sliding the bolt in as shown from the outside, and then tightening it with the washer and nut on the inside. Tighten the bolts as before, using the wrenches.
Lay the front mattress frame on the assembled frame. Line up the sides so that the adjustment arm is flat against the bottom front plate. Line up the holes and drop the bolts in from the top on either side. Tighten well.
Set the back mattress frame on the assembled frame. Align it on the back of the adjustment arm, as shown on the diagram. Bolt it in place and tighten.
Lay the mattress pad over the assembled frame. Use the Velcro straps to secure it in place. Lift the back of the futon bed until it clicks into place to use as a sofa, or you can keep it lowered to use it as a bed.