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FAQ: Replacement Parts

Futon replacement parts can sometimes be difficult to find. example of an A-frame futon Some manufacturers constructed their futon frames using hardware that became outmoded as tried-and-true methods became the norm over the development of futon frame manufacturing. We carry the most commonly found futon parts and only a few very obscure parts for frames that once had market penetration. One example of a futon frame that is rarely made these days is the A-frame futon shown to the right.

example of clevis and cotter pinOther futon frame manufacturers were built in small shops either by futon retailers themselves, or by locals using the most commonly available lumber (usually pine wood) and used futon parts they made themselves. These futons were often assembled with standard wood screws and clevis and cotter pins of varying lengths. If your futon frame requires a clevis and cotter pin replacement, and ours are too long, you can often use additional washers between the cotter pin and the wood the clevis connects to.

example of futon transmission aka futon hingeMetal futon frames are more difficult to find affordable replacement parts for aside from a mechanism called a futon transmission These are essentially futon hinge mechanisms that allow a metal futon frame to convert from sofa to bed. However replacement metal rails, seats and back decks for metal futon frames often will cost as much as a full futon frame replacement. Furthermore, because metal futon frames have been exported from China from a myriad of companies doing things in their own unique and proprietary way, the chance of finding metal futon parts that line up perfectly is very difficult.

We encourage you to call us with questions regarding your futon part replacement needs. However, before doing so, please check out our links below to try to find the part you might be seeking. The links below will take you to futon parts pages that include measurements so you can try to match up with those parts already existing on your futon frame. In any case, whether you call us or simply order online, you will need to measure to ensure you are ordering the right futon parts for your beloved futon frame.

Futon Parts Topics:

Futon Parts FAQ:

Question: How do I measure for the length of futon bolt I need if I don't have any futon bolts to compare with?

Answer: A nifty trick is to use an uncooked spaghetti strand. Simply pass it through the leg section where the bolt would go, and then into the stretcher rail where it would meet up with the barrel nut. Be sure to hold the rail snugly against the leg as you do so. Break off the end when it bottoms out. Then, pull the stiff strand of pasta out and measure the length to determine the bolt length you need. Remember to measure the front and back leg connections separately as they can often require different length futon bolts.

Question: Where can I obtain instructions for assembling my old futon? I lost mine instructions or inherited this futon frame from someone else.

Answer: Yep. One of the most frequently asked questions. This is a hard request to fulfill because manufacturers rarely put their labels on their frames. Try checking our futon videos page to help in assembling your futon frame.

Question: My futon looks identical to one of the futon frames you are selling on your website. Can I assume it's the same one?

Answer: Sadly, no. Manufacturer's copied each others styles so much that it is often difficult if not impossible for us to distinguish one make from another. The best guide to checking which brand you have is to contact the dealer your bought your futon from or hunt down that old receipt.

Question: The place I bought my futon from has gone out of business and I don't have any documentation showing me which futon frame I own. If I sent your company digital pictures of my futon, would you be able to tell from any distinguishing features which futon frame I own?

Answer: Possibly.

Question: OK. I know which futon frame I have exactly and you sell the same model on your website. Can I assume if I order one of the wooden parts I need to make my futon whole again, that it will match up nicely?

Answer: This is another issue that is well worth discussing. Futon manufacturers sometimes have changed minute details about the way their wooden parts line up. These means that the part you order might not fit perfectly, or might not fit at all. To further complicate the matter, futon frame brands often change their manufacturing facilities. These days most frames are made in Asia (usually Indonesia, sometimes Malaysia, Vietnam or China) and even if the brand futon frame you own is still being made in the same plant, the wood could be harvested from a different place. Likewise, the kiln drying process and the finishing process may have changed meaning that the coloration can be wildly different from the futon frame you own.

Question: If I buy my futon frame from your company and I need a replacement wooden piece, do you guaranty the coloration will match up?

Answer: Nope. Sorry, but that's a problem. Futon frame boxes are often labeled with numbers that we call runs. Runs mean that the same process of curing and finishing was applied to a batch of futon frames. This, however, doesn't even mean the wooden frame parts will match, even if they are from the same run. Typically, a manufacturer will do their best to ensure that parts that go into the same box match as much as possible. But, if you look at your futon frame, you will see quite a bit of differentiation along the stretch of nearly every piece of wood.

Question: I just need the bolts and nuts for my metal futon frame. Can I get these from you?

Answer: Ah! The beloved metal futon frame question.. The best we can tell you is to use your best judgement and go to the local hardware store where bins of the more obscure hardware can be found. Often, many customers will give up and simply order a new futon frame at this point, but it can be done. Because there is such a vast variation of hardware types used in the making of metal futon frames that at first glance (or second, third, fourth..) the frame looks identical to one you see being sold elsewhere, the hardware is rarely compatible. The one exception is that most manufacturers have adopted the use of the same futon hinge mechanism.

Question: I need a metal futon hinge for my futon. I only need one and not two, but I see you only sell them in pairs. First, can I just buy one and second, if it doesn't fit can I send it back?

Answer: We only sell futon hinges in pairs. It is very important that you replace both hinges at the same time (provided your measured before hand to ensure they will fit). This is because while hinges tend to be nearly identical, there can be enough variation between a mismatched set that the operation over time can wear out one or both hinges. Having a matched pair ensures you will have the greatest longevity of your replacement hinges. Because of our internal processes of fulfillment and associated costs, we do not accept replacement parts back. In most cases, we have discovered that people who send their parts back haven't taken the proper time to ensure the new futon parts will fit. While measuring can be a dull chore, it is essential to the process and measuring twice will keep you from being dissatisfied that you spent money on futon parts you can't use. Do the work and measure twice, and you will likely avoid this frustration.

Question: My futon has a mattress that can't be removed. It's one whole entire piece. Do you carry replacement covers or parts for this type of futon?

Answer: The type of furniture you are likely referring to is called a casual convertible, or sometimes called a click-clack. It's commonly found in Europe and its predecessor in the United States was something called a Castro-convertible. Sometimes these click-clack sofa's have several sections that can be manipulated and adjusted. The problem is that it is cost prohibitive in most cases to find covers for them. You could have one custom tailor-made, but the likeliness is that buying a new one would be cheaper. Regarding replacement parts for this type of unit is something we don't provide. Try contacting the place you bought it from to see if they can provide any assistance. And good luck!

Question: OK. I measured and it looks very snug, possibly like it will fit. But the dimensions are so close, I'm not sure. I understand you don't take parts back, and I still want to buy, but I am not sure what to do if the hole is a little too small for the part. Any advice?

Answer: This is not an easy thing to advise, because you might end up ruining your futon if you don't do things just right, but it might be possible to slightly enlarge the hole with a drill bit or sandpaper. Also, try using a bar of soap to create a lubricant when you get the hole just large enough to squeeze the part through. BE CAREFUL! If the hole is too tight, you run the risk of cracking the wood, either immediately or over time while in use. This is where a good handyman, carpenter or other wood worker might be a handy helper to turn to. Also, let us say that we don't recommend doing this and you do so only at your own peril. If the part is too loose, that can cause failure of the part or breakage of your futon frame as well.

Question: Why do they use plastic parts in futon frames? It just seems obvious they could use a material that was less likely to break.

Answer: A simple answer is that plastic is the wave of cheaper manufacturing. However nylon glides and plastic rollers also help to preserve your futon frame. It's far better for a cheap piece of plastic to shatter than to have an entire wooden section break. The plastic parts are among the easiest parts to replace. Buy an extra set if you want to ensure your futon's longevity.

Question: How can I ensure I get the most out of my plastic futon rollers or glides? I've had several break.

Answer: There can be many reasons why futon rollers break. In general, these should last you for years, but like all things that get heavy use, the more you use your futon, the more you will wear it out. People with frames that get used infrequently should see theirs last longer than those who use their futons as their primary beds. However, there are some tips to getting your futon frame to outlast its warranty date:

  1. Ensure your futon frame is snug and not wobbly. Keep a spare allen key taped under the seat and wiggle the arms from time-to-time to ensure they aren't wobbly. Over time, vibrations and the expansion and contraction of the wood as it takes on moisture and expels it will cause the bolts to loosen. When you tighten them, tighten the snuggly and then apply 1/4 turn ONLY more. If you over tighten your futon bolts, you may crack the wood. Metal is stronger!
  2. Check the grooves in the armrests of your wooden futon frame where your futon rollers glide as the futon is converted. Sometimes, manufactures fail to properly sand these areas down. If the areas is very course inside those grooves, your futon glides will be chewed up quickly. Sand this area down. And, whether you had to sand or not, it might be worth considering running a bar of soap into the grooves to act as a lubricant. This will likely enhance the life of your futon frame, make the conversion process a tad bit easier, and make those pits smell fresher all at the same time.
  3. Periodically, remove your futon mattress and inspect the workings of your futon frame. Look for developing cracks and consider splinting parts with a straight metal bracket where practical. Always drill pilot holes into any wooden piece before adding screws and make sure the holes are the proper width. You can easily crack your wood if you don't do this. Also, in some places, adding supports like these can cause damage to other parts of your frame if they are allowed to rub and come into contact with those areas. Examine, first, whether mending a crack is worth while or just inviting new troubles.
  4. Replace any worn or bent parts if you can find replacements for them. We hope the part you need is one we carry.
Best of luck!