It was soon discovered though that these frames were not such a bargain that they appeared to be. The first problem with black metal frames is the round metal bars that make up the seat and back sections of these frames. Where as wood futon frames are using flat slats, black metal frames have hollow round bars. Thinner mattresses would slide through the gaps between the round bars. On wood futons this was never a problem.
When I first got into the Futon business about six years ago, I was under the impression, as a lot of folks are, that futons werent nice enough for anywhere other than college dorms and first apartments. Well, things have certainly changed. This is not to say that those unfinished tri-fold frames with thin all cotton futon mattresses dont exist anymore, they do, but there are also some very nice frames, mattresses, and futon covers in todays market.
Early designs involved a steel tooth design that would fit into pocket welds on the arms. These would snap off over use. The alternative design was to run a bolt through the arms and into the rails. While better it still did not address the issue of bending stretcher rails. Bent hinges also added another issue that would happen from use over time. While not as common as the other problems this issue still led to the failure of many black metal frames.
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