Below are two videos (part 1 and 2) showing the assembly of a king size pencil post bed. A written description is below that.
Assembling the Pencil Post bed (see below for Farmhouse type beds.)
You will need a pair of needle nose pliers, an open end 11/16” wrench and a 5/8” open end wrench or socket wrench.
Clear an area large enough for the bed to be assembled. If the area is not carpeted then put down some blankets for padding.
Notice that all parts are labeled HL, HR, FR,FL etc. (H is for head, F is for foot)
Left and right are figured when looking at the bed from the foot of the bed. (posts are marked under the base , rails are marked a ends.)
Some joints will be tighter than others. If they are tight wiggle them a bit up and down, NOT side to side. Also, you can pound a bit with the soft part of your fist to get it started.
Assemble Head board
1 Find the two head posts marked “HR” and “HL” Lay them on the floor. HL to the left and HR to the right. There should be a rail mortice facing up and one facing toward the other post.
2 Place the headboard, face up in between the posts. There will be corresponding mortices on the posts. Place the head rail in between the posts also. (The HR or HL on all of the rails will be marked rightside up as it will be when the bed is standing up.) The holes for the nuts on this rail will be facing up when it is laying on the floor.
a. insert the headboard and rail into one post. Then insert the other end of each into the remaining post.
b. Remove nut from bolts. remove one washer. Leave the second washer with the bolt. Insert bolt into hole in post with one washer under bolt head.
c. Insert second washer over bolt end as it enters mortice in rail. Use needle nose pliers to hold nut as your spin bolt to catch the nut.
d Tighten both bolts. Snug them up to close joint. Don’t crank them hard as you can. You may want to bang on the outside of the post at the headboard with the butt of your hand to help it close the joint. There is no fastener for the headboard proper.
Stand up assembled headboard. Lean it against the wall.
Use a second person for this part. Find the left side rail, marked LH and LF. Lean headboard so that you can insert LH tenon into headboard post. Insert bolt and tighten.
For Pencil Post Beds-
Find FL post and attach and bolt to LF end of side rail. The headboard is now standing straight up.
Then find right side rail marked RH and RF. Lay rail with base of RH tenon in the right head post mortice. Have someone spot that joint while you find the FR post. Lift foot end of right rail and insert tenon into right foot post. Insert and tighten bolts.
Now loosen side rail bolt at head board. This will allow you to spread head and foot board enough to insert the foot rail.
Insert foot rail and bolt in place. Now tighten head bolts so that all bolts are now snug.
For a Farm House- or similar non-four post bed assembly is simpler.
1-The bottom photo below illustrates the first rail in place and fastened. Use two people. One to hold the headboard and the other to fasten the rail.
2-Now attach the footboard to this one rail. Bolt, but do not tighten.
3- Spread free ends of foot and headboards enough to insert remaining rail. bolt, and tighten all bolts to snug up joints. Do not over tighten. Set up slats. Click here.
Note that bed bolts in the images are not yet blackened.