Two basic kinds of wooden futon frame are available: the a-frame and the couch frame. A-frame futons are the simpler of the two designs. Futon couches are complex enough that you should follow instructions on your first attempt. Although each model of wooden futon couch frame will have its individual differences, the general assembly method is fairly consistent. Set aside an hour for this project, which should require only basic household tools.
Clear the floor in the room where you will install your futon. The assembly process will take up much more room than the finished product.
Set the arm pieces opposite each other, about as far apart as the futon couch is long. Arrange them so the grooved sides face inward.
Insert the nuts into their holes in each of the spacers -- the bars that connect the arm pieces. Orient them so the hole is aligned with the bolt holes in the arm pieces.
Set the front spacer in place between the arm pieces. Slide a bolt through the arm piece and into the nut you inserted at each end. Turn the bolt until it is 1/4 to 1/3 of the way in.
Repeat step four to attach the back spacer in place between the arm pieces.
Set the seat and back of the futon mattress frame together on the floor. Although different models will vary, this usually means nesting the long end of one panel inside the long end of another panel.
Attach the two panels of the mattress frame using the cottar pins included in your kit.
Fold the mattress frame at a 90 degree angle and set it in position between the arm pieces. Set the sliders inside the grooves on the inside faces of the arms.
Tighten all bolts the rest of the way down.
Set your mattress on top of the futon frame.
Clear the area where you will install the A-frame futon. You won't need to clear the entire floor.
Set the three panels of the A-frame futon on the ground. Line up the rails -- the thicker beams running beneath the slats -- parallel and pointing toward each other. Place the panels with the rails pointing upward.
Arrange the panels so that the rails of the centre panel nest with those of the end panels. Line them up so the screw holes are aligned.
Insert the screws, bolts or pegs, depending on your specific model, through the holes in your rails. Tighten them so the frame won't wobble, but you can rotate the panels around the connector.
Flip the futon frame over so it rests on the rails.
Place your futon mattress on top of the finished frame.
In some models, the mattress will tend to slide down if left up in folded couch position. You can fix this by gluing textured fabric to the back panel.