A Crib for Nathan #2: Finally Complete

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Blog entry by Patrick Jaromin posted 02-19-2009 02:04 PM 4090 reads 0 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 1: One Tough Customer Part 2 of A Crib for Nathan series no next part

It’s been difficult finding time to complete this project.

When you come home after work to two toddlers, a baby and an exhausted wife, it’s extremely difficult to then suggest you’d like to head out to the shop for a couple hours! “Disappearing” into the shop on weekends can be equally problematic. Nevertheless, we worked out a plan and I finally managed to make the time to get this crib done…and none to soon with Nathan now just over 3 mos. old!

I didn’t take many “in progress” shots — partially due to the time constraints, partially because while the build was “spread out,” there weren’t that many hours or steps, and partially because being the my third crib, and second project with curved legs, there were fewer unique and interesting shots to take.


The crib itself is based on the very popular “Heirloom Crib” plan from Wood. I’ve made a couple modifications to make it better match the dresser. These include broader, thicker end caps with a chamfer matching the dresser’s top, “cloud lifts” on the bottom of the ends, and curved "gumby" legs.

One of the firsts for me with this project was the joinery of the end caps. The purchased plans call for a double cap — the bottom piece is glued and screwed into the ends and the top is then simply glued on top of it. As I wanted this to match the dresser, I needed to do away with the bottom piece — but how to join the cap without using exposed screws? I briefly considered using screws and matching cherry plugs in the holes, but felt this would negatively impact the look. I ultimately decided to use dowels, something for various reasons I’d not done before. I purchased a $10 jig at Menards and cut matching holes for (5) 5/16” dowels in each cap. This seemed to work quite well and I’m fairly confident will stand up over time.

Finish and Assembly

I sanded all the parts, prior to glue up, to 220. The first coat was a Watco natural Danish Oil. I then topped it with 3 light layers of Waterlox Tung-oil based sealer/finish. During assembly, I had some issues with the threaded inserts and the Cherry. I had no problem with the Maple version of this crib, but clearly these inserts are too coarse for use with Cherry. Even after enlarging the holes, they “mounded” the cherry and splintered the face somewhat as they drove, even with a caul clamped to the face around the hole. I’ll probably fix this with some sanding and new finish in a couple years before putting it in long term storage. For now, the hardware covers this issue and I couldn’t bear delaying the “rollout” any longer!


And here’s the finished crib in its natural habitat…

Hopefully he’ll sleep soundly in his new crib for at least the next 2 – 3 years!

[originally published at]

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

6 comments so far

View bobfox's profile


1 post in 3745 days

#1 posted 02-20-2009 01:34 AM


Really first class work. I especially like the legs. I am using the same basic design for a crib for our first grand child. Hopefully, it will turn out as nice as yours.


View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3694 days

#2 posted 02-20-2009 01:53 AM

just curious about how you did the slats for the rails. It looks like you broke free from the plans on this one. I came up with my own way, but it has been more than a little challenging. Just wondering what you chose to do. I think the original plans call for routing a groove and using spacer blocks. your slats look thicker than if you were to use that method.

View ND2ELK's profile


13495 posts in 3740 days

#3 posted 02-20-2009 02:30 AM

Hi Patrick

Great looking crib and a beautiful job as always. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Patrick Jaromin's profile

Patrick Jaromin

405 posts in 3799 days

#4 posted 02-20-2009 03:01 AM

Thanks, all!

HokieMojo—good eye! I’m not terribly fond of the “slot and filler” method, and seriously considered making a jig and routing out individual mortises, but in the end I decided the proscribed method was going to be much faster/easier…and time was tight.

The reason they look thicker is because I cut the slot on the router table and discovered too late (4th or so pass) that something was amiss. I wound up with a slot of around 7/16” instead of 3/8”. Since I had used feather boards above and to the side, my Bies fence was absolutely locked in, and the router plate fit is tight, I am guessing that the router itself (a PC 893) “wobbled” as I used the integrated lift mechanism. I haven’t yet had a chance to check this out. In any case it was either trash the gate rails (and some cherry specifically picked for that purpose) or cut thicker slats. Fortunately I had enough extra 8/4 slat pieces to make up for the difference.

-- Patrick, Chicago, IL

View HokieMojo's profile


2104 posts in 3694 days

#5 posted 02-20-2009 07:57 PM

Interesting chain of events. I did end up doing my own thing on the slats. I actually built a jig for my router to cut a mortise into the rails. I left the mortise with rounded ends and the took my slats and used a couple rounover bits to fit each to the slot. it game me rounded slots (which I felt makes my project unique) but also didn’t cause me to square up 100 mortises with a chisel.

I love seeing these projects because everyone seems to find a way to put their own spin on it. I also noticed you didn’t use on long arch at the bottom of the headboard/footboards. I wish I had seen your take, because I like it much better (I did stick with the arch). Very nice work.

View Grumpy's profile


23841 posts in 3817 days

#6 posted 02-22-2009 10:19 AM

Very nice Crib Patrick.

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

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