Baby Cradle

  • Advertise with us
Project by Alin Dobra posted 10-04-2007 04:55 AM 2913 views 4 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My wife was shopping for baby things few months back (we were expecting a baby that is now born) and found a nice basket in a baby store. The store was selling some stand for the basket but, obviously, I suggested my wife that I can build a cradle to fit the basket. After some discussions between me and my wife, we came up with a list of requirements:

1. The cradle has to fit perfectly the basket
2. The hight has to be such that it is easy to put and take off the baby while in bed (the cradle is supposed to be next to the bed).
3. The cradle has to swing effortlessly (babies like swinging a lot)
4. The cradle has to be really nice and to fit in the room where I previously build a solid cherry bunk bed for my son.

Some of the extra requirements I came up for myself (so I feel good about building the cradle) are:
1. It has to highlight hand joinery to the pint that it is almost impossible to build it exclusively with power tools
2. It has to be very sturdy but look very light at the same time
3. It has to be one of the best projects I have done both in therms of looks and difficulty
4. It has to be unique so I can brag about it.

The cradle is really the first project where I set out only with a vague idea of what I want, I did not follow any plans (I was designing as I was building) and I pushed my limit in terms of artistic expression (it must be all that bowl making where you are forced to be an artist).

What you see in the pictures is the result of this effort. The amount of wood I used in this project is about 10bf. Part of the reason it is so small is the fact that the sides of th cradle have been resawn from a single board (the planks are only 5/16” thick). I tried, and I think I succeeded, to avoid bulkiness but at the same time achieve good sturdiness (the cradle is indeed sturdy since it did not complain when I swung myself in it; I like to demo this to friends when they visit). Since my wife threatened to buy the stand from the shop that had the basket unless I build it fast, I ended up finishing the project in about 1 week and 2 days (working weekends and afternoons, of course). As I do with all my creations, I used no stain; what you see is the natural color of the cherry finished with a coat of linseed oil followed by 4 layers of shellac.

The planks that form the body of the cradle and joined using handcut dovetails. The bottom stretchers are also joined by dovetails to the swinging part or the decorative parts. The bottom stretcher that connects the two legs is joined using a through mortise and tenon with two floating wedges. I All the joinery is performed by hand using saw and chisels. The profile around the legs is routed but the profile on the small pieces that hold the side bottom stretchers are hand carved (I could not use the router because of the chatter).

-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

10 comments so far

View Karson's profile


35125 posts in 4423 days

#1 posted 10-04-2007 05:06 AM

Very nice cradle. You use it to hold the baby basket. I very nice concept.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia †

View Don's profile


2603 posts in 4200 days

#2 posted 10-04-2007 05:10 AM

Alin, this is a lovely project. I really like the design – looks very traditional. You’ve obvioviously put a lot of thought into designing and building this heirloom.

Welcome to LJ’s.

-- CanuckDon "I just love small wooden boxes!"

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4006 days

#3 posted 10-04-2007 05:35 AM

you do nice work. Design looks good and the finishes you chose are very nice.

Welocome to lj’s. Looking forward to seeing more of you work !

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View 's profile

593 posts in 3995 days

#4 posted 10-04-2007 10:47 AM

” It has to be unique so I can brag about it.” – I love this one! :o)

It turned out very nice alindrobra. I bet the boss was really pleased with the final outcome, didn’t she?

And she’d better be, because then, every time a friend shows up to meet the baby, she might be the one who starts bragging about how her wonderful hubby built the craddle.

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4088 days

#5 posted 10-04-2007 11:47 AM

Very interesting design and execution. Well done – you have surely created a new family heirloom.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18615 posts in 4183 days

#6 posted 10-04-2007 12:44 PM

brag away!!! Beautiful; well thought out; and perfect for a little treasure (and congrats on the little treasure as well).

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4059 days

#7 posted 10-04-2007 03:41 PM

Just terrific! This is my favorite type of project post. A project, the concept, the execution and great description. Thanks for taking the time both to do the project, and explain it to us. I’m a big fan of handcut joinery, though I use alot of power tools as well. It looks like a very good job was done. I also like to demo my son’s cradle for my friends. They always look and say, “is it strong enough,” I say, “climb in.” This is a great project!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Alin Dobra's profile

Alin Dobra

351 posts in 3911 days

#8 posted 10-04-2007 08:11 PM

Thanks everybody for the kind replies. Since my first project post was so successful, I’ll post more of my projects shortly.


-- -- Alin Dobra, Gainesville, Florida

View Jonathan's profile


2608 posts in 3073 days

#9 posted 12-02-2010 02:57 AM

OK, so I’m a little late to the party, but still wanted to leave a compliment on this beautiful cradle.

How has it held up?

Would you change anything now that it has (hopefully) gotten a lot of good use?

Nice detailed write-up as well. I’m glad I came across this project of yours!

-- Jonathan, Denver, CO "Constructive criticism is welcome and valued as it gives me new perspectives and helps me to advance as a woodworker."

View clarkey's profile


468 posts in 3079 days

#10 posted 01-31-2011 12:10 AM

Great Design!!!!!

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics