|Project by Alin Dobra||posted 10-04-2007 04:55 AM||2596 views||4 times favorited||10 comments|
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