|Project by TheGman||posted 03-05-2011 09:32 PM||1761 views||0 times favorited||5 comments|
I’ve had this project done for quite some time now and I finally have time to post it here and show it off! I’m very proud of the way it turned out, but I would not have been able to do it with out the help of a close friend and my father.
I decided to make a custom crib for my wife and I’s upcoming baby due to the fact that I wanted a family heirloom. To get design ideals, my wife and visited a few Amish furniture store in the area. We liked some aspects to some of the designs they sold (mainly sleigh designs), but none of them truly excited us. So we can up with a completely custom design that far exceeds all federal safety regulations for cribs.
The main features of the design are the 3 raised panels on the back, the curved side rails (modeled after an airfoil since I’m an aerospace engineer!), the crown to the back, and the facts that their is not one single visible fastener and it is easy to disassemble!
The crown on the back is 3 pieces laminated and bent to match the profile of the back.
The side rails were made by creating a 2” thick template and then gluing it to the stock oak. The stock was then hand planed to the rough shape of the template. We then made some custom metal fixtures used to mount it into a horizontal chuck and tail stock mounted on a knee mill. The cutter of the mill was lowered to the template and the stock was then rotated such that the cutter was perpendicular to the template. The mill was then turned on and the mill table was cranked over the length of the piece. Then repeat, repeat, ... We did a coarse and then a fine pass, each requiring roughly 150 passes. I was amazed at how smooth it came out. It did not require much sanding. In total, it took about 15 hrs to mill these two pieces (not including the time it took to machine the needed fixtures). I wish I could attach a video I have that shows this process.
Believe it or not, this crib is actually held together by only 6 bolts! It is mainly held together by brass pins and cams. By only having 6 bolts it is easily disassembled. The front piece is held to the sides using cams and pins. The cams are accessed from the bottom of the top rail and the back of the bottom rail (completely hidden!). Some of you may cringe at the idea of using cams, but I will say that they made hiding all the fasteners easy. And they, by no means, compromise the strength and rigidity of the crib. They can apply up to several hundred pounds of pressure. It is as solid as a rock!
The back corner posts are actually parts of the back panel, so once the front and sides are assembled, the sides are bolted to the back from the back.
We love the way it came out and hope it will be passed on for generations to come. I hope you like it too!