My daughter's crib

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Project by jonasramus posted 01-04-2012 03:05 PM 1881 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Well, this was my first real furniture project. Frankly I was scared to death, but after overcoming the fear of failure I managed to get the job done and am reasonably happy with the results.

With one minor deviation, it complies with the government’s regulations regarding cribs. The one exception is that the side panels include posts, which are not permitted to be taller than an eight of an inch or something. Presumedly, this is to ensure your child cannot hang themselves by getting their clothes caught on the post. While if I had been building this for someone else, I would not have built it this way, I decided it was sufficiently high to eliminate any risk.

The crib incorporates some design features. First, one side rail rises and lowers. This feature is becoming very hard to find on modern cribs as manufacturers shy away from this to avoid liabilities. Both sides of the crib also have a teething rail, which I bought from the same company that sold me the hardware for the sliding side. I used flat panels on the end caps, but trimmed them with a decorative bead to liven things up a bit.

As for assembly techniques…
1) I used dowels for all the rails. I almost bought a mortising machine for this project. There were over 100 places were I could have used one, but in the end, I could not justify the expense. (It was tricky to accurately drill a centered hold into the ends of all those long rails.)
2) The two end panels are constructed with stub tenons.
3) The two side rail assemblies are built with through mortises at the four corners, and dowels between the vertical rails and the horizontal top and bottom pieces.
4) The four main components (two ends, and two rail assemblies) are connected using inserts and bolts allowing me to break down the crib and store it in the attic when my daughter outgrows it. There is also a bolted-on stretcher which sits just inside the front rail assembly to add extra rigidity.
5) The bed sits on a thin plywood torsion box that can be hight adjusted if desired.

As you can tell from the photo’s, I stained the crib a walnut color, but built it out of select pine. There were two main reasons for this. First, I did not have a jointer for preparing a nice dark hardwood, and so I was limited by what I could find at the local big box store. Second, because this was my first real furniture project, I was frankly too worried I would screw up and waste several hundred dollars of fine hardwood. If I have a chance to do this again someday, I most definitely will make it of a nice hardwood.

I learned a lot from this project, and while it took me months to get it finished, it was took far fewer labor hours than I expected. (And fully 30% of my labor time was spent in finishing because of the number of coats of stain it took to darken up that pine.)

In all, I’m pleased. I hope my daughter and any future children I have will be too.

-- Jeff, Deltona Florida

8 comments so far

View brtech's profile


1052 posts in 3123 days

#1 posted 01-04-2012 04:28 PM


Can you tell us where you got the hardware, and where you found the regulations on crib design?

View jonasramus's profile


24 posts in 3176 days

#2 posted 01-04-2012 05:13 PM

This is not where i got my regulations list, but this is what I could find right now. I note that new US regulations prohibit the use of sliding rails. Pitty. They are not, in my opinion, a hazard if built well and properly maintained.

The hardware for the sliding rail was tricky to find. I bought it from Products America, and I was particular about finding hidden hardware. I did not want ugly metal rails on my crib. Here is what I bought. It was tricky to install mostly because the instructions were poor. At first I installed the hardware backwards, which made it impossible to drop the rail because, instead of sliding out away from the bed of the crib, the rail wanted to go inwards hitting the stretcher. It did work well once I figured it out.

-- Jeff, Deltona Florida

View boxcarmarty's profile


16741 posts in 2561 days

#3 posted 01-04-2012 05:27 PM

I have one thing to say about government’s regulations. We never worried about hanging ourselves when we were growing up or got sick from eating dirt. Let kids be kids, and grow up to live a normal childhood. You did a great job on the crib. (and all of the other projects) Your next task is building that lil’ girl a rocking horse :)

-- My mind is like lighting, one brilliant flash, then its gone.....

View a1Jim's profile


117328 posts in 3778 days

#4 posted 01-04-2012 06:08 PM

A great job ,there’s nothing better than making things for the ones we love.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View jonasramus's profile


24 posts in 3176 days

#5 posted 01-04-2012 07:36 PM

Agreed. A rocking horse is on the project list for AJ’s second birthday in July. I have a style picked out from someone’s post here on LJ.

-- Jeff, Deltona Florida

View Craig Havran's profile

Craig Havran

346 posts in 2812 days

#6 posted 01-04-2012 09:54 PM

Beautiful. Great job. If that’s your first attempt at furniture, I look forward to seeing more in the future.

-- "There's plenty of time to read the instruction manual when you're laying in the hospital bed". - Dad

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2698 days

#7 posted 01-05-2012 08:22 AM

A stellar achievement given your resources, I couldn’t do much better with all the tools in our shop. Sweet dreams, fine awakenings.

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View jim1953's profile


2736 posts in 4043 days

#8 posted 01-06-2012 03:50 AM

Great Lookin Crib

-- Jim, Kentucky

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