|Project by Henry Mowry||posted 774 days ago||2753 views||3 times favorited||9 comments|
This is the Heirloom Baby Cradle, Woodsmith # 48.
With the approaching birth of my first grandchild, OF COURSE I had to make a baby cradle. These project plans were a challenge, and I did make a few changes.
Going into the project, I knew that a cradle is probably only used for a few months by the baby (when they start moving, the cradle is not safe). However, when I saw the look on my daughter-in-law’s face … well, it was a good decision to build the cradle.
Things I learned:
1. I missed the templates which are no longer available from Woodsmith. I used a compass for most of the curves, and a pencil on a string for the really long curves.
2. I absolutely had no interest in doing the funky angled table saw cuts for the arched top raised panels for the crib ends. I did those with my router table, and the results were fabulous—and more safely achieved.
3. I went with ball bearings instead of the hardboard “washers” for the pendulum hardware. I found a site that wanted to sell me a cradle kit (2 bolts, 4 washers, 2 t-nuts and 2 ball bearings with plans) for $50 … I bought the hardware myself for under $5.
4. I added cleats on each end to help hold the bottom. These are somewhat redundant to the side cleats called for in the plans, but they do ensure that the bottom doesn’t split and fall through while my grandchild (or perhaps a later generation!) is sleeping.
5. The lock pins are essential, but I didn’t build them locked into place on each upright … they are just knobs with dowels that can come out for storage. The dowel fit is tight enough the knobs will not come out unless you mean to pull them out.
6. Linens were created by my wife, of course. We are living a cliche—and loving it!
7. The mattress was purchased online.
The entire cradle does come apart with the removal of the mushroom screw hole plugs and the screws underneath. The remaining flat pieces will easily store under a bed or in the attic for the next needy grandchild.
I branded the cradle with my “Handcrafted by …” stamp. My children insist that I also date it, and have decided that each grandchild to use the cradle will have their initials added to the wood.
Apparently, I did make an heirloom!
-- Henry Mowry, Santa Clarita, CA