Sleigh-style Crib in Black Walnut

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Project by Volund posted 01-18-2013 09:14 AM 2337 views 2 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Just a quick update. I’ve added another set of legs and bed-rails. This converts the crib into a bed. The sides come off as a unit and the crib front and back become the head and foot boards. In this pic, you can see the connection with buried bed bolts. (The brass bed-bolt covers were back-ordered.) I don’t thing my grandson minds though.



I finished up this crib over Christmas week, 2012, and delivered it to my daughter and her family that Friday. Attached are a couple pics, including my first grand-kid, Liam. As you can see, I was only a about 2 months late dropping it off.

I designed this crib after I noticed that all the cribs for sale online are IKEA-style things held together with cam bolts and have a ton of screw holes showing. I wanted something nicer, and the project grew from there. Eventually I stretched my Sketchup skills and drafted this design, which converts into a single bed as well.

Having learned not to paint myself into a corner, I was meticulous about the design of each joint and element. I made sure I had an idea how to go about each step before I incorporated it into the design. I also limited my tolerances to 1/16” (except for mortices) because CAD will bite you if you’re not careful about that.

New tools to complete the project include a Jet dedicated morticer and a Grizzly 24” 2-drum sander. Both of which paid for themselves on this project alone.

I used book-matched maple panels for the mattress frame – seen in the 2nd to last pic. Otherwise, the crib is made of black walnut with brass accents. I included a pic of the 20/4×15” x 60” slab of old-growth I carved the front and back rails from.

The finish is a non-toxic salad bowl oil, followed by several layers of blonde shellac (about 1 lb. cut) buffed out with 600 grit paper. Finally, I rubbed on a food-safe mix of carnauba and bees wax and buffed it out with old t-shirt rags.

The crib is solid as a rock, weighs about what I do, and should be in the family for generations.

10 comments so far

View Roger's profile


20949 posts in 2952 days

#1 posted 01-18-2013 12:28 PM

Very beautiful. Congrats also. A super nice build.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed.

View Oldtool's profile


2723 posts in 2338 days

#2 posted 01-18-2013 01:48 PM

Excellent build, great craftsmanship. This will become a family heirloom for sure.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View bigpops0259's profile


302 posts in 4297 days

#3 posted 01-18-2013 02:07 PM

Very nice, Beautiful heirloom. Well done, did one like yours a few years ago. Thanks for showing it.

-- Marty Ohio

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

29878 posts in 2486 days

#4 posted 01-18-2013 03:05 PM

Beautiful work

Welcome to LJ’s

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View david38's profile


3518 posts in 2491 days

#5 posted 01-18-2013 03:08 PM

looks great

View a1Jim's profile


117236 posts in 3725 days

#6 posted 01-18-2013 04:36 PM

Great looking crib and a cute little one too.

-- wood crafting & woodworking classes

View Wiltjason's profile


56 posts in 2110 days

#7 posted 01-18-2013 05:23 PM

That’s an awesome crib! When’s the dresser coming?

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 2323 days

#8 posted 01-18-2013 05:55 PM

Beautiful design and great build, will be enjoyed for many years and generations. Impressive work!


View Volund's profile


36 posts in 2103 days

#9 posted 01-18-2013 10:21 PM

Thanks everyone. A changing table was part of the original design. I cut it in favor of making this expandable into a toddler bed, so they can get more use out of it. Given how long it took to make, it was a good decision.

View Mike's profile


139 posts in 2189 days

#10 posted 01-19-2013 11:43 AM

Beautiful work! So much nicer than anything you could buy at a store

-- A person of integrity never speaks of it...he walks in it...

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