Special Needs Crib

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Project by Gary posted 535 days ago 1431 views 1 time favorited 7 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Judy’s best friends’ daughter has been in a wheel-chair most of her life.
Last year she had a baby.
Being in a wheel-chair presents all manner of special requirements for the baby’s crib.
I was asked to customize a 30-year old drop-side crib.
When I assembled it to test the mechanisms, the front side gave out and fell completely apart .
Instead of customizing the drop-side, I built a new crib from scratch.
This crib is built to the mom’s specific requirements and will convert to a toddler bed when he’s big enough to be out of a crib.

It’s made of Ribbon Sapelle and maple, mostly Tiger maple.
The rail/leg joinery is mortise and tenon, the doors are mortise and tenon construction with floating tenons for the slats.
The ends and back side use stub tenons in a groove with spacers between the slats.
The finish is home-brew dewaxed shellac followed by Cabot’s Semi-gloss Polyurethane which my wife did.
It’s her first time finishing a project and the maple really threw her a curve.
As she saw the stripes, she thought she’d created all manner of runs! :-)
The first photo is Alyssa, the second, third and fourth show the grain and the finisher—my wife Judy.
The fiifth and sixth are TJ, mom Alyssa and grandma.

The Picasaweb album with roughly 60 photos documenting the build is here:
Crib build

-- Gary, Florida.

7 comments so far

View Rob Vicelli's profile

Rob Vicelli

96 posts in 1315 days

#1 posted 534 days ago

WoW! Nothing is more satisfying then building a project that has purpose and will be used. Along with your craftsmanship and design, I would call it a home run. Very Nice!

-- Rob V

View whitebeast88's profile


3465 posts in 814 days

#2 posted 534 days ago

awesome story and awesome crib.i’ve never thought about a special needs crib and wouldn’t have thought up a clever design with the doors.

love the tiger maple,it turned out very nice.

-- Marty.Athens,AL

View Karson's profile


34869 posts in 3024 days

#3 posted 534 days ago

Great design and construction.

It’s always great to have a project with a story and this is also great.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware †

View Andrew R.'s profile

Andrew R.

21 posts in 2354 days

#4 posted 534 days ago

Looks great! Congrats on the beautiful build.

-- Andrew, Bellingham, WA

View sedcokid's profile


2667 posts in 2222 days

#5 posted 534 days ago

What a tremendous story and what a wonderful thing for you to do. Beautiful Crib great choice of wood!

Thanks for sharing

-- Chuck Emery, Michigan,

View Fishinbo's profile


11216 posts in 800 days

#6 posted 531 days ago

Beautiful and successful project! Able to build a crib which caters to the specific needs of special friends. Way to go!

View Gary's profile


1018 posts in 2948 days

#7 posted 530 days ago

Thanks for the kind feedback.
Delivering the crib and seeing their faces was a joy and made all the effort worth it.

-- Gary, Florida.

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