|Project by DarrylK||posted 08-14-2008 08:52 PM||1218 views||2 times favorited||11 comments|
I’ve been a dedicated woodworker for years, doing small and medium sized projects (beds, nightstands, music boxes, intarsia, kids toys, bookcases, finish carpentry, piano benches etc…) for years (time permitting), however before our first child was born almost 10 years ago I promised my wife I would build a cradle for our new arrival.
I blinked, 3 years passed, I didn’t build the cradle, and our second child was on the way. My wife gently (and frequently) reminded me that I owed her a cradle, and being an optimist I vowed that baby # 2 would get that cradle.
As an optimist (not realist), I missed the mark yet again.
Last year, while pregnant with # 3 and extremely hormonal, my wife threatened me that I would be building myself a man-sized doghouse for the back yard if I didn’t deliver the overdue cradle. This time, in fear of that doghouse and Chicago winters I took a few days off work and worked several all-nighters in the shop (garage) to deliver that cradle.
Sleep deprivation aside, the good news was that I was able to finally justify the bandsaw and surface planers.
40 hours, and a deep hatred for “cheap” vacuum presses later, I emerged sleepily from my shop with my favorite (and wife’s most cherished) project yet. In fact, the last bit of squeeze-out was wiped off and the cradle placed in the center of our living room just in time for her baby shower. The 3 coats of satin clear would have to wait until the party was over.
Now, almost a year later, the cradle still sits at the foot of our bed, filled with a baby blanket and other objects that the little guy has since grown out of. My wife will not allow it to be disassembled, moved or otherwise disturbed, and it is the first stop in any tour (given by my wife) of our home.
The book-matched end-panels (I finally had to abandon vacuum pressing, although I had a great time making the veneer) and slats are made from Goncalo Alves, an amazing wood I stumbled across in the pen-blank section of the Rockler I used to frequent, and the rails, rockers and rest of the body is made from curly maple, my favorite wood.
I learned a lot (mostly what NOT to do) making this piece, and loved every minute of it. I’m now being pressured to make a whole set of bedroom furniture for the toddler from the same wood…. I think it will be his high-school graduation present. :)