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Help with Plans for Replicating a Crib ($)

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Forum topic by mike12ophone posted 01-29-2016 07:54 PM 552 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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mike12ophone

25 posts in 317 days


01-29-2016 07:54 PM

I’m trying to build a crib, replicating one I found online. It’s MDF sides, acrylic front & back, walnut trim, and sitting on short almost hidden feet. This seems a little complicated and not having plans makes me a little nervous especially given its intended application. I’d love some help with mocking up a design to work out the cuts and such. I’ve got reference pictures and a closeup video. Sorry if this is offensive to anyone considering I’m trying to rip off someone’s design but it’ll just be for my boy coming in the summer. We can work out compensation you for your assistance. Help!

Here’s what I know of the original:

30”D 53.5”W 36”H, 150 lbs
Sides are 1” walnut
Base and platform birch construction.
End panels are Eco-MDF
The acrylic slats measure 3” across and the spacing between is 1”

-- - just a man with too many hobbies


16 replies so far

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pmayer

864 posts in 2532 days


#1 posted 01-30-2016 03:49 AM

Hi Mike,

If you post some pics on here and ask whatever questions you have you will likely get some good input.

-- PaulMayer, http://www.vernswoodgoods.com

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mike12ophone

25 posts in 317 days


#2 posted 01-30-2016 03:21 PM

Ok great. Well my first questions are on materials. The pieces framing the acrylic are walnut which is expensive. Is there another option that’s easy to work with and can be easily stained/dyed really dark, still seeing the grain?
Also, the end pieces are painted MDF but I’ve been advised against it because of its durability and the eco-MDF stuff is apparently expensive. Since I’ll be painting them white, what would be an easy to work with alternative?

-- - just a man with too many hobbies

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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#3 posted 01-30-2016 03:47 PM

Hello Mike,welcome to LJs
Most materials are not going to be inexpensive. The acrylic material is the most costly of the project.MDF in itself is some of the lowest cost material out there.but it’s very heavy. As to plans ,I would first ask what kind of tools will you be working with?

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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jdh122

879 posts in 2285 days


#4 posted 01-30-2016 04:02 PM

You could use plywood for the three sides. You could use just about any wood you want to rather than the walnut for the front piece. If you’re trying to save money over the walnut something like maple or birch might be a good choice, cherry would be OK too, though it’s generally more expensive than maple or birch (but less than walnut). Southern yellow pine would be strong enough but the look would not be as nice.
The way I think most people would go about making this would require a router (to rout out the grooves in the four panels) and a tablesaw (to cut the panels to size and do the joinery for the front frame). The frame for the front could be doweled, pocket-screwed, mortise and tenon or half-lap joints. It looks like the four panels are just attached together with screws, or possibly the screw-dowel combination that Ikea favors.
Hard to see how the bottom is held in, it probably is made to be adjustable, I have no real idea for that.

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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mike12ophone

25 posts in 317 days


#5 posted 01-30-2016 04:11 PM

Hmm ok thanks. I’m planning on doing the acrylic for both the sides and the white pained end pieces. For that amount of walnut, roughly what’s the price swing for walnut vs. maple or birch? Could I get the maple or birch to that dark brown walnut color?

-- - just a man with too many hobbies

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mike12ophone

25 posts in 317 days


#6 posted 01-30-2016 04:12 PM

This is my first project so I’ll need to buy or rent all my tools, I’m planning at a minimum to pick up a router, table saw, and some sort of sanding solution.

-- - just a man with too many hobbies

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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#7 posted 01-30-2016 04:15 PM

Yes you can get the birch or maple as dark as you want ,just use some Dyestain sold buy General finishes. Each application you put on will make it darker and you can still see the grain.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#8 posted 01-30-2016 04:26 PM

Mike
If this is your first time using all those tools,As a woodworking teacher, I would suggest checking out your area for a woodworking co-op or adult woodworking class that has all the tools you need and can give you instructions on how to use those tools safely.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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a1Jim

115206 posts in 3044 days


#9 posted 01-30-2016 04:39 PM

Not sure where you are in Virgina but if there’s a woodcraft store close by they usally have woodworking classes or maybe this woodworking club is close by.

http://washingtonwoodworkersguild.org/home/us/

http://washingtonwoodworkersguild.org/events/guild-meetings/

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

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MT_Stringer

2854 posts in 2698 days


#10 posted 01-30-2016 04:51 PM

+1 What Jim said.

Also, there are federal guidelines for crib construction. Make sure you follow those. There are small lives at stake. Just sayin’.

Good luck. I don’t think I would want to tackle this piece of furniture like this for my first project, especially with no tools that I wouldn’t have any experience with. A router is a good tool to use that will mess up some expensive wood. And do it in a hurry.

Looking at your picture, I can see where a template would be good for cutting the openings for the sides.

Example: Here is my drawing for a template to cut the egg crate pieces for a wine storage cabinet.

and the template set up to cut the pieces.

The end result.

-- Handcrafted by Mike Henderson - Channelview, Texas

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jdh122

879 posts in 2285 days


#11 posted 01-30-2016 06:08 PM

A rough-and-ready calculation suggests that you have less than 10 board feet of actual wood in that crib (a board foot is a measurement that is one square foot at one inch thick). Prices for various species will vary tremendously depending on where you’re located (and whether you go to a big box store, lumber supplier or Craigslist cash-only sawyer). Around here I pay about 3$ per board foot for maple and birch and walnut goes for around $6. So while paying double for wood seems like a big difference, the actual money saved by going with a cheaper species will only be about $30, on a piece that with good plywood and the acrylic is going to set you back a lot more than that. And if you include the savings on a can of stain you might be just as good going with walnut.

I think Jim’s suggestion of finding a co-op or club is a very good one.

Personally I have no issue with copying a design for items made for my own use or to give to friends. I’d feel a bit uncomfortable about selling them. (Disclaimer: not a lawyer).

-- Jeremy, in the Acadian forests

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mike12ophone

25 posts in 317 days


#12 posted 01-31-2016 12:39 AM

Thanks all. The template tip is a great idea. Many a wise person has suggested I not tackle this as my first project but I’m too ignorant and stubborn to listen. Haha. I plan on getting extra scrap wood to practice each step before executing the final cuts. Maybe I’m headed for disaster but there’s no better way to learn than just diving in. ..well except maybe classes. Haha. I’ll swing by woodcraft and check it out.

Question. Is plywood strong enough to be used as two sides of the crib? These will be the only solid panels on the whole crib. Also I assume I’d have to do some sort of edge treatment like veneer before painting it right?

-- - just a man with too many hobbies

View Dabcan's profile

Dabcan

252 posts in 2138 days


#13 posted 01-31-2016 01:34 AM

Some things to consider:

-price of Walnut – yes it’s more expensive, but depends on your area. Where I am it’s 2-3 times more expensive than say maple or birch, that being said, you’re looking at about 5-7 bdft, so for me that would be $60 of walnut vs. $20 of birch, but then I have to buy a $15 can of stain, some brushes, some rags, etc. and it still will not look like walnut.

- mdf – most mdf contains formaldehyde, this is bad, especially for babies. in California you can’t have mdf in cribs because it’s bad for the fumes

- strength of plywood – it’s super strong, I built a crib for my daughter and all four sides were 1/2” baltic birch with some thick douglas fir corner posts holding it together.

The crib I made had similar cut outs to this although I arranged them in a pattern that looked a bit like a caterpillar. I cut the slots with a jig saw and either end of the slot I did with a large forstner bit in an electric drill. I had some chip out in the plywood but over pretty good. Rounded over the edge of the slots with an 1/8” round over with a router.

If you had a friend with a CNC you could knock this out in an hour…

Good luck and keep us posted!

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?

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mike12ophone

25 posts in 317 days


#14 posted 01-31-2016 11:35 PM

Ok MDF is officially out for the end pieces.. Now it’s either plywood or some other solid wood. I can’t find any wood in the rough dimensions I need other than huge slabs. The side pieces are 4/4 and about 3’ x 3.25’ so that may eliminate solid wood as an option. I wish there was a place to buy wood to size but I guess most people doing this actually know what they’re doing. Haha.
That leaves plywood. Lowes/home depot don’t sell 1” plywood so I’m a little in the wind with what I should do. I don’t have the experience to tell me what effect material substitutions will have on strength, durability, and workability. If you were building a crib with acrylic sides and pained end panels, what would you use?

-- - just a man with too many hobbies

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Dabcan

252 posts in 2138 days


#15 posted 02-01-2016 01:29 AM

I’d go with 3/4” Baltic birch ply, plenty strong enough and should be available at a big box store. I’ve heard good things about apple ply as well but have never tried it. The good thing about plywood is you can get the store to make all the outside cuts and then you’d just need to do the cutouts and holes for fasteners. You might have to pay a buck a cut, but way cheaper than buying a table saw, and any small table saw isn’t really designed to cut full sheets of plywood, and unless you have a truck you won’t be able to get full sheets home.

Hope that helps

-- @craftcollectif , http://www.craftcollective.ca, https://www.etsy.com/shop/craftcollective?

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