Cradle / Glider #1: Cradle / Glider Construction assists

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Blog entry by Karson posted 04-14-2007 05:12 AM 3703 reads 1 time favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch
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Don had asked that I provide some additional pictures and notes on the construction of the Cradle / Glider that I designed and made. The pictures are posted at Flickr

The First cradle was made out of wormy popular. Pictures are not found as of yet. Every cradle that I’ve made my wife said, “I want one.” For the first I cut the parts but never assembled it.

The second cradle was made for another daughter. and

For the second one I never cut the parts. It was made with cherry and maple with Sapele Pomele veneer on the mattress base.

The third one was a Curly Cherry and Satin maple rendition. I entered that cradle into a contest at I used one of their tools in the construction of the cradle. It won first prize, but it was hardly a contest because i was the only person to submit an entry. (They haven’t run another contest since then)

On the third one my daughter whom I made the cradle for came to me and said, “Mom really wants a cradle.” This is the one that I entered into the contest at

So I made a fourth one it was the same design as the third one, but it was made with Walnut, and I entered it into the first contest to be held at I persevered and was able to come home with first prize . I never won a T-Shirt (to which I am forever sorry) but I was asked to provide pictures and the story of the creation of this cradle to Woodcraft magazine and it was published in the February 2007 issue under the title of Show-off Plus. It was a full page story and pictures.

I then went back and posted the pictures of the cherry and maple cradle Cradle number 3 to with some of the assembly pictures. I hadn’t made many pictures of the Walnut version because it was the same design as the Cherry Version.

So it was as the result of the Cherry cradle posting that a request for additional pictures were made. I have had a request for the plans from a shop teacher in Alaska (Plans don’t exist except in my head) And a request for additional info from Zipsss (LumberJocks id).

He and his wife stopped by today April 13, 2007 on their way from New Jersey to Washington DC. So I showed him the cradle and the assembly parts and so then he left saying that he’d contact me later if/when he has problems.

So here we go.

I made a full size working layout of the end panel of the cradle.

It’s 36” tall at the center, it’s 24” wide at the widest spot on the side and 16 1/2” at the bottom. I measured that to be a 6.5 degree slope off of 90 deg.

Someone with Sketchup or other drafting programs might give me the actual deviation.

There is a reason why I wanted that slope and I’ll get to it later if anyone asks.

The mattress size was large cradle size 36” X 18” (in actual it was 36 3/4 X 18 1/4 on the mattress that I bought. So the mattress board needed to be large enough for that size that made the ends 36 1/4 apart on the inside.

Closer up view of the full size end panel mock-up on plywood.
This is on the full size template that I made of the end. I made a parts list of size of each part and the number of parts needed.

Another view of the mock-up
This is a continuation of the parts list This is the section for the spindles

Another view
continuation of parts list This section shows the mattress base and the end view of the back and front support and front drop-down.

Another view
This contains a closer view of the layout lines. I drew a line for part edges and also a dotted line for milling depths so that I could determine the raised panel dimensions

I made a miter fence alignment gauge using the 83.5 degrees and the 96.5 degrees so that I could set the fence to cut the appropriate angles.

I created a story stick for the parts list all parts with the same widths were grouped together for ease in cutting the appropriate lengths and to get the greatest utilization out of strips of wood. and
The story stick had the finished size and the number of parts that I needed and the part number (A, B etc) I put a piece of masking tape on the right and when the part was cut I put a dot beside the part so that I knew when I was finished with that part. The masking tape was to allow to remove the tape and start with another cradle or some other need. After the part was milled with the style and rail cuttings I circled the dot to let me know that the part was finished. Both sides of the story stick are used one side for end panels and back and front panel and the other side for the base.

This is my “Dumb A**” parts identifier.
It is an iridescent price sticker from an office supply house. I stick one on the back of each part. It contains the part id (A, B etc), the finished size (I always cut oversize when rough cutting and then the sticker lets me know finished size) If I needed to cut an angle on the end I might use a different color sticker for special milling instructions. I also put an arrow that points to the side that needs milling. (Outside parts don’t get style and rail cuts on both sides, inside parts do) Left and right hand parts need different milling. So the sticker shows me where I need to cut. So if its on the router table I better see the sticker or I have the part upside down. Most routing operations are done with the front side toward the table. Therefore the sticker is on the back.

I stack all of the parts needing milling on the same side on the router table with the side needing milling facing the router bit. I then mill only that side. I put the part up. When finished I turn the parts remove, any that don’t need a second milling, and then mill that surface. I then re-stack my parts and work my way around the parts so that only parts that need that operation are close enough to be grabbed. and I only do the operation on that side. It has kept me from milling both sides of outside parts and then having to re-cut them again and possibly have to joint and plane more parts.

The stringer between the two legs are held in place by bed frame hardware

If anyone wants the actual parts names and measurements send me an e-mail and I’ll get them together and send them to you. I’ve not shown any pictures of the leg assembly and hanger assembly and you would like to see that let me know and I’ll update this blog.

Copyright 4/13/2007 Karson W. Morrison

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

6 comments so far

View WayneC's profile


14358 posts in 4550 days

#1 posted 04-14-2007 05:15 AM

Great stuff Karson, I’ll have to look you up if my daughter needs one. She is only 17 so hopefully I will have a while before we have the need. Thanks.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View oscorner's profile


4563 posts in 4764 days

#2 posted 04-14-2007 08:16 AM

One can see that you’ve put a lot of preliminary work in building these craddles. I can see why your work is flawless.

-- Jesus is Lord!

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4780 days

#3 posted 04-14-2007 03:35 PM

Informative post.

That first cradle looks a lot like the one my grandfather built for me (my mom really, I merely slept there – as did my sister and our both of our daughters). I wonder if you both drew inspiration from the same source, or this is just a coincidence… Though he used dowels for the spindles, I see you turned yours?

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View Karson's profile


35194 posts in 4853 days

#4 posted 04-14-2007 05:15 PM

Scott. I think that the design is visible in a lot of different swinging cradles. I designed it to have raised panels where most were solid ends. and I made a longer swinging arm because I didn’t like the way that a short arm (or no arm) has more of a jerky swing. This one is more of a glide. But, a lot less than the glider/cradle.

I had the father-in-law turn the spindles, for this version.

This picture shows the relationship to the hanging post (leg) the swinging post, the end panel and the spindles.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

View Fish's profile


2 posts in 4262 days

#5 posted 12-21-2007 04:36 PM

I just posted a request on my profile. I’m a new user to this sort of communication. I’m interested in finding out more about the glider/cradle. I live in Russia and am a consultant. There are some young friends of ours that are having a baby. I came across this glider/cradle configuration and decided this is the answer to their prayers. They have very small apartments in Russia (350 sq. ft.) and don’t have a lot of room for furniture. I wanted to build them something like this for a gift. My biggest challenge is that I would like to make the glider portion stronger so that the mother and baby could both glide in it instead of a rocker. Total weight would be about 135 lbs. Is this possible? Can you give me some tips? I would like to build this out of cherry. My plan is to build all pieces, put in a box, take it with me to Russia, finish and assemble there. Is this all possible? Your comments would be greatly appreciated!! Kindest regards, Fish

View Karson's profile


35194 posts in 4853 days

#6 posted 03-10-2018 06:56 PM

Three cradles have been made from these plans. I’ve gotten pictures from two of them. An additional cradle was made from the plans on cradle #2. It was made by one of the members of our woodworking club.

I helped him on some of the technical parts of the cradle. And later someone asked for a copy of the plans and I had to go back to my friend in the club to get a copy of the plans I gave him.

I had starting moving my workshop to Virginia and I was unable to find the plans in a timely manner so I copied his.

Jacks cradle is/was planned to be used by his extended family. They have a family reunion every year and the cradle was presented there and it’s purpose is to be passed around to which ever family member needs it next.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Appomattox Virginia [email protected]

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