Life #3: Baby on the way

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Blog entry by Ocelot posted 09-10-2011 06:51 AM 2158 reads 0 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 2: Tornados Part 3 of Life series Part 4: Woodworking in Alabama »

My wife, who is in her 40’s, is now 13 weeks pregnant with her first child.

God is good to us!

I should make something (out of wood) for the baby. I’m not sure I’m up for a cradle – and a cradle is used for such a short period of time, that it probably would take more weeks to make it than it would actually be used.

Any suggestions?

16 comments so far

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3406 days

#1 posted 09-10-2011 10:01 AM

Changing table, with lots of storage. Congrats on the pregnancy.

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 4604 days

#2 posted 09-10-2011 01:52 PM

Congratulations! My wife is about 12 weeks, so we’re right behind you!! :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View Tootles's profile


808 posts in 3310 days

#3 posted 09-10-2011 03:05 PM

Hopefully you’re more ambitious than I was. I bought five very colourful butterflies made from wire and what looked like old stockings, then I “made” a cross piece (It did have a half-lap joint) from which to hang them. Instant baby mobile! I did one for both of my boys and even did another for a friend’s child.

-- I may have lost my marbles, but I still have my love of woodworking

View DaddyLongLegs's profile


10 posts in 3271 days

#4 posted 09-10-2011 03:13 PM

10 weeks here for number 2 I second the changing table, make sure its the right height to easily change he baby, we bought one and its just a little low
I would even recommend making it a changing table/dresser

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 4045 days

#5 posted 09-10-2011 03:47 PM

Sure the baby is only in the cradle for a short time, but… If it’s a little girl, the cradle makes a great toy box, if it’s a little boy, it makes a great blanket chest for your wife to use till someone else needs to use it. Plus someday this little baby will have need a cradle for another little precious bundle. When I make a cradle for someone, I go to my local trophy shop and order a plaque with the baby’s name, birth date, and weight Then screw it to one of the top rails. I also make another one that I put someplace less noticeable with my name and the date the cradle was built. Then every baby that uses the cradle can have another plaque put in place. Having those brass plaques on the cradle helps keep the history of the cradle so that in the future, the parents using the cradle have the history long after the maker and original users of the cradle are part of history.

Here’s the design I use. The plans are cheep and the cradle is easy to build. Building this cradle for my first grandchild was the first major woodworking project I built. The first one took me two weeks to build and the only tools I had were a table saw and a drill press. I bought a belt sander and router table before I finished the project to make things easier. I used rough cut sawmill red oak and did all the thickness sanding with the belt sander…

Here’s the plans I used and it was one of the best purchases I’ve made.

If you do decide to make this cradle I’ll give you some tips to speed up the build. After building several, I can build one now in about two days. The design requires 60 mortise and tenon joints to make the side rails. I made a jig to turn round tenons on 3/4” square stock using my router table for the tenons and my drill press to drill 3/8” holes. Turned a two day job on the first cradle into a 2 hour job on the next one I built. I’ve made them out of red oak, walnut, maple and cherry and I can’t decide which looks better. If you build the side rails with threaded inserts, the cradle disassembles so it can be packed flat till it’s needed again.

Here’s what the brass plaque looks like on a walnut bench. The photographs of the cradles I’ve built are archived someplace, so I don’t have any pictures of them to show.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View patron's profile


13707 posts in 4149 days

#6 posted 09-10-2011 04:00 PM

what great news

i don’t have any builds to offer

but from your handle

i’d suggest


for the baby’s name

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Ocelot's profile


2553 posts in 3446 days

#7 posted 09-10-2011 04:46 PM

Hey Guys!

Thanks for all the suggestions and encouraging words.

@patron: Names have already been chosen, but I’ll run your suggestion by the wife, LOL.

@HalDougherty: I took a quick glance at that plan, and it looks nice. I’ll think about it. I’ve never worked from somebody else’s plan. Designing something is a large part of the enjoyment that I get out of making things. However, a plan is a good place to start, and I may take your suggestion.

@Tootles: A mobile is certainly something that I might do. Good idea.

@ShaneA & DaddyLongLegs: A changing table is a possibility. I think I’m about ready to make drawers, and I’m sure I could handle the rest of it.

@TomCat and DaddyLongLegs: Congratualtions to you both! Since babies often come early, one of us has a good chance of making Feb 29. I’ve been telling my wife that she should try to hit that date. It would save a lot on birthday parties.

View Ocelot's profile


2553 posts in 3446 days

#8 posted 09-10-2011 04:49 PM


Wife asks: What do you do for bedding when you make a cradle? I told her that my guess is that you make it a standard size and you can just buy something. Is that right?

View Woodbutchery's profile


432 posts in 4394 days

#9 posted 09-10-2011 06:24 PM

Toy chest / storage chest. I made one that actually serves as a bench as well.

-- Making scrap with zen-like precision - Woodbutchery

View ShaneA's profile


7085 posts in 3406 days

#10 posted 09-10-2011 07:13 PM

Make the crib/cradle standard size. You may want to buy mattress first as there is some size variation. You will want a somewhat snugfit. You will also want review all standard safety guidelines, sush as slat width, and strength. I built one a couple years ago. Lots of mortises. But well worth it. Way better than you could buy at most places.

View Tomcat1066's profile


942 posts in 4604 days

#11 posted 09-10-2011 09:35 PM

@Ocelot: February 29 would be a pretty cool birthday, but my wife’s is Feb. 27, so I think she would rather we not hit that target :)

-- "Give me your poor tools, your tired steel, your huddled masses of rust." Yep, I ripped off the Statue of Liberty. That's how I roll!

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4969 days

#12 posted 09-11-2011 12:16 PM

Ocelot and Ocelittle .. that’s too cute. Good nickname, for sure :)

Congrats on your precious gift! Best wishes to the family and for the “heirloom making”

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

View David Murray's profile

David Murray

187 posts in 3922 days

#13 posted 09-11-2011 01:37 PM

I made this cradle for my grand daughter, she is 7 months old and still uses it and hopefully will remain useful for her first year. Then maybe a nice place to put her dolls or stuffed animals.

I got the plans from

-- Dave from "The Sawdust Shed"

View Ocelot's profile


2553 posts in 3446 days

#14 posted 09-12-2011 12:32 PM

That’s a nice looking cradle, David!

View Beginningwoodworker's profile


13345 posts in 4481 days

#15 posted 10-02-2011 09:34 PM

Congrats! I wish you and your wife the best.

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