Oak Baby Crib for Daughter

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Project by ontheworkbench posted 02-07-2015 07:12 AM 2278 views 9 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When my wife and I found out we were expecting our first daughter I thought it would be cool to build an heirloom crib. There was no specific source for the design; I just started with some basic guidelines from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, , and starting sketching it out in the garage. I wanted something that would be strong, but could be taken apart once our daughter outgrows it and then be reused as our family grows.

The project took about six months of work, though not every night or every weekend. The most challenging part was dealing with all the roudovers needed. The first step was to work on the horizontal members. I used four quarter oak, and a 1/2 roundover bit on all four edges to create the profile needed. For the vertical slats I used two quarter oak with a 1/4” roundover router bit.

Next came the most tedious part of the project; cutting 40 mortises uniformly spaced in the horizontal rails. I created a router jig to help me make these cuts repeatable. [Link to LJ blog about this]

Then with the the four sides created and cut to length, I could work on the four structural legs. This is where order counts! Due to the profile I designed for the outside edges, I had to cut the mortises for the long sides of the crib first. If I did not, I would not be able to squarely lay the legs on my drill press table to cut out the mortises. The mortises for the short sides could be cut at any time. Once the mortises for the long sides were cut with a forstner bit on my drill press, I could then cut out my pattern on the bandsaw then used a router to make it match my template. The last part of the legs was to cut out the mortises for the short sides of the crib. [ Link to LJ blog about routing the legs to match my plywood pattern ]

The last part of the build was to construct the mattress support system. This needed to be adjustable vertically, and to accomplish that I used the help of the the Kreg shelf pin jig and threaded inserts in the leg. I crafted a mattress support end rail that spans each of the two short sides, and then a series of long runners to span between each end. These are placed in with lap joints, and then more lap joints were used for the two inner support rails to interlock all the matters supports together. I had also designed this so that a mattress skirt could also be placed over this support structure.

The last part of the build was to then drill through the legs perpendicular and centered with respect to the long rails for a knock down screw and threaded sleeve bold. This was done eight times. Then the short edges were attached to the legs by drilling through leg into the endgrain of the long edges where I embedded a threaded insert.

Like all projects, I then spent about a week sanding every inch smooth. The finish was Minwax’s Gunstock color that I wiped on with a rag in a series of three coats with a light sanding in between. This was followed by two coats of wide on polyurethane with light sanding after each coat. All totaled up, the finishing process took about a month.

All of the vertical slats are glued into place without any fastners. Final assembly was complicated by my piece-marks being sanded away so I had to test and re-test which rail went into with mortise. I tried to cut it as uniformly as possible, but there was just enough variation that it only went together squarely in one way.

The total fastener count for the crib was 22 screws.

My wife loved the look of the crib so much that she then wanted me to build a matching dresser. I think it turned out great, and I hope you do too!

4 comments so far

View bubbaw's profile


89 posts in 2701 days

#1 posted 02-07-2015 01:47 PM

Beautiful crib, I’m going to favorite it for future reference. Great grand baby ( Girl?)

-- Isaiah 40:31

View ontheworkbench's profile


55 posts in 2621 days

#2 posted 02-07-2015 06:21 PM

Beautiful crib, I m going to favorite it for future reference. Great grand baby ( Girl?)

- bubbaw


View Grant Davis's profile

Grant Davis

841 posts in 4964 days

#3 posted 02-17-2015 11:52 AM

great looking crib, I am also favoriting this for future grandbabies.

-- Grant...."GO BUCKEYES"

View eldercop's profile


92 posts in 2564 days

#4 posted 03-28-2015 08:45 PM

My expectant daughter saw your crib and its on my to-do list for completion late July. Would love to build one like it so perhaps you have a sketchup file or drawings? I would happily reimburse you for postage and duplication if you have cut lists or other paper documentation. This is a great heirloom design. How many BF of oak did it take (I need to make two) George

-- "Experience is what you get the day after you needed it" Mark Twain

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