1950s Cradle Refurbish

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Project by Derrek LeRouax posted 09-13-2009 11:39 PM 4944 views 2 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

We are expecting number two in October, and have learned our lesson with regard to buying expensive baby stuff that is only used for a VERY short period of time. This time around we are trying to be better about spending our money; hence this project.

This craddle was bought by my grandmother in the 1950s in the Corpus Christi, TX area. It was used for all 6 of my aunts and uncles before being retired to my aunt for storage. The cradle was pretty much forgotten about after that, and none of my generation used it. For the last 30 years it had been stored in an open air barn in the Austin, TX region. When I asked my aunt for it, she thought they had thrown it away many years ago, but after looking through the barn she was able to find it.

The piece is solid wood (of what species I am not positive, but it does have a very tight grain stucture), and assembled with threaded bolts using T-Nuts and threaded inserts. The only plywood piece was the bottom where the baby lays, and that had rotted away many years ago. The hardware was brass plated steel, which had tarnished pretty badly over the last 50 years. I wanted to preserve a little of the historical value, so I only cleaned the hardware and polished what I could. I priced new hardware, but after thinking about it I felt new hardware withdrew from the “aged” feel.

I sanded until I couldn’t sand anymore, and then I came back the next day to sand some more. I went through a lot of sandpaper, but it was well worth it. The final stain choice was MinWax “English Chestnut” with two coats of Gloss spray-on poly. I am not worried about Samantha chewing on the cradle, b/c as soon as she can move on her own, the cradle can no longer be used. My hope is that we can store it until someone else in the family needs it, and they won’t have nearly the work in it that I did.

The cradle swings freely via the non-threaded eye-bolts on the sides that are hung from two decoritive hooks on the exterior frame. Pretty simple, but very effective. Hope ya’ll like it, and if you have any questions let me know.

-- Derrek L.

8 comments so far

View Randy's profile


395 posts in 4561 days

#1 posted 09-14-2009 01:31 AM

good work derrik, and congrats. I like the family story.

-- RKWoods

View Innovator's profile


3589 posts in 4527 days

#2 posted 09-14-2009 02:10 AM

It looks great, nice work.

-- Whether You Think You Can or You Think You Can't, YOU ARE RIGHT!!!

View a1Jim's profile


118162 posts in 4691 days

#3 posted 09-14-2009 02:14 AM

View ND2ELK's profile


13494 posts in 4888 days

#4 posted 09-14-2009 02:46 AM

Very nicely done. You did a great job on it. Thanks for posting.

God Bless

-- Mc Bridge Cabinets, Iowa

View Derrek LeRouax's profile

Derrek LeRouax

129 posts in 4408 days

#5 posted 09-14-2009 05:28 PM

Thanks guys. Had a lot of fun working with it, and learned a lot about the differences between old hardware and new hardware.

-- Derrek L.

View Lehane's profile


1 post in 2401 days

#6 posted 11-16-2014 05:23 PM

Good Day Derrek

i was over joyed when i saw this project! my father bought me this exact cradle in 1983, now that me and my partner are planning a baby we want to restore mine.

The very sad truth is that it was abused over the years so badly by a family member that i only have the basket. the whole stand is non existing and the ‘basket’ is in very bad shape.

Please will please be so kind as to send me the measurement for the stand. and how high this is suppose to ‘hang’ I am going to fully restore this cradle!

just like in your story the cradle was passed around and can i remember my baby brother in it when i myself was just a little girl.

But like i said, it ended up in the wrong person’s ’’care’’.

It will be much appreciated if you could help.

Please! my email address is [email protected]

View Dfamily's profile


1 post in 104 days

#7 posted 03-01-2021 10:19 PM

Hi Derrrik,
Do you have a store or reference # for new hardware for a pendulum cradle like yours? I have a very similar one that has also passed through generations in our family and now it has one of the hanging brass hooks in need of replacement. Any information is greatly appreciated. Great job on your restoration!

View jagk's profile


1 post in 57 days

#8 posted 04-18-2021 01:35 PM

Hi Derrick, Beautiful job on the cradle. Thank you fro sharing… I have a cradel very similar and am in need of finding the eye bolts, hooks and stabilizer pin. Any information on where I could purchase those would be so helpful.

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