3 in 1 Baby Crib

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Project by granite posted 03-03-2016 09:30 PM 3252 views 5 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

My oldest daughter announced that she and her husband were expecting (our first grandchild!) so I decided I would build them a crib. I liked the 3 in 1 crib plan from Wood Magazine and I built this one out of Cherry. All went well except when we were putting it together. I had read about the problems others had with this and thought I’d give it a try anyway. Well, IT IS A BEAR to get the barrel nut aligned with the bolt when attaching the posts to the sides! I thought my drilling was good enough but even with drilling jigs and using a square for reference during drilling I was off enough that I had to enlarge the holes. One hole must have had a void in the side plywood so the barrel nut began to spin. ARGG. So I designed a longer nut with a tab on it (see pic #3). I could grab the tab on the end with needlenose pliers to adjust the nuts depth and hole location in relation to the bolt. I made the longer ones out of 3/8” rod from the big box store. I made the prototype with my HF Drill Press and hand files, but that was the last straight hole that drill press drilled. Then I found out that my neighbor has a mill in his shop and he was kind enough to take an hour out of a Sat. and make eight for me. The new nuts made putting the crib together much faster. But I know I’m going to be making more in the future since the crib/bed will stay with the granddaughter as she grows, so I’m looking at how others have modified the plans. I’m currently looking at the modifications Green_Hornut has made.

-- "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." Red Green

10 comments so far

View WoodScrap's profile


106 posts in 4372 days

#1 posted 03-03-2016 10:50 PM

Beautiful work! Congratulations as well on your first grandbaby. My Daughter also just announced that she would be having our first in September so I immediately began looking for the perfect gift to make. I came across this crib in my stack of magazines and was thinking about making it, until I heard the problems you have experienced. I may want to rethink that. I’m not as lucky as you to have a neighbor with a mill to custom make parts for me. :)

Again, Beautiful work. thanks for sharing.

-- Rick -Tulsa

View Michigander's profile


220 posts in 3395 days

#2 posted 03-03-2016 11:49 PM

Hi Granite, I am one who had a terrible time with the recommended nuts in the 3 in 1 plans. I found a solution by using a different style of nut by Lee Valley.,43455
Instead of drilling from the bottom, you drill from the side. With the not fully exposed, assembly is a snap. Where the original nuts took hours to assemble, the Lee Valley nuts allowed me to assemble the bed in 10 minutes! I purchased the screw in metal caps to hide the nuts and the installation looks professional. And I didn’t have to remake any components, the nuts were usable even though I already drilled holes for the original nuts. The Lee Valley threads are the same as the kit, so I used the kit bolts. Works like a charm and solid as a rock!
Great looking bed, it looks like the one I built!
Sorry I didn’t post this fix on my original post but I will do so now.

View dougsshop's profile


49 posts in 1804 days

#3 posted 03-03-2016 11:58 PM

Amazing! How long did it take?

View oldrivers's profile


2430 posts in 2542 days

#4 posted 03-05-2016 02:51 AM

Beautiful work! Congratulations on your first Grandchild [your life will never be the same as you enter to a new hight of joy as you learn the real meaning of the GRAND in grandchildern.

-- Soli Deo gloria!

View granite's profile


83 posts in 3596 days

#5 posted 03-07-2016 04:12 PM

All,Thanks for the kind words!!

Brilliant!!! I was thinking of some kind of bed connector bolt/nut but didn’t want to leave it open for little fingers. I love the cap on the nut!!

This is a good design and it looks like Michigander has a wonderful solution. Green_Hornut also has a fix and am waiting to see what it is.

Tough question! I work a real job so I’m a part time woodworker. I think I started this in Oct. but really began in earnest in Nov. I worked on it over the Thanksgiving break and the entire Christmas break and just about every weekend with breaks for whenever the Broncos played!
So 3 1/2 to 4 months of weekends would be my best guess. The important thing is that is was completed by the birth day!! 8-)

-- "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." Red Green

View Eric's profile


94 posts in 3951 days

#6 posted 03-08-2016 02:44 AM

Nice looking crib. Would you happen to remember the approximate board footage? I am going to be making one soon. Thank you

-- Eric

View granite's profile


83 posts in 3596 days

#7 posted 03-08-2016 04:10 PM

Eric, The plans (3 in 1 Bed for all Ages from Wood Plans, call for ~53 board feet of hardwood, 1 sheet of 3/4” x 4’x8’ hardwood plywood, 1/2 sheet of 1/4” hardwood plywood which is 4’x4’ and ~16 board feet of poplar for the bed rails & supports. You also need 1 sheet of 3/4” x 4’x8’ MDF to make the bending form for the top headboard rail. There is a hardware kit from Products America that has all the hardware needed including the spring frame for the mattress, and of course you’ll need the mattress itself. I would add the nuts (8 – 1/4×20 needed) that Michigander found at Lee Valley and save yourself alot of trouble putting it together!
The plans were well done and included shop tips for the build.
I thought this was well worth it since it’s a crib that makes into a toddler bed and then a regular full size bed.
These units are fairly pricey in the the baby stores and having something made by grandpa is priceless!

Have fun and start early!

-- "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." Red Green

View Eric's profile


94 posts in 3951 days

#8 posted 03-09-2016 05:41 PM

Thank you! Now I know I ordered enough

-- Eric

View DBordello's profile


135 posts in 2202 days

#9 posted 08-14-2016 10:05 PM

Does anybody else have experience with the Lee Valley fasteners?

I am at the assembly stage, and obviously my cross-dowel holes are not aligned enough to permit assembly. Therefore, I am considering the Lee Valley fasteners. Does any have any experience?

View granite's profile


83 posts in 3596 days

#10 posted 03-13-2019 08:10 PM

Here’s the Toddler Bed Side.

-- "If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy." Red Green

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