Doll Cradles

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Project by Dan Pleska posted 11-21-2007 06:35 AM 4780 views 5 times favorited 28 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Every year the woodworking club I belong to, Valley Woodworkers, makes about 300 toys and donates them to the local Salvation Army. These toys are then distributed to families that can’t afford them so that the kids will have something under the tree at Christmas. Part of that are these 108 doll cradles that were made in my shop. Other toys include child sized puzzle rocking chairs, small cars and trucks, pull toys and rocking horses. The Salvation Army puts a doll or bear in each cradle.

The kiln dried rough lumber for these toys is donated to us by several sawmills through the state Forestry Association. One of the pictures above shows about 200 bf of the 450 bf of Ash that it took for the cradles. After dimensioning the stock to 5/8” thick we use a host of templates and jigs to not only make the parts, but also assemble the cradles. Most all of the machinery is my shop was used, but the rounded over edges were done with pattern jigs on the shaper. It took two club members and myself about five weeks, working three days a week, to go from rough lumber to the 108 cradles in the above picture. It then took two days in another members shop that has a spray booth to give them two coats of pre-catalyzed lacquer, with a light sanding between coats. The finish is also donated by a local cabinet supply house. The blanket and pillow sets seen in the picture of the finished cradle are made and donated by spouses and others that want to contribute.

The club has been making and donating toys to the Salvation Army since the club was formed in 1991.

-- Dan, West Virginia,

28 comments so far

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14192 posts in 5270 days

#1 posted 11-21-2007 06:49 AM

awesome !!

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Harold's profile


310 posts in 5135 days

#2 posted 11-21-2007 06:56 AM

I can imadgine no greater gift, Wonderful work.

-- If knowledge is not shared, it is forgotten.

View Karson's profile


35279 posts in 5688 days

#3 posted 11-21-2007 06:59 AM

Dan Here are our Mason-Dixon Woodworking Clubs toys.

Great job. Nice looking cradles.

-- 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 RonH's profile


33 posts in 5212 days

#4 posted 11-21-2007 07:15 AM

Being the father of 2 daughters and 2 granddaughters, I can say the little girls will absolutely love those. What a great job.

View Pete Santos's profile

Pete Santos

172 posts in 5296 days

#5 posted 11-21-2007 09:12 AM

My hat is off to you!

God Bless.

-- Greatness is not found in possessions, power, position, or prestige. It is discovered in goodness, humility, service, and love.

View gene's profile


2184 posts in 5171 days

#6 posted 11-21-2007 02:09 PM

Outstanding club project. This is a true endeavor of love, from all who were involved. I’d love to see the faces of the children.
God bless each and every one of you!
God bless

-- Gene, a Christian in Virginia

View Thos. Angle's profile

Thos. Angle

4444 posts in 5250 days

#7 posted 11-21-2007 02:30 PM

wonderful gifts and great community spirit.

-- Thos. Angle, Jordan Valley, Oregon

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 5448 days

#8 posted 11-21-2007 02:47 PM

“it takes a village”—and your village has truly come together to help children.

Bless you.

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

View Dick, & Barb Cain's profile

Dick, & Barb Cain

8693 posts in 5587 days

#9 posted 11-21-2007 03:00 PM

What great gift for those under underprivileged children.

And they won’t have to worry about Lead poisoning.

-- -** You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream ****************** Dick, & Barb Cain, Hibbing, MN.

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 5293 days

#10 posted 11-21-2007 03:23 PM

You go Dude!

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Max's profile


55999 posts in 5560 days

#11 posted 11-21-2007 05:30 PM

What a great thing to do. I applaud yours and your clubs community envolvment. Nice looking cradles.

-- Max "Desperado", Salt Lake City, UT

View Dan Pleska's profile

Dan Pleska

142 posts in 5248 days

#12 posted 11-21-2007 06:48 PM

Thanks for all of your gracious comments. This project is truly a labor of love for those of us that participate.

-- Dan, West Virginia,

View woodgrain411's profile


172 posts in 5140 days

#13 posted 11-21-2007 07:41 PM

This is truely an awesome great job my hat is off , I’m going to be doing the holiday shop (santa’s work shop) for a few of the local schools in my area ! I’m looking for ideas for fast , easy projects with little cost to make , so I can donate them for the under privileged childeren to give to their parents for the holidays (x-mas & such) . Childern of all walks of life also find joy in giving to their parents on the holidays , It gives them a sense of pride,and happyness! The school asks that I make sure that it would be something of a non-religious background for all cultures! Thank you !

-- I love this site !

View Buckskin's profile


486 posts in 5275 days

#14 posted 11-21-2007 10:02 PM

Excellent community service project. Glad to see that volunteerism is still alive.

View jerryw's profile


158 posts in 5203 days

#15 posted 11-22-2007 12:39 AM

What an awesome project! You make me proud to be a West Virginian!

-- jerryw-wva.

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