Colonial Cherry Cradle

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Project by SJThrasher posted 01-25-2018 03:34 AM 1438 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I figured since I’ll be hanging around here a little more, I would start posting some of my projects.

This was my first big project. My dad and I built this together for my daughter…she is now 18. After she was born, this was her cradle (then my son’s three years later) that was used at night when we wanted them cozy.

Every piece is Cherry. The finish is a Toy Maker’s Finish from General Finishes (since discontinued). Five coats were hand rubbed using 0000 steel wool in between each coat. I need to digitize the original pictures to show what it looked like as soon as it was finished, it was so pale, it looked like it was made out of pine. It was the first project where I learned that sometime stain is not your friend. The dark, mellow colors are all natural aging.

Aside from the hangers there are no metal fasteners. The ribs were painstakingly cut out by my dad using a jig on the band saw, then aligning them all, clamping them, and squaring all ends at the same time for uniformity.

The plans called for two-piece ends, but we were lucky enough to find a beautiful, wide piece and made them one-piece.

The uprights and the cross bars were sent out through World of Molding. Though I didn’t specify, they made the uprights out of two pieces, joined together before turning. It’s one of the things I don’t like about the project because they, of course, cure differently. The result is there is a small ridge now where they are joined.

The only other thing I was frustrated with was the mottled finish on the spindles. This was caused by irregular sanding by me. We did not have a lathe to turn them as we were finish sanding them so the result was less than perfect. It’s not terrible, just something to mention.

The top does come off and the table-top portion is almost perfectly balanced and the stops keep it from tipping over, though we never used it like that.

The hangers were “antiqued” using a method my dad found. We used galvanized parts, heated them to red-hot with a propane torch, then dipped them in motor oil to cool. After they were cooled, we used a rotary wire brush to remove all of the carbon and topped them with some clear spray-on lacquer.

I am proud to say that when we finished it, we entered it into the local (Brea, CA) Rockler Wood Working Store contest and took first place.

4 comments so far

View Smitty_Cabinetshop's profile (online now)


17667 posts in 3950 days

#1 posted 01-25-2018 04:33 AM

Cherry looks great, nice build!

-- Don't anthropomorphize your handplanes. They hate it when you do that. - OldTools Archive -

View Kelster58's profile


759 posts in 1872 days

#2 posted 01-25-2018 10:57 AM

That is very nice….Beautiful

-- K. Stone “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” ― Benjamin Franklin

View Richard's profile


11310 posts in 4365 days

#3 posted 01-25-2018 10:56 PM

Absolutely Beautiful Cradle! Well done! YOU deserved that First Prize!


-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View DeLayne Peck's profile

DeLayne Peck

669 posts in 3534 days

#4 posted 01-27-2018 06:11 AM

Just gorgeous!

-- DJ Peck, Lincoln Nebraska. Lord, keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth.

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