Cherry Cradle for My Daughter

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Project by Wooly_Woodworks posted 11-07-2019 07:37 PM 798 views 0 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I noticed a couple days ago that I never uploaded pictures from my last big project. I’m continually inspired by the project posts here and hope my humble submission will also inspire someone.

I made this cradle for my daughter back in October 2018. I’ve been woodworking for a few years now and wanted to try my hand at “fine” woodworking. A little late posting, but newborns…time…yada…yada. The cradle is solid cherry finished with Osmo. Hand cut dovetails and mortise and tenons join the main structure. The spindles are joined with dowels. The base held together with a removable tusk type through mortise joint.

The design was based on Robbi Staples’ cradle featured in a 1997 American Woodworker magazine article. I didn’t have most of the power tools the author used so most of the processes had to be adapted to use the hand tools I have. If anyone happens to know him, please pass along my gratitude.

I made an album on imgur. It’s got more commentary and 40+ build photos.

Final note: My daughter only slept in this for about 5 months before she could sit up and it was no longer safe. Now, just like the author, it’s a decorative blanket holder in the living room. My reasons for making this were sentimental in nature. Without that, I would have opted for a dresser for the nursery.

-- Ben, aka Wooly Woodworks, Instagram: @woolywoodworks.

14 comments so far

View pottz's profile (online now)


13892 posts in 1961 days

#1 posted 11-07-2019 08:25 PM

nice cradle ben it’s a shame it had so little use,but hey maybe save it for the next one right? also it’s never too late to post a project,it’s new to us.

-- working with my hands is a joy,it gives me a sense of fulfillment,somthing so many seek and so few find.-SAM MALOOF.

View BusterB's profile


2298 posts in 2984 days

#2 posted 11-07-2019 08:36 PM

Awesome project… especially considering you did most of it with hand tools…wow.

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View GR8HUNTER's profile


8263 posts in 1689 days

#3 posted 11-07-2019 08:37 PM

thanks for posting this and with the extra pictures makes it very nice GREAT JOB :<)))

-- Tony---- Reinholds,Pa.------ REMEMBER TO ALWAYS HAVE FUN :<))

View Ivan's profile


16531 posts in 3844 days

#4 posted 11-07-2019 08:41 PM

Indeed , very profesional work….looking good!

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Wooly_Woodworks's profile


31 posts in 957 days

#5 posted 11-07-2019 09:23 PM

Larry, Thank you! Can’t think about kid number two yet. I’m just now getting used what 6 hours of sleep a night feels like. :D

Buster, Thank you! Hand tools are a blast to use, but so much time is spent dimensioning parts. A power planer and bandsaw are on my short list to speed up the rough work.

Tony, Thank you! Glad you enjoyed the extra pictures.

Ivan, Thank you! I’m hoping one day these project will part of my portfolio. One day…

-- Ben, aka Wooly Woodworks, Instagram: @woolywoodworks.

View wildwoodbybrianjohns's profile


2431 posts in 523 days

#6 posted 11-07-2019 10:39 PM

Very well done. Perhaps she can use it for dolls when shes a bit older.

-- Wildwood by Brian Johns: The Big Bang: Nothing - exploded into Everything. Thanks to Nothing.

View BurlyBob's profile


8304 posts in 3242 days

#7 posted 11-08-2019 01:15 AM

That’s a definite heirloom.

View swirt's profile


5877 posts in 3948 days

#8 posted 11-08-2019 02:08 AM

Nice work, and thanks for all the technique photos.

-- Galootish log blog,

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

25762 posts in 4082 days

#9 posted 11-08-2019 02:12 AM

That is a good looking cradle!!

cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View mike02719's profile


285 posts in 4762 days

#10 posted 11-08-2019 02:00 PM

Terrific job! You used cherry, it must be beautiful. I admire that you used hand tools, A work of love that will last a lifetime. I made two cradles like that with a few different features. I used radial hinges for the rocking mode and a locking pin to prevent rocking when desired. All of my grandchildren (5) used them. The cradles are now homes for favorite stuffed animals and homemade blankets etc. My grandkids are now out of college and maybe great grandchildren will soon sleep there.

-- Mike, Massachusetts

View Ottacat's profile


552 posts in 2828 days

#11 posted 11-08-2019 02:02 PM

Obviously made with dedication and love, simply a lovely piece.

View Wooly_Woodworks's profile


31 posts in 957 days

#12 posted 11-08-2019 03:06 PM

Brian, Thank you! That would be great. I guess I need to resign myself to the fact that she’ll be playing with dolls at some point. :D

Bob, Thank you! When I started I couldn’t imagine making anything remotely close heirloom. I’m hoping she can use it for her kids one day.

Swirt, Thank you and you’re welcome. Glad those photos are useful.

Jim, Thank you!I think so too.

Mike, Thank you! Using hand tools gave me a new appreciation for the phrase, “Labor of love.” You’re experience of using the cradles and passing them down is what I’m hoping will happen with mine.

Ottacat, Thank you! At the time I was making this my daughter was a few months from being due. Building it for her made even the more mundane tasks a little be more bearable. Not sanding though. Sanding is the worst.

-- Ben, aka Wooly Woodworks, Instagram: @woolywoodworks.

View LesB's profile


2799 posts in 4419 days

#13 posted 11-09-2019 01:05 AM

Nicely done. and yes, unfortunately, the infants do not use them for very long.

I have made 3 but in order to make they heritage type keepers I mounted the side rails of the bed to the ends with threaded inserts and fancy brass screws. That way the whole thing could be disassembled and folded flat for more compact storage. I have all grand sons so there will be no extended use for dolls and such in the current generation.

-- Les B, Oregon

View robscastle's profile


7666 posts in 3180 days

#14 posted 11-10-2019 08:28 PM

Come live dangerously I have 4 boys!

wooly woodworks? you in NZ? where are the sheep?

Hey a bit of a complicated clamp up isnt it? ..better hit somebody up for bigger clamps next birthday!

Nice work just the same, ... and the selection of the framing of the pictures a example to others. (I see no sheep though!)

Congratulations on the DT3

-- Regards Rob

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