Changing Table for Great-Grand Daughter

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Project by grumpybear7357 posted 12-27-2020 12:01 AM 634 views 0 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

December 11, 2020, born to our grandson and his wife was our first great-grand child, a great-grand daughter. This is our son (grumpycub) and our daughter-in-law’s first grandchild. Our son built a beautiful crib for his first grandchild (See the crib build here -

There was a molded plastic changing table on the baby shower gift registry. The above crib was well along at the time of the baby shower. Well, I was asked by Grandmother-to-be, and Great Grandmother-to-be (wife), if I could/would make a wooden changing table similar in style to the crib as a gift for the great grand and the new parents. How can a fellow can’t say no to that…?

The crib was made of Red Oak. Having no Red Oak in the shop, Great Grandma and I first made a trip to the not-so-local hardwood lumber yard for 20 some board feet of Red Oak and a sheet of ½ inch oak veneer plywood (for the shelves).

I was provided a picture of the molded plastic changing table to use as an “example”. Well the dimensions are nearly the same, but the similarity ends about there.

I wanted the edge of the shelves hidden and relieved which would require a dado in the back of each shelf rail. The dados were cut on the router table using a 1/2 inch bit making multiple passes until the proper depth was achieved.

Table construction is Mortise and Tenon throughout (26 total). The parents like sharp edges (clean lines), however a gentle break was applied to all edges with a small block plane to mitigate chipping of the edges.

The mortises were all cut by machine, on my 1951 ShopSmith 10ER. If the mortises are not aligned accurately, the dados in the rails will not be aligned and the shelves would not fit properly. Therefore a fixed reference is critical for every Mortise on each face of each leg. To cut the bottom shelf mortises a stop block was clamped to the table fence. When I moved to the middle and upper mortises the bottom of the leg was beyond the edge of the small ShopSmith table and fence, therefore a stop block would not be useable. To solve this I created an extended reference which was clamped behind the ShopSmith fence. The reference reached beyond the edge of the table and provided the needed fixed reference. The reference was set relative to the edge of the mortise chisel, then the bottom of the leg was placed against the reference.

The crib was made with a Shiplap “Headboard”. I created the same shiplap effect on the top rear panel.

The top rails are attached with counter sunk screws, filled over with walnut plugs. The walnut came from a family farm and matches the top rail treatment on the crib.

The finish is oil based Classic Gray Stain followed by two coats of equal parts oil based Clear Satin/Tung Oil/Mineral Spirits.

Thanks for looking.

-- Never Underestimate an Old Man with a Tractor...

4 comments so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26628 posts in 4315 days

#1 posted 12-27-2020 12:04 AM

Nice work on the changing table!!

Cheers, Jim

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

View John's profile


2100 posts in 2479 days

#2 posted 12-27-2020 01:32 AM

Beautiful job GrumpyBear!

-- John, Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

View pottz's profile


19962 posts in 2194 days

#3 posted 12-27-2020 01:47 AM

that is the kind of project that warms a mans heart,and keeps us going.nice!!!

-- 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 AJ1104's profile


1338 posts in 2869 days

#4 posted 12-27-2020 03:15 AM

Tremendous build great grandpa. I’m so impressed with Shopsmith. Congrats!

-- AJ

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