Heirloom Rocking Cradle

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Project by oakview posted 12-20-2011 03:59 AM 1747 views 0 times favorited 1 comment Add to Favorites Watch

I made this solid beechwood cradle back in August 2011 for a grandchild. I’d never tackled a project like this before and consequently needed to boost my meager woodworking skills considerably to finish this. I learned a lot during the build process, gleaning lots of tips from this Lumberjocks forum. I don’t have many power tools, using just a table saw, miter saw and a jig saw for the bulk of the work and some jigs made on the fly to help keep things accurate. All the glued up panel smoothing was done with a hand plane and belt sander, roundovers were done using a small block plane, a hand drill drum sander, and sandpaper. The panels were glued lightly and screwed together using enlarged holes to accommodate wood movement where the grain runs in opposite directions

The cradle was finished by first applying a coat of Zar oil-based poly straight from the can followed by 6 hand wiped coats of the same poly diluted with 40% mineral spirits. It was then buffed out with steel wool and Minwax Paste Finishing wax.

The cradle plans were free, available here in PDF format. Some of the details I didn’t like were omitted and I upsized the cradle so that the bottom interior dimensions are 18”x36” to accomodate a standard mattress and to be usable well into the infant’s growth.

Things I learned:
1) Patience
2) Wood has internal stresses when ripped to width
3) Planning is everything.

Thanks to everyone who posts here for all the information I found – invaluable!

~^ DaveG ~^

-- ~^ DaveG ~^

1 comment so far

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 3791 days

#1 posted 12-20-2011 04:58 PM

It certainly looks like you created something that your family will use for generations, and you also proved you don’t need a shop full of fancy tools to do it. Great job, and thanks for the link to the plans. I’ll be saving that in my “things to build someday when I get time” folder.

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