My second 3 in 1 crib

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Project by Green_Hornut posted 06-21-2012 01:52 AM 6794 views 13 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Used the 3 in 1 pattern from Wood Magazine. Changed it up a bit. The top has a double curve, the sides have slats instead of panels, the top rail of the sides is curved instead of flat, the bottom stile is a framed raised panel instead of a solid board. The top front stile mimics the curve of the headboard. And different bed rail hangers to put the whole affair together. Other than that it is an exact copy of the Wood design ;-) The carving is my CNC router.

Cherry havested from trees from my brothers woodlot. 2 coats of Watco natural, then 5 coats of a homemade poly wiping varnish rubbed down with 0000 steel wool between coats. Not a built up finish but a nice soft glow.

I started the day my daughter told me she was having a baby and finished up and delivered it to their house 4 days before she delivered. Nature waits for no woodworker. By the looks of the last picture I should have made a smaller crib or my daughter a bigger baby.

You may have noticed that the title says this is my second crib. My first was a more true copy of the Wood mag. design for my first grandchild but I had commissioned a carving on the headboard based on a print that we had and that may or may not be copyright issue. I’ll leave it at that. I changed up the hangers for assembly because the original design used connector bolts and barrel nuts. A huge pain in the back side. My design snaps together in less than 5 minutes and is rock solid.

-- Mother Nature always bats last.

16 comments so far

View Brian516's profile


13 posts in 3422 days

#1 posted 06-21-2012 03:21 AM

All the personal touches look great! I’m making mine based loosely on the same plans right now. How did you attach the sides to the headboard and footboard?

-- Brian

View Ken90712's profile


17996 posts in 4268 days

#2 posted 06-21-2012 10:48 AM

Great job on all of them, and contrats to the new grand-baby!!!!!

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Brohymn62's profile


125 posts in 3335 days

#3 posted 06-21-2012 03:15 PM

This is a great project. My daughter was just born in May but I was so wrapped up in a renovation project, I couldn’t build her a crib… there will be plenty of projects for her coming up though! Again… great job!

-- Chris G. ; Los Angeles, CA

View Green_Hornut's profile


186 posts in 3700 days

#4 posted 06-25-2012 12:56 PM


I used the heavy duty wrought Steel bed rail fasteners from Rockler. If you notice on the side view that there are rails on the sides. This is a change I made to the original design. The fasteners hook part are mortised into the side rail right where the bottom style is mortised into he rail. If you look closely there are connector bolts right underneath the top style. That keeps the sides from becoming disconnected. You can also see the threaded inserts for the connector bolts in the headboard in the full bed view. A crib mattress is 52 inches wide while a full size mattress is 54 inches. To accommodate the full size mattress and not to leave a dangerous gap when a crib I set the crib sides inward for a tight fit. Then to accommodate the larger mattress when a bed I had a local welder weld 1 1/4 inches on the sides of another pair of hook ends and put them on the end of the full size rails. That way the rails are offset 1 1/4 inches outward

-- Mother Nature always bats last.

View Roger's profile


21054 posts in 3884 days

#5 posted 01-04-2013 12:43 AM

A very nice build.

-- Roger from KY. Work/Play/Travel Safe. Keep your dust collector fed. [email protected]

View qball's profile


49 posts in 4206 days

#6 posted 01-07-2013 03:42 PM

I noticed that you used a solid panel in the headboard vs the plywood as the plan calls for. I am getting ready to start on the Wood Magazine 3 in 1 crib and also want to use a solid panel in the headboard. Were you concerned about wood movement? Since the laminated top rail is called out to be screwed into the legs I have been a little concerned. How did you go about attaching the panel and the laminated top rail?

View Green_Hornut's profile


186 posts in 3700 days

#7 posted 01-29-2013 07:50 PM

qball I wasn’t too concerned about the movement. The grain is pretty much going in the same direction for 97% of the board so I don’t believe that there will be all that much difference in their expansion and contraction. The laminated top rail is glued up six ways from Sunday and not going anywhere. The solid board is mortise and tenon into the legs but what little bit of cross grain you have at the ends I believe the movement will be negligible. The framed raised panels I did on the bottom in place of the solid board/plywood are free floating. I use those small urethane balls that you put in the groove between the rails/stiles and the raised panel to keep them from rattling and keep them centered.

-- Mother Nature always bats last.

View woodchuckhuck's profile


1 post in 2115 days

#8 posted 07-27-2015 02:14 AM

Amazing build looks great. How might one aquire plans for something like this?

View Green_Hornut's profile


186 posts in 3700 days

#9 posted 07-29-2015 02:20 AM


Sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. Summer and not so much time on the computer than outside.

This is a modified version of the Wood Magazine project plan from Issue 173, Nov. 2006. My kids gave me the DVD disk with all the issues. They also sell the plan for 15 bucks at:

Like I said this is my second build of that design. The first crib I followed the plan exactly. The second I modified the plan to what I though both stylistically and design wise improve it. A couple of style elements was to make a double curve rather than a single curve on the back rail and to half mirror it on the sides. Framed raised panels on the front and side bottom rails. Slates on the sides vs. a solid panel. Most importantly was to change how the sides and front and back hooked together. The original has them connecting with barrel nuts and connector bolts. In my opinion very finicky to get exactly right. The second I used Rockler heavy duty steel bed rail fasteners. Because the difference between a crib mattress and a regular mattress is 2 inches you have to offset the regular bed rails outward by an inch on each side. I accomplished that by having a second set of fasteners modified by a local welder to add a 1 1/2 inch plate on the side of the hook side.

One daughter has the original design, the other has my modified design. They both have children about the same ages so when they have to change from crib to day bed to regular I have one son-in-law cuss’in me and it takes 30 + minutes if they are unwilling to wait for me to visit and help and the other goes “like it took me 3 minutes to change it”.

If you decide to go ahead with a modified design, let me know and I can send pics and descriptions of what I did. Sounds confusing but it really isn’t. I had a shop teacher ask me how and for the life of her she could not understand until I showed one of the rails. Then it all became clear.

Good luck on the project.

-- Mother Nature always bats last.

View mbg's profile


27 posts in 4457 days

#10 posted 09-09-2015 03:14 PM

Love the crib and mods you made – I plan to use the same plans.

Thanks for sharing,


View jcarpenter2's profile


2 posts in 1859 days

#11 posted 04-07-2016 06:48 PM

Well i’m getting ready to be a grandpa and my wife volunteered me to make the crib. I’ve already ordered the 3-1 plans and have quite a bit of oak on hand to get me started. Loved your modifications and was wondering if you’d be willing to share them with a brand new guy to the board? I was wondering about the legs also, looks as if you laminated them as the plans call for, ever give any thought to using a solid piece of wood instead of the lamination?

View Green_Hornut's profile


186 posts in 3700 days

#12 posted 04-20-2016 02:01 AM

Solid wood would work just fine. It was just that 3×3 cherry or oak is a little hard to find. Plus I have a dedicated mortiser so I glued up a solid blank and then mortised out what I needed.

-- Mother Nature always bats last.

View jasonallen's profile


202 posts in 2700 days

#13 posted 05-16-2016 01:45 PM

This is great! I am getting ready to start on this crib myself. Although my son is already 16 months old, my wife says I need to make it for his toddler bed and full bed, and then for him to keep for his kids. I am concerned about the connections, everyone seems to have a problem with that. Maybe once I get a little further along I can contact you if I have questions. I am also concerned about the need to space the bad rails out further. This is the first I’ve read about that. Awesome build, I will try not to make a blatant copy of yours!

-- Skill and confidence are an unconquered army.

View jcarpenter2's profile


2 posts in 1859 days

#14 posted 08-03-2016 12:15 AM

I just wanted to thank the Green_Hornut for the pics and the advice he gave helping me with my 3-in-1. It turned out quite well.

I’ve also started getting into CNC and i did the original concave work on the second picture, however, during construction i glued the board on backwards (the image was facing out instead of in). Talk about a royal screwup. The solution finally was to create a convex image and inset it into the front portion of the headboard.

View Green_Hornut's profile


186 posts in 3700 days

#15 posted 07-04-2017 03:34 PM

A true measure of a woodworkers skill is not that they don’t make mistakes, but how they recover from them after they made them. Great idea to make an inlay and inset it. Good job jcarpenter2!

-- Mother Nature always bats last.

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