Walnut Sleigh Crib

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Project by wiskeyweasel posted 05-09-2013 08:47 AM 2693 views 5 times favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Got my first kid, a boy, due in a little less than a month and the wife was pretty particular on the type of crib she wanted. We looked at several cribs from various manufacturers, but the ones we liked were a bit pricey and the construction was just not up my standards for that kind of dough. So, off to the garage I go!

It is primarily all walnut. The rails and legs started life as rough sawn 8/4 walnut. The slats were from dressed 4/4 walnut and re-sawn on the band saw to 3/8”. The curved slats on the headboard though, were a new trick for me. Looked into the different methods for bending wood and laminate bending seemed to be the best option for me. So the band saw came out and the 4/4 got ripped to 1/8” and then glued up and clamped. Worked out very very well. Only had about 1/4” of spring back.
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This was the first glue up for the back slats. Didn’t realize I had a shortage of clamps and had to improvise. Needless to say, I may a trip to lowes. And of course, the wife critiquing my work.
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The curved head board and the foot board were another challenge. I could have used some 8/4 or thicker cuts to do them, but that would have resulted in me having to remove a considerable amount of wood. So, I got my hands on some 5/4 rough sawn and hand planed them to 1”. Then ripped them with a small angle between the pieces to get a curve. Then hit them with the plane again and a whole lot of sanding. Came out pretty well, but did end up a few places where the the glue up can be seen. Not bad though. Also had to come up with some creative glue up methods.

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After all that was done, the finish was finally figured out. Sanded the whole thing down to 220, which I might say took a lot of time to do, then finished up with some natural danish oil and arm-r-seal satin. It’s got a few little spots where the plane dug the grain a bit, but I’m not worried about it. It’s all held together with mortise and tenon joints in the main pieces, and some hidden bed bolt kits from rockler so the main pieces can be broken down.

The mattress support was the next hurdle. Looked at a few options out there and decided I’d just make my own. It’s made from cherry and uses 550 cord for the suspension of the mattress. The little legs under it are adjustable for several heights and use some quick release pins. Works pretty well and is actually quite sturdy.

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All in all, this was a great project to do. Ended up costing a bit more than what it would have cost to just buy one, but the end result is definitely much better. This one also will eventually be converted to a full size bed latter. And thank god for sketchup!

-- They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

11 comments so far

View Marcus's profile


1165 posts in 2873 days

#1 posted 05-09-2013 11:30 AM

That’s an amazing looking crib. Good luck w/ the kiddo!

View Oldtool's profile


3031 posts in 3044 days

#2 posted 05-09-2013 11:48 AM

This is a great bed, fantastic job on this project. Excellent craftsmanship, your process for making the curved pieces worked out beautifully, and the posting is very interesting to read.

-- "I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The point is to bring them the real facts." - Abraham Lincoln

View GrandpaLen's profile


1652 posts in 3126 days

#3 posted 05-09-2013 12:04 PM

That is a Beautiful Crib and it’s going to grow with your son, what a great idea.

We’ve all had to learn that there will be projects we make that MUST have Momma’s supervision and approval especially when it involves the first born, but that’s not a bad thing. We all need a Sanity check at times.

Very nicely done.

God bless your new family. Grandpa Len.

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Sanding2day's profile


1016 posts in 2700 days

#4 posted 05-09-2013 01:19 PM

Congrats on your first child and on the beautiful crib… Thanks for sharing

-- Dan

View ten4cmor's profile


33 posts in 2705 days

#5 posted 05-09-2013 08:37 PM

Great Work!

-- "Truth is not based on belief but rather belief is the intended response to Truth"

View jumbojack's profile


1691 posts in 3478 days

#6 posted 05-09-2013 08:54 PM

Beautiful crib, fine craftsmanship. Great design. My only critique would be to stain/paint the poplar mattress box. The box is well made, love the rope support, it just stands out too much through the beautiful Walnut.

-- Made in America, with American made tools....Shopsmith

View wiskeyweasel's profile


36 posts in 3009 days

#7 posted 05-09-2013 10:11 PM

The mattress frame is cherry. Thought about finishing it, but the wife bought a skirt that is going to cover it. The pics really make it stand out. In person, you barely notice it.

-- They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

View Jojy's profile


35 posts in 3125 days

#8 posted 05-10-2013 06:42 PM

That’s a great crib. You definitely put in a lot of work.

-- Jojy, Dallas

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3029 days

#9 posted 05-14-2013 04:09 PM

Fine looking crib! Like the great design and the walnut. A soon to be family heirloom for sure.


View wiskeyweasel's profile


36 posts in 3009 days

#10 posted 06-09-2013 02:36 PM

Baby is here! Born 6/6/2013 (D-Day!) at 0738. 7lbs 10oz. 20”. Mom and baby are now home doing good. Update pics after the commotion of the family dies down.

-- They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.

View Roger's profile


21030 posts in 3658 days

#11 posted 06-24-2013 12:35 PM

Congrats on a new baby. A super nice build on the crib

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

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