A cradle for my granddaughter

  • Advertise with us
Project by willie posted 08-12-2013 01:50 PM 1895 views 5 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

On October 4th we will be welcoming our first grandchild, a girl. After a lot of thought of what to make for her, I decided on a cradle. I had a bunch of black walnut, courtesy of a friend that didn’t know what he had or what to do with it, and a few ideas on what I wanted. After looking at some of the amazing cradles some of you have made, I came up with this one.

It is all mortice and tenon construction, something I had only done a couple times, so it was also a learning experience. It swings on 1/2” bolts and bronze bushings with almost no effort. I extended the bottoms of the corner posts to hit the crossrail of the frame to limit it’s travel and prevent it from swinging too far and creating a danger to any kid trying to climb into it.

It took about 6 weeks to complete and was a joy to build. It’s finished with lacquer and a couple coats of Johnson’s paste wax. I can’t remember when I had more fun with a project, this one was really special!!! I’m hoping that this will be something that my granddaughter can pass on to her granddaughter.

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

14 comments so far

View Gary's profile


9419 posts in 4594 days

#1 posted 08-12-2013 01:53 PM

Nice job Willie. That is one beautiful cradle. Heirloom for sure

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View BTimmons's profile


2303 posts in 3646 days

#2 posted 08-12-2013 02:33 PM

Like Gary said, definitely heirloom material. I dig the shaping around the edges. The octagonal facets are really cool.

-- Brian Timmons -

View nuttree's profile


280 posts in 4485 days

#3 posted 08-12-2013 03:17 PM

Great job. I am sure it will still be in use long after we are gone.

-- I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. -John Muir

View Hudgemo's profile


6 posts in 3377 days

#4 posted 08-12-2013 05:58 PM

Beautiful job, Gary. For any of you that are in either the planning stages or have started your cradle; if you need any cradle hardware- we’ve got you covered!

View Lenny's profile


1710 posts in 4688 days

#5 posted 08-12-2013 09:31 PM

It’s gorgeous Willie. Well done! Congrats to the grandfather-to-be. Your pride comes through in your words and the joy you had in making this for your granddaughter (and her parents).

-- On the eighth day God was back in His woodworking shop! Lenny, East Providence, RI

View Randy Sharp's profile

Randy Sharp

363 posts in 4833 days

#6 posted 08-12-2013 09:55 PM

The craftsmanship is beautiful! The walnut really gives this piece that timeless heirloom look. Thanks for sharing!

-- Randy, Tupelo, MS ~ A man who honors his wife will have children who honor their father.

View aussiedave's profile


3114 posts in 2985 days

#7 posted 08-12-2013 10:18 PM

Wow Willie, that is a beautiful cradle. You did an excellent job…well done.

-- Dave.......If at first you don’t succeed redefine success....

View SteveGaskins's profile


762 posts in 3748 days

#8 posted 08-12-2013 11:49 PM

Willie, a great build for sure. I love your design and your craftsmanship is outstanding. Make sure you sign, date, and write a special message for your granddaughter on the bottom, so she can read it in years to come. I made a cradle for our granddaughter four years ago, and I just completed a cradle for our grandson.

Excellent build. Thanks for posting.

-- Steve, South Carolina,

View willie's profile


534 posts in 3615 days

#9 posted 08-13-2013 12:36 AM

Thanks for all your great comments! It’s especially nice when your work is appreciated by those that know what it takes to build something like this. As usual it was more work than I thought it would be, but I loved every minute. The only other thing I had planned on was a brass plaque with my name and date, BUT, now I have to touch it up. In the process of moving it into the house from the shop, to protect it from damage, it managed to get 4 big knicks in the top rail on the “good” side. I think I’ll be able to sand them out, mask off the rest of it, and just respray the rail.

It felt like a kick in the gut when it got damaged, so I think I’ll let it sit for a day or two so I can calm down. Hopefully I can get it delivered without any further mishaps!!

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View jim1953's profile


2744 posts in 5003 days

#10 posted 08-13-2013 01:40 AM

Great Lookin Cradle

-- Jim, Kentucky

View Thinkerf's profile


53 posts in 2963 days

#11 posted 08-13-2013 01:02 PM

Great job Willie, the walnut looks beautiful – your grand child to be is a very lucky little person. I am so sorry to hear about the damage but I am sure (after seeing the craftsmanship that went into designing and building it, you will be able to repair it to it’s original luster and look at it this way – this is the 1st story of many that it will have in it’s life!!

View Fishinbo's profile


11362 posts in 3336 days

#12 posted 08-15-2013 01:34 PM

Gorgeous cradle! Great design and build on the beautiful walnut. I’m sure it will last long for granddaughter to enjoy and for the next generation with that kind of quality work.

View willie's profile


534 posts in 3615 days

#13 posted 08-16-2013 03:45 AM

Managed to get repairs made without too much trouble. Just sanded and resprayed the damaged area. I was able to use the joint where the rail meets the corner to hide my repair. You can’t see it, but I can feel it. I was able to get close in the thickness of the finish but there is a slight difference.

Oh well, I’m sure it will get many more dents and dings over the years. Hopefully, I’ve made it strong enough withstand many years of use and it will become a part of my family’s history! Thanks for looking, Willie

-- Every day above ground is a good day!!!

View Volund's profile


36 posts in 3116 days

#14 posted 02-06-2014 12:14 AM

Great job. That’s a beautiful design.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to post the comments.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics