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Baby Crib design

by Gixxerjoe04
posted 07-26-2016 11:50 AM

12 replies so far

View MNgary's profile


318 posts in 3272 days

#1 posted 07-26-2016 01:48 PM

Congratulations! Bet you are excited.

Looks nice, but seems low. Might want to double check height of mattress from the room’s floor so you don’t have to bend over too far and hurt your back. I could be wrong. Just looks it, to me, but it has been 45+ years since we used one.

Are you building it with one side able to be lowered so you don’t have to lift the baby up so high?

-- I dream of a world where a duck can cross the road and no one asks why.

View jmartel's profile


9050 posts in 3005 days

#2 posted 07-26-2016 01:58 PM

Design it so the mattress platform can adjust height. When they are young, you want it pretty high up, but then lower it as they grow.

You ideally don’t want any space between mattress and frame at all. Guidelines say less than 2 fingers width around the mattress. At least that was the last recommendation I saw from the people in charge of regulating that stuff.

-- The quality of one's woodworking is directly related to the amount of flannel worn.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 2432 days

#3 posted 07-26-2016 02:30 PM

I planned on having the mattress set up high for the beginning and then lower it when he gets big. If I make it how I planned now, there will be like a 1/4” maybe on the sides. I could flush the slats up to the inside of the rails, might look fine. Going to be using my domino for the joinery. On the side of the crib I was going to have basically a 6”+ slat, not sure if I should domino it in place or recess(might not be the right term) into the rails, wasn’t sure about wood movement and it being dominoed in with 2 on each side.

View tealetm's profile


108 posts in 1713 days

#4 posted 07-26-2016 02:53 PM

Make sure you give yourself plenty of time for whatever finish you’re going to use to cure and for vapors to disappear.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 2432 days

#5 posted 07-26-2016 03:07 PM

Haven’t decided on finish, salad bowl finish maybe, was told shellac would work as well. The baby won’t sleep in it for a few months anyways so should be fine with that, wife wants it built in time for photos. Using cherry for the main section and curly maple for the slats.

View Lazyman's profile


5826 posts in 2243 days

#6 posted 07-26-2016 05:53 PM

I have not built a crib but purely aesthetically , I think that the 2” slats might be too wide. In my opinion, I think it might look better with narrower slats. It might also seem more enclosed to your little one sitting inside of it which might tend to make them want out of it sooner (earlier). You don’t want them to feel like they are sitting in a box.

BTW, your drawing skills are much better than mine but you might want to look into the free drawing tool you can download from I find this tool extremely helpful when designing something from scratch. I’ve used it on all of the larger projects I have posted here on LJ. I find it very helpful when working out design issues. Designing and visualizing in 3D help me understand what it will look like, how to build it and if it will actually work as desired. When I run into issues during the build phase, it is really easy go back to the drawing board and fix the issues in virtual mode before butchering more wood.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 2432 days

#7 posted 07-26-2016 09:11 PM

I’ve tried messing with sketchup before, would be nice to use but there seems to be so much you need to know to be able to use it right. Haven’t had the time to dedicate to learning it all to be able to use it like how I’d like to.

View Lazyman's profile


5826 posts in 2243 days

#8 posted 07-26-2016 11:22 PM

Yeah, Sketchup can be very frustrating at first. I found this set of tutorials very helpful:
I was already using it when I stumbled upon them but it made it much easier after watching it.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

View onoitsmatt's profile


446 posts in 2031 days

#9 posted 07-26-2016 11:37 PM

You probably have longer than 2 months as well. We didn’t move our kids into the crib until they were a few months old, using smaller cradles for sleeping.

Narrower slats is probably a good idea too, just for air flow and visibility.

And definitely have the platform for the mattress adjustable. Ours just has flat steel straps (fairly about 1/8” thick by 1” wide and about 6” long) with a hole at each end. They screw into the legs at one end and the mattress platform at the other. The legs have a series of holes to screw these straps into at different heights. Can post a photo if you’re interested (our youngest is just over a year, so still using the crib).

-- Matt - Phoenix, AZ

View Tooch's profile


2013 posts in 2731 days

#10 posted 07-27-2016 11:12 AM

You are much braver than I am to take on the task of building a crib. One thing I thought of was to look on Craigslist for someone trying o unload an old crib, possibly for free even, and then use that as a guide. Another benefit would be to use the old cribs hardware, which would solve the issue of a height adjustment. Also, the mattress supports on most cribs now have built in springs, which is nice.

With that many mortise and tenons, now may be a good excuse to look into buying a designated Mortising machine ;-) I heard Festool makes a nice one….

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Gixxerjoe04's profile


850 posts in 2432 days

#11 posted 07-27-2016 12:30 PM

Was actually thinking about finding a free crib or something, but I went and looked at a bunch, took some measurements but need to do that again. For the mattress support and height, was going to do what Matt Cremona did on his crib and just drill in the legs. As for the tons of M & T, already got the domino, so won’t be too bad, just gotta get the plans perfect. All of my past larger projects have already had plans made up that I’ve followed, so this is quite the undertaking but gotta learn somehow.

View Nubsnstubs's profile


1732 posts in 2585 days

#12 posted 07-27-2016 02:09 PM

Joe04, I made 2 cribs and a cradle once. I used 5/8” x 1 1/2” slats that were then run through the jointer doing a blind taper cut. It was set up with stops at both infeed and outfeed tables. The cut depth was set at 1/2”. With the infeed end of the slat up against the infeed stop, lower the edge of the slat onto the bed, and push the slat towards the outfeed stop. When contact is made, raise the piece and do the other edge. When all slats are done, remove the stops and set them up again to get a desired look. It’s a lot safer than it sounds, but looks good when arranged with a 1 3/4” spacing that will be just under the requirements you mentioned.

The picture below is a sample of some posts I made for something while in the woodworking business years ago. Picture this as a flat piece of wood with only the edges detailed. Most of the time spent would be setting it up, maybe a minute or two, and that’s very easy if you have a couple of welding clamps with the pads. It would give the crib a better look than straight slats, which I’ve always thought of as bars.

Maybe that’s why I’ve never had the luxury of never having resided at the Grey Bar Hotel. My crib might have had those straight bars, and Gramps was a plumber. It oulda been made out of 3/4 pipe, and had a lasting effect.. Oh oh, I’m off topic.

PM me if you like the idea and I’ll give you more details. If you don’t have a jointer, then go about it the way you planned..

I didn’t have a mattress adjustment. I incorporated a drop front that was built into the front post that was held in by gravity and good workmanship. The only metal in the crib front were the guide pins for the routed tracks to raise and lower the front. No hardware for a child to hurt themselves on. . ........ Jerry (in Tucson)

-- Jerry (in Tucson)

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