Here's the cradle as of July 1997: Completed at last!

 Finished cradle, June 1997


This whole thing started when Rick and I bought plans for a Morris Chair that we saw in American Woodworker magazine. Debbie suggested that instead of the chair, a more practical project would be a cradle for the baby. I searched the Internet for cradle plans and found a web site of someone who had built one, and the design looked nice, so I bought the plans.


So far it seems to be turning into a typical Steve Shoyer project, where it ends up costing about three times the retail price of the item, and I wind up with a bunch of expensive tools that I won't use again. But it's fun, I get a feeling of accomplishment, and I wind up with a bunch of expensive tools!


As you read the progress report, remember that a new cradle costs about $200-$300 or so. Assembled.

The plans arrived in late February; here's a running diary of progress:


Total cost: $844 (or a little more, as I didn't count everything); New tools: Router and router table, palm sander, assorted router and drill bits, clamps, drill guide, flush cut saw.

Epilogue (no, this is not a Quinn Martin production): As I suspected, it was a typical Steve Shoyer project. I guess I should have a section for tools I didn't buy (table saw, band saw, and belt sander spring to mind), but the list would be too long. I was pretty happy with the way the cradle turned out, especially as I haven't used a lot of these tools before, and hadn't really done any woodworking in about ten years (not counting assembling things from Ikea). I've got a lot more respect for real woodworkers, and hope that the next project is not another ten years away.

If you're thinking about building this cradle, a few words of advice:

  1. Check the dimensions carefully, because I ran into a few problems with the sizes of the parts (Cleats, part H, were listed as being 4 1/4" wide, when they're really 3/8")
  2. Layout the pieces on paper before cutting the wood. The dimensions on the end panel layout add up to 10 15/16" to the centerline if you add one way, and 10 7/8" if you add another way. If you make full-sized templates you can be sure it'll work before cutting.
  3. Think about making it a standard 18" x 36" and modify the dimensions before buying the wood. If you don't want to make the change, at least it was an informed decision.
Copyright © Steve Shoyer