Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hush Little Baby...

Working the bottom board from the rough

Feel free to add this to the Pinterest DIY co-sleeper pages. Just kidding.



So let’s see… where did I leave off? This is the cradle I started at Leonard’s Mills and have been working on periodically over the past few weeks. Last I mentioned, I got the dovetails fit and the scroll work cut out. Since then, I got a bottom board fitted out, dyed the wood, and glued it up.




Then I got to the base. Because this was to be attached to the bed, it only has two legs. I chopped the mortises with my Ashley Isles Mortise chisel and formed the tenons on the apron by splitting and paring. (I go back and forth with trying different tenon shaping methods. Sawing them is tedious but reliable. Splitting them is risky but fun. Depends on my mood I guess.)



Those are the teeth from my planing stop

After each mortise had a mating tenon, I began tapering and chamfering the legs. The taper begins one inch below the apron and tapers to half the thickness of the leg blank. The chamfers were then laid out with a marking gauge. Then bulk of the waste was removed with a wide chisel bevel down and then was cleaned up with my smoothing plane. It excels at such delicate work.


After dyeing the wood, I glued and drawbored the base assembly. In order to get things aligned right while the glue was drying, I clamped it to the top. I didn’t need to clamp the tenons. I just relied on the drawbore pins. (That sure does make assembly easy.)


Real Milk Paint - Cobalt Blue

The next day, I went at it with paint. This is the same milk paint I used on our bed a couple of years ago. After two coats of that, the thing got glazed and shellacked.


I attached the base with slotted screws and then it was time to figure how to attach it to the bed. I installed a “front” rail and angle iron to the cradle that laps over the bed rail. The snugness of the fit over the rail and the weight of the bed don’t necessitate me fastening it to the rail but in order to prevent lateral movement, I put one little screw on the inside.

This is the inside of the bed rail with the cradle fitting over it

It's like a mini version on our bed

So there it is. This is what happens when your wife finds a project on Pinterest and you turn to period examples of a similar form. And when you consider coordinating it with your existing bed, you might just end up with something like this. Now we await the baby.







  1. Is this based on a historical crib/bed? I've never seen anything like this before.

    1. Ralph,

      Not one any one particular cradle. The scroll work and angled sides are reminiscent of period cradles but the base is obviously a necessity for raising it up to bed height. I also am unaware of any three sided cradles.

  2. Ralph...."Attachment Parenting" is a more recent development. ;-)


  3. Oh...and Joshua, I really like the concept. Let us know how your wife likes it after the little blessing arrives.

    May your quiver be full,