I must say it’s taken me four times longer to spit out this blog post than it did to actually build the cradle!
I learned several fundamental lessons on this project. The key lessons having to do with biscuits, filling knots, layout and what I’ll call the order of execution.
I laid out my templates and copied them onto the wood. Careful to mark out orientation, keeping the wood grain parallel on my ovals.
I then cut my pieces on the band saw…
I cleaned up the edges on my Rigid Oscillating Sander, I then routed the sides with a 1/8″ router bit before smoothing it out by hand:
I dry fitted my boards together and then laid out the base using my templates. I then cut each piece individually. Given the round tenons and the foot boards I thought it would be easier to work on smaller pieces rather than the final base size (I wish I had that forethought on the side pieces, but more on that later).
The Footrest: I designed the cradle so that it could be rocked easily with your foot as you sat in a chair. Each side needed a comfortable edge that contoured to a foot. This operation left me know choice but to invest in a set of rasps for TFWW. What was I to do? I was thinking of my families comfort after all!
I am lucky enough to live about a mile from Tools for Working Wood. I read all I could on rasps, to decide which would best suit my needs. Unfortunately, or fortunately, when I got there, tried them out and chatted with Tim, I over did it and bought a set of four. I went with the Gramercy Tools Hand Cut Cabinetmaker’s Rasps and I have no regrets. It has changed how I approach projects.
There are others that are much more schooled in the nuances of the rasps. I suggest you check out these articles:
Jointing and Biscuits- I know biscuits are one of those things that half the folks say you don’t need them and the other half uses them because that’s what Norm did. Well the truth is I never watched that much Norm, but it was the way I was taught to joint two boards together, and well I’m just more comfortable doing it that way. No harm, no foul. And besides- what else would I do with that biscuit joiner I bought!
So I jointed my boards together before laying out my templates. Then I learned a valuable lesson regarding biscuit placement. While Inset the biscuits about 6″ from the edge I forgot that these rectangle boards I created were going to be shaped into an oval and a rectangle with tenons. See where this is going? I got lucky though– on the side ovals I cut out 4 biscuits at the corners and missed the others. Not so much for the bottom piece– lucky again though since that edge will never be exposed. It’ll be our little secret!
In the interest in getting this out, look for part 3.2!….
to be continued…
Hey.. This is great. I am planning on building one of these for my step-daughters to pass around as needed. Gonna use Cherry. How did you lay out the oval?
Thanks Ron! I designed the cradle in sketch-up and then used templates for the pieces. You can read more about it here:
I would be happy top share the plan. You would want to adjust the width for one child.