So my wife and I discovered that we were pregnant in June 08 after going on our honeymoon to Egypt late May/early June. So being quite excited about the prospect of my first child at the later age of 37, I decided that I wanted to build a crib. I have slowed down on scuba diving the past few years and replaced one expensive hobby with another, i.e. woodworking. I would totally consider myself a novice and have completed fairly simple shelving projects. So I decided I would bite off my most complicated project to date with a crib for the baby. So I started in Aug 08 expecting to finish sometime in February 09 when the baby was born. I take a woodshop class through my local technical college and have access to a very nice high school shop and an amazing shop teacher who is quick to assist the adult students as much as he is able.
I purchased the wood from a hardwood manufacturer in our small town. My wife wanted birdseye maple and I discovered that the outfit I bought the wood from culls/sorts out curly and birdseye maple from the stock as they mainly manufacture panels and the figure would distract from the nice even grain of regular maple. So for a really good price, I got all the birdseye maple I needed. The outfit only uses No 2 common maple as they strip it up into panels, so the wood had plenty of character.
I also used black walnut from a yard tree that I had taken down a couple years ago from our yard for the inlay pyramids and the contrasting wood under the crib tops.
The crib plan that I bought from Rockler, their "Heirloom Crib" plan which appears to be fairly popular was very straightforward and even me not very mechanically inclined was able to follow it fairly well. I used the dado method in the crib rails and stiles and filled with filler blocks to make the mortises for the crib slats. I know other folks have used a mortising machine, but it worked out okay for me.
So the crib was almost finished in February after various delays/procrastination and the baby came February 23 and I really just had finishing to do. For finishing I first placed a sealer coat of shellac/denatured alcohol and then the same concentration of shellac/alcohol mixed with Transtint Vintage Maple dye. I then topcoated that with two coats of Minwax Wipe-on Poly. I really like the wipe on poly especially with all the slats and spaces in between the slats. I think brushing on poly would have been difficult.
So five weeks after my son was born, my father-in-law and I assembled the crib and placed him in it and it appears he likes to sleep in it; at least for four hours at a time at night anyway.
Anyway, it is great to be done and I am really proud of first being a father, and being able to make something for my children that will be usefull to them for several years anyway. Now I guess next is a changing table for child #2 and a toddler bed for child #1. I've found this hobby is a pandora's box because once you start one project there are so many other projects that can offshoot from that one to accessorize the original project.
Many thanks to my dad who takes the shop class with me each semester and my father-in-law for helping me during the crib construction and my shop teacher who has plenty of patience with adults who wished they would have taken shop class 20 years ago when they had the chance. Also many thanks to the posters on the board for answering many of my questions whether they knew it or not from my years of lurking around on this board. Its an excellent resource for the novice woodworker such as myself.
So the pictures detail the project from the original wood stock to completion. Enjoy!
Very nice. I'm kind of prejudiced against cutting figured woods into such small pieces, but it turned out very nicely. I like the contrasting panels a lot too. Congrats on the first child. I had my nearly 14 years ago and my second is due in August. That's going to be a transition, let me tell you.
Thanks for all the great comments/feedback to date.
Brad, I'm in Black River Falls.
As far as the poster commenting about cutting up figured wood, I hate to admit it, but I was first intending on trying to resaw all the slats from 4/4 maple to attempt to be as efficient as possible and use less wood, but decided against it as I had so much birdseye at such a cheap price, I just planed/widebelt sanded 4/4 down to 1/4.