6.12.2011

i've been busy...


life has been... full, lately. many things going on, lots of things to think about, lots of things to do... here's one of them, my latest woodworking project - a Man in the Moon cradle for my grand daughter, Fable...


(click the photos to enlarge them...)


This project started after I saw a picture of a similar cradle that was supposedly created the a baby Ernest Hemingway. I didn't want to make an exact copy, so I adapted my own design, including the graphic of the face which is from an 1899 edition of The Old Farmer's Almanac. I started out creating a full size rough drawing in Photoshop, then ran a full size plotter print to use to rough out a template.



Here's the print, it's laid out on my dining room table, which is 48" in diameter, so you can see it's almost that big. 46" in diameter, to be exact...
Here's a template I then created, using a piece of white painted Masonite hardboard...



I traced the template onto 1/2" MDF and, using a trammel jig I made for my trusty old Bosch jig saw, I cut out two perfect circles...





Then I cut the face detail and inside curves to make the crescent man in the moon face.

I then laid out the locations of the internal elements, such as the bed platform, the headboard and footboard, the bottom piece and three braces that span the bottom to help support and strengthen the structure...







I made the start and stop point for the dadoes using a 3/4" Forstner bit in a portable drill press, the using some jigs, I routed the slots for the bed, headboard and footboard.





In order to create the 1/4" groove for the base plate that runs from the bottom of the headboard to the bottom of the footboard, I made a jig for my trusty old Craftsman router that ran along the outer bottom edge. Using a upward spiral 1/4" groove bit, I routed it out with ease...



The jig is made to the same curve as the bottom edge, with a handle to help keep the router level and make it easier to handle. It's attached with double sided tape, with some additional tape on the bottom plate of the router to make it level and slide easier.
I also routed a 1/4" groove on the bottom edges of the headboard and footboard on the router table using the same bit, to accept the ends of the bottom plate.



They and the bed platform are made from some 3/4" oak ply I had laying around from a bookcase project... waste not, want not.

Here's all the pieces ready for assembly...



I did a dry fit to try to figure out the balance point, which I had to guess at when I laid everything out, since there are no plans for this thing. I came pretty close, I had to add some counter weight to the foot end of the bed platform before I put the base plate on, it sits pretty level, but could actually be better balanced. The next one will be perfect.
The base plate is 3/16" hardboard, it's actually two pieces to ease sliding it into place, the joint is hidden by the bottom most stretcher dowel.
Here's how the groove for the base plate and the grooves in the bottom of the head and footboards line up to take the ends of the base plate...



I primed all the pieces before assembly and caulked all the joints and primed those when dry, then did the finish painting.

I then painted it with Glidden latex in a butter yellow and did the face detailing using a light gray acrylic craft paint. The headboard and footboards are painted a flat dark blue, with metallic gold painted stars forming the constellations Orion, who will watch over her, always...



and the Big Dipper and the North Star, so she can always find her way...



And here's the completed cradle...





It will need to be sealed with a water based poly after a few more weeks once the paint is 100% dried, but it's quite useable, as you can see...



Next project is a Tree of Life bed...



11 Comments:

Blogger Rev. Paul said...

Excellent work, and an ingenious design. I like it.

It's not the first time I've said it, but you do great work, my friend. Well done.

12:42 PM  
Blogger joated said...

That's beautiful, Gregor. Well done, sir!

12:45 PM  
Blogger kerrcarto said...

Dude, that is awesome. I love the North star concept. Too Cool!

1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's really well thought out. Gregor, and is perfect for the little one. Your creativity is just awsome. - bob

6:34 PM  
Blogger Mr. Bingley said...

That's simply lovely, gregor.

7:17 AM  
Blogger BobG said...

Nice job.

4:58 PM  
Blogger Amanda said...

Wow, that's just amazing!!! I want an adult sized one!

6:27 AM  
Anonymous zoom said...

Oh! It's fantastic. Lucky Fable!

8:45 AM  
Blogger Thud said...

well done that man! and I thought my latest project was rather good...outclassed.

5:17 PM  
Anonymous Crackle nail polish said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

7:34 AM  
Anonymous Alyssa said...

Looks neat! How much did it cost to make?Does it really rock? If so this would work for our special needs child!

9:38 PM  

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