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1st Grandchild's Cradle


RudyG
RudyG
RudyG
RudyG

My son and his wife could've filled a Goodwill with gifts for their kid--my first grandchild. But no, I gotta build something special. Nothing plastic, metal, manufactured or toxic--duh, it's for a baby, right?
My most unique idea? A rocking cradle like for an Aztec princes. Except--first problem--almost no pics available. I have to design, engineer and construct it, using decades of my heavy-hammer-on-breakable-thumb, cut-it-too-short-again methods. And only 30 days to do it.
Halfway through, my belt sander fries, of course. Buying a new Ryobi, I see their table sander's on sale. Aztec karma? Stupid-male luck? With so many small parts to sand, it's a lifesaver. Two weeks left.
Bottom frame looks simple, like building pyramids, simple. Running dowels through three 2x2s at the corners works. But attaching walnut headboard and footboard requires an exact sequence, or I paint myself into a corner and must disassemble. One week till kid pops out. Me, nearly out of fingernails.
Next problemo: side slats must angle up and out. I router a channel to set the bottoms in, use a sawdust-glue mix that turns cement-hard. To stabilize and attach them at the top, hemp rope to the rescue! Looped through the side rails and tied off for handles to carry a cradle that'd hold a velociraptor. [Walnut ain't light.]
Getting rockers perfect so there's no more than 10º tilt, takes forever, balancing with a crossbar and break-stops underneath. With no Aztec gold, I plug headboard knots with raw turquoise. Paint animal and geometrical motifs, stain with tung oil and, ta-da! Kid's only three weeks old for his first, test drive. Wife Carmen sews a mattress. Now we wait for his visits and his rocking away. But he's prettier than my neo-Aztec cradle! Go figure.

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      • LEFTOVER, SALVAGED AND RECYCLED CEDAR, WALNUT AND IPE WOOD, AND RAW TURQUOISE NUGGETS
      • WOOD GLUE, HEMP ROPE, WOOD DOWELS, AND TUNG OIL

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1st Grandchild's Cradle

by RudyG
Jun 05, 2015

My son and his wife could've filled a Goodwill with gifts for their kid--my first grandchild. But no, I gotta build something special. Nothing plastic, metal, manufactured or toxic--duh, it's for a baby, right? My most unique idea? A rocking cradle like for an Aztec princes. Except--first problem--almost no pics available. I have to design, engineer and construct it, using decades of my heavy-hammer-on-breakable-thumb, cut-it-too-short-again methods. And only 30 days to do it. Halfway through, my belt sander fries, of course. Buying a new Ryobi, I see their table sander's on sale. Aztec karma? Stupid-male luck? With so many small parts to sand, it's a lifesaver. Two weeks left. Bottom frame looks simple, like building pyramids, simple. Running dowels through three 2x2s at the corners works. But attaching walnut headboard and footboard requires an exact sequence, or I paint myself into a corner and must disassemble. One week till kid pops out. Me, nearly out of fingernails. Next problemo: side slats must angle up and out. I router a channel to set the bottoms in, use a sawdust-glue mix that turns cement-hard. To stabilize and attach them at the top, hemp rope to the rescue! Looped through the side rails and tied off for handles to carry a cradle that'd hold a velociraptor. [Walnut ain't light.] Getting rockers perfect so there's no more than 10º tilt, takes forever, balancing with a crossbar and break-stops underneath. With no Aztec gold, I plug headboard knots with raw turquoise. Paint animal and geometrical motifs, stain with tung oil and, ta-da! Kid's only three weeks old for his first, test drive. Wife Carmen sews a mattress. Now we wait for his visits and his rocking away. But he's prettier than my neo-Aztec cradle! Go figure.