Heirloom Crib

Although I’m not quite finished yet, I couldn’t wait any longer to show you what I’ve been working on. A Crib!

I started by looking up Canada’s regulations on cribs, to make sure I’m building the safest, best crib for our baby. I also wanted to build something that looks great and will last a long time. My first task was to learn a new skill, which was making mortise and tenon joints, so I bought a chisel and mallet. The second thing I did was to go back and buy a better chisel and a sharpening stone. I then practiced until I was satisfied I had made all the mistakes I possibly could and learned how to avoid them.


Then I started putting things together. I drew up some plans in my moleskine book and started with the front because it was the part of the crib with no curved sides.

I’m starting to get an idea of what it will look like…

I rounded all the edges of the frame and each slat with a cove bit on my router which stops about an inch from each joint or end. I don’t even want to talk about sanding anymore.

Then I had to figure out the rounded sides and back. I drew the curves on paper and transferred it to the wood and cut it out with a jigsaw. These were rough cuts and required a lot more sanding.

In putting the final pieces together I realized that if I glued it all in place, I’d never get it out of the nursery. Not much of an heirloom if it can only be used in this room. So, I used inset nuts and bolted the ends on to the front and back instead.

The rest was more of the same, just a LOT more of the same. I cut 84 mortises (not counting the practice), made 42 slats, and probably spent 60 hours on this project. But I think it was worth it now. The mattress support can be lowered to 4 different heights so that when the baby is a “bruiser” to use Debbie’s term 🙂 , we can lower the mattress and then raise it again for future infants… Just sayin’.



Now all that’s left to do is staining. I’m going to use linseed oil, and then a few coats of varathane on top. I’ll post an update when this is all done.

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