Reader's Gallery

Replica 1880's Rocking Cradle

comments (1) August 29th, 2014 in Reader's Gallery

JimKoren JimKoren, member
thumbs up 4 users recommend

The cradle rocks on a base and has two latches that can stop the rocking motion.  The original latchs were medal.  My son printed these new ones using a 3D printer.  You can see them at the bottom.  The lever on ther top pulls a ball chain that retracks the latches.  
The medalions were hand carved and the curved onlay modling at the top was made on a router table.  I made the scroll work on the top using a large whole bit on a drill press and a band saw.  The rocker at the bottom can also be seen.

Hi everyone,

I used a 1880's cradle, made by a friend of my wife's family, as the template for this cradle. The rocking cradle sits on a base and has a unique latching mechanism to stop the rocking motion. The original 1880's latch was metal. I had my son print a new latch on his 3D printer. The cradle is made from Padauk. I had to hand carve all the medalions from Padauk. I hand rubbed the first shellac coat and then used a stay gun for the additional coats.   

I purchased 19 bd ft of Padauk from MacBeath Lumber in San Francisco.  I spent a lot of time developing a cut plan and ended up with almost no scrap. And, for all the cutting, resawing, planing and surfacing, I didn't make a single cutting error. It took me about 60 hrs of shop time to make this.  

An interesting thing about the original latches was that there was a patent date of "Oct 26, 76" stamped on the latches. I was able to find the original patent documents. The patent holder was from Cincinnati, the same place the cradle was made, only a couple of years after the patent was issued. I wonder if the woodworker and patent holder were the same person!  

Design or Plan used: Not specified

posted in: Reader's Gallery, bed

Comments (1)

user-5448020 user-5448020 writes: I built the same bed 35 years ago for my sons and now they use it for my grandsons. You built a fancier top on the head and foot boards, looks great.I built mine from walnut I bought in Ohio and had 2 crotch panels for the ends. I made the metal pieces out of steel with a lot of hand work cutting and filing but am pleased with the results. I even entered photos for one of the early Design books but my photos were not up to the standard for publication even though I had it professionally shot. I love the design of the bed and truly enjoyed building it. You did a great job, I hope it gets well used.
I am now retired and have a wonderful amount of time to work in my shop and improve my skills as opposed to trying to fit shop time into the limitations of a full time job and raising a family. Keep up the good work.
God Bless
Posted: 8:55 am on November 4th

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