Monday, March 7, 2016

The Cradle Project, continued: Redesigning, courage, and having enough clamps

Hello Everyone,

Well I'm back. I've fretted over this project for the past week and I almost talked myself out of completing it as I didn't think I could bring it to conclusion.

It's easy to get yourself into a rut and make the same kinds of wooden objects time after time. You become expert at it but you never progress into other areas of woodworking and by doing that, you never grow as a craftsman. A clear eyed assessment of your abilities and tools are one thing but just scaring the hell out of yourself and not trying something new is something else and I almost fell into that trap. But carefully re-thinking and re-drawing the plans and just deciding to have a little faith in myself and my abilities to get from one step to another got me through this.  This is one project that will be finished.

Here's where I am as of today:

I discarded the end pieces that I ruined last week, purchased two laminated pine panels and cut out new end pieces which were to be left in one piece with no cut outs.

I re-drew the plans and marked off the boards in pencil. You can see Rhubarb the Cat helping out and consulting on the project:

 The tops of the end pieces are rounded and so I had to draw a large arc to accomplish that and so I used a pencil and string for that. Not the best way of doing this. I'm going to have to find a better way of doing this. The string in the photo is a shoelace that Rhubarb and Biscuit, our other cat, enjoy playing with and they were gracious enough to lend it to me:

Now as you can see the base of the panels are narrower than the top. This will give the cradle a more open appearance and keep it from looking too box-like.

Cutting these was a two man job so I got my husband to help me out with the cutting and this step went well:

After that end panels were completed, it was time to turn my attention to the side panels and for that I decided to re-use the laminated panels from the previous design. These panels will need to be narrower so I carefully removed the screws from the wood and re-sawed it on the table saw:

After the table saw I cut off 5 inches from the ends to shorten the boards to 33 inches long. Note all the clamps, my extra set  of hands:

And here is where the project is at the moment:

My husband is holding everything together. Also not the wings on the upper edge of the side panels:

Having seen this last photo was a huge relief-the parts will fit together and there will be a cradle. 

Ok, the next steps are to sand the panels well and then edge glue the wings onto the side panels. Then I'll need to design the bed of the cradle and the rails so there's more work to come.

See you all soon,


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