Pendulum Doll Cradle

Comments (0)

This article is from Issue 25 of Woodcraft Magazine.


Designer/Builder/Writer: Ben Svec

This scaled-down version of the pendulum baby cradle on page 22 is the perfect place for a 15"-long American Girl Bitty Baby doll to beauty-nap. It’s built very much like the full-sized model, except that it doesn’t knock down. To make the cradle, use the drawings and the Cut List on page 33.

The instructions here tell you where to make changes to the instructions for the corresponding sections of the full-sized cradle in the preceding article. Okay, Santa, now it’s up to you to make a daughter’s or granddaughter’s holiday dream come true.

Rough-size the parts

1 From ½"-thick stock, cut the end parts A, B, C, and D, the side parts E, F, G, and H, the bottom parts I, and the stand parts L and M to width and 1" longer than listed in the Cut List on page 33. As you cut the pieces, mark the part letter on each one with chalk.

2 For the feet laminations (K), cut four ½×23/4×17½" pieces. (We used a Forstner bit.)

Build the cradle end frames

1 Change the hole size in pendulum (D) to 1/4" holes 5/16" deep.

2 Change the dado depth to 1/4" and the pendulum (D) width to 2".

3 Mark dowel centerlines on the rails (A, B) and the stile blanks (C), where shown on Figure 1. Then, using a self-centering dowel jig, drill the holes.

4 No changes in procedure, but use Figure 2.

5 No changes.

6 Skip this step and Photo C.

7 No changes.

8 Change the radius for the end assemblies and the top edges of the feet to 15½" and the arc about 18" long. For the foot bottoms, draw a 20½"-radius arc 18" long. See Figure 11.

9 Use the 151/2"-radius template, and refer to Figure 3.

Add the pendulums

1 Change the dado depth to 1/4".

2 Use the Doll Pendulum and Upright Pattern on page 74 and a ½" Forstner bit and drill a 5/16"-deep hole (Figure 3).

3 No changes.

4 Refer to Figure 4, and use a 1/4" round-over bit. Rout a thumbnail profile where indicated on Figure 3.

5 Cut two 15/8"-long pieces of ½" dowel and then refer to Figure 5.

6 No changes.

Make the sides

1 Change the hole size to 1/4" holes 5/16" deep, and refer to Figure 6.

2 Mark dowel centerlines on the rails (E, F) and the stiles (G), where shown on Figure 6. Then drill the holes.

3 No changes.

4 Refer to Figures 6 and 7.

5 No changes. (Refer to Figure 4.)

Now build the bottom

Replace Steps 1, 2, 3, and 4 with the following two steps.

1 Drill the remaining dowel holes where shown in Figure 9. Now dowel, glue and clamp the side assemblies to the end assemblies where shown on Figures 8 and 9. Trim the end cleats (I) to length and finish-sand them. Glue and clamp one end cleat to each end assembly, aligning them with the side cleats (H).

2 Cut the panel (J) to size. Then tilt your table saw blade 10° and cut bevels along the panel edges. Cut each bevel a little at a time, testing the fit between the sides. If needed, trim a little off each end of the panel for an easy fit between the ends. When you have a good fit, glue and clamp the panel to the cleats (H, I).

On to the stand

1 Trim the feet laminations (K), the uprights (L), and the stretcher (M) to length. Skip the procedure for routing keyhole hanger mortises.

2 Referring to Figure 10, install a dado blade in your table saw and form a tenon at the bottom of each upright (L). Drill counterbored holes on the outside faces, where shown.

3 Change the upright to part (L). Use a ½" Forstner bit for the through holes.

4 Change the foot to part (K) and the upright to part (L). Refer to Photo I with the same part letter changes.

5 Change the foot to part (K), and refer to Figure 11 or the foot pattern on page 74. Ignore the reference to keyhole hangers.

6 Change the stretcher to part (M) and refer to Figure 8. Ignore the reference to drilling pilot holes and driving screws.

7 Change the spacers to part (N) and drill the center hole with a ½" Forstner bit.

Follow the step below.

8 Assemble the cradle by inserting the pendulum (D) dowels into the upright (L) holes. If needed, sand the dowels so they pivot in the holes without binding. Clamp the stretcher (M) between the uprights. Using the holes in the uprights as guides, drill pilot holes into the stretcher.

Apply a finish and assemble

1 Disassemble the cradle. Inspect the parts and finish-sand where needed. Cover the ends of the pendulum (D) dowels with masking tape. Apply a clear finish. (We applied two coats of satin polyurethane, sanding with 220-grit sandpaper between coats.)

2 Reassemble the cradle. Join the foot/upright assemblies to the stretcher (M) with #8x1½" flathead wood screws. Glue dowel buttons into the counterbores. Glue the wood knobs onto the pendulum (D) dowels.


Write Comment

Write Comment

You must be logged in to write a comment. Log In

Top of Page