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Project of the Week: Cradle is a colonial classic

Don and Dave Runyan provide plans for carpentry projects.
By Don and Dave Runyan, For The Oklahoman Modified: February 16, 2013 at 9:19 pm •  Published: February 18, 2013

Small, light and sturdy, this do-it-yourself cradle project is an early-American classic. Featuring rounded edges and corners, handholds that make it easy to move around and a hood to keep drafts and glare out, the cradle rocks freely with the touch of a toe, but the recurved rockers make it almost impossible to tip. It's easy to see why the design has been popular since the 18th century.

It's also simple and inexpensive to build. As pictured, the cradle is made from pine lumber (other species will also work) plus dowels, glue and finish. There's room for a 13- by 28-inch bassinet pad inside, or a simple mattress can be made for a more custom fit.

The project is built from just 14 pieces, and all of the curved cuts (including the optional designs on the hood apron and footboard) are traced from full-size patterns. Construction is simple — trace the pieces onto wood, cut everything out, sand and assemble using glue and dowels. Once the cradle is put together, apply finish of choice, add the pad and rock-a-bye baby.

The completed cradle measures 33 inches long by 27 inches wide by 27 inches tall.

The Heritage Cradle plan, No. 666, is $9.95 and includes detailed step-by-step instructions with photos, full-size traceable patterns, a shopping list and cutting schedule and a toll-free help line.

A package of cradle plans, No. C32, is $24.95 and includes this plan plus three others. Please include $4 per order (not per item) for postage and handling and allow about two weeks for delivery.

To order by mail, clip this article and send it with a check or money order to U-Bild Features, c/o The Oklahoman, 821B S Tremont St., Oceanside, CA 92054. Visit U-Bild on the web at