jneel04

Baby Crib - to build or buy?

41 posts in this topic

Whether it is built or buys, the baby crib should be comfortable, durable and the most important is their safeness. The rib is really your baby’s safe haven therefore it must be the most secure.

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I would like this thread to continue because i've been thinking of building the crib when our first arrives. I started this thread thinking I was going to build it and I ended the thread thinking I was going to buy it but then I read up on the regulations and now I think I want to build it again because even though I'm not an expert wood working I'm sure I can do a better job than the people in China. The regulations are pretty basic so following them is not hard and as long as the joints are nice and sound I see no concerns about safety at least I'll know how it's built and I'll be sure it's up to code. I would like some additional opinions on this though.

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I built mine after looking (scouring) over all the reviews, regulations, etc. It wasn't a money issue for me (cause I didn't have any :) ) I guess it boiled down to sentiment. Our property is mature hardwoods and the Winter before we found out we were expecting, a HUGE yellow birch blew down in a storm. The main trunk was straight as an arrow, and probably 22" diameter. The upper trunks were still 12" diameter so there was A LOT of lumber laying there.. Loaded it into the truck with a tractor and hauled it down to the local mill. A year later, my daughter is sleeping in a crib that was built from that tree.. Call me a softy, but I don't know that many people can give that same story to their children when they're older :P Kinda cool IMO..

Ended up going with a fold-down style for a couple of reasons. Getting them in / out when they're tiny meant not really having to bend over to clear the top railing. Safety wise it seemed the most secure (really no moving pieces that could slide down and hurt them). Mama gave me some print outs of a few cribs that she liked telling me what she liked / didn't like and I tried my best to incorporate them into the design. The mattress hardware is such that the mattress is able to be lowered as they grow (takes about 5 minutes). Everything was mortise / tenon for the slats. The only plywood is on the ends. Because of formaldehyde issues found a company that uses soy glue for their laminates so zero issue there.

Cost wise, it was probably a little cheaper than buying a cheap(er) one. My wife wanted an 'organic' mattress, sheets, etc. When I saw the price tag for the mattress I almost fell over! But, she was able to get it on a Black Friday and it ended up being $100 cheaper. I want to say that between the mattress, hardware, bumper thing for the inside, sheets, skirt, etc it was around $500 (I only had $20 into the milling of the lumber so that was a huge savings!) That being said (I may be a little partial here) I have no doubt that it's much better quality than anything we could have ever afforded to buy, and I am sure it will be handed down for my grandkids to sleep in...

If you have the time, I'd say to do it; but do your homework. I think I had roughly 100 hours into mine, but there was quite a bit of detail and figuring out with the design. Here's a few pics of how it turned out. I've since pulled the wheels off the legs (didn't like them)..

post-6031-0-02402300-1323898553_thumb.jppost-6031-0-74915700-1323898555_thumb.jppost-6031-0-57682100-1323898559_thumb.jppost-6031-0-41701800-1323898562_thumb.jppost-6031-0-53455100-1323898548_thumb.jp

tim0625 likes this

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The mattress hardware is such that the mattress is able to be lowered as they grow (takes about 5 minutes).

It takes about five minutes to lower the mattress or it takes about five minutes for them to grow?

The answer, of course, is all of the above.

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There's few purchases that have a bigger impact on your child's safety than the crib. I know the chances of something going wrong are small, but the risk is not worth it to me.

Would you make a car seat for your baby?

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I can see your point, but if the research is done and the crib is built to the safety specs (or exceeds them) that all the other manufacturers are adhering to I do not see any difference. At least this way I KNOW every aspect of the construction and materials used; store bought ones.. Who really knows for sure? Just look at the number of safety recalls every month on the things people buy that are "supposed" to be safe.. I'll take my chances and trust my judgement.

For the crib I looked at strength requirements, finishing safety, formaldehyde issues (gassing off), spacing, hardware selection and design considerations.. Obsessively researched for more than 2 months and when it was all said and done, I feel that I actually exceeded the requirements and standards of the "commercial" manufacturers. Unless a person is willing to do this (to this extent) I would not recommend it. But, like I said as long as you do your homework, I do not feel that a hand crafted crib is any less safe..

As far as the car seat example I think that's like comparing apples to oranges. There are A LOT more considerations to take in for that scenario..

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I built mine after looking (scouring) over all the reviews, regulations, etc...

post-6031-0-02402300-1323898553_thumb.jp

This is a really nice looking crib that you've built! Congratulations on the crib and what goes in it.

It sounds like this is your design, correct? Could you post some dimensions, especially ones that relate to safety such as rail spacing? I'm interested in using this as a starting point.

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Hey Redbaran, you bet :) As soon as the Holidays are over I'll work on putting together (and finding) my notes. Should be able to get some info to you this coming week. Would this be for a little one you have on the way, or as a gift? Either way, Congrats!

Happy Holidays!

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I say absolutely build your own. I built this for my daughter 2 years ago and would not have it any other way. It'll be with us and her for generations to come.

https://plus.google....=CKW43dvsxMCrBA

Many, many....many mortise and tenon joints. Converts to a double bed and followed all of the safety guidelines that new baby beds are built to. Solid as a rock and a lot of walnut to boot. About 5 coats of a BLO, poly, danish oil mix and a month to cure before she slept in it. I am not worried.

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I just finished building a crib for my daughters first born. I did quite a bit of research on the subject beforehand. I'll say this much, to date it was the most complicated project I've ever done! Somewhere in the neighborhood of 108 mortise and tenon joints! I built what is basically Rockler's 3in1 but I found adapted plans at www.provenwoodworking.com Jim there was extremely helpful and answered any questions I had along the way, usually within 24 hours. The best part is included in his plans is a life saver of a jig to make each of the 52 slats identical. After all is said and done I think it came out pretty darn nice and I have no doubts my granddaughter will be safe and sound in it. I'll post pictures as soon as my daughter gets the crib. It's just not fair for y'all to see it while she's still waiting for it to arrive :rolleyes: . Take your time, lay it out correctly and assemble it with precision and a hand made crib will be just as safe, and last many times longer (IMO) than something shipped in from China made from MDF and slathered in lead based paint.

Boatworks Today likes this

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OK, finally got through the Holidays and am able to get back to this thread..

Thanks a ton for posting your notes! I'm still not sure if I'm going to be able to make enough progress on my other projects, but with what I've seen so far, it's a very do-able project. The great thing about the internet is that your post will be a great resource. Thanks for taking the time!

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boatworks. nice crib! im working on designing a crib for a future kid.

i've been looking at the mattress hardware from america products. JW what size you ended up getting and what the inner dimensions of the crib came out to, I see online it says standard crib mattress size is 51 5/8 by 27 1/4. but the mattess' at babys r us are all different sizes.

thx marcus

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Hey Marcus,

thanks for the kind works :) The mattress that we went with was 52"x28.5" +/- an 1/8".. The mattress drops in and is a somewhat snug fit (but not tight)... MaMa's an organic girl, so we went with a natural (organic) mattress.. I don't remember where she ordered it from off hand, but could find out if interested...

~Andy

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