Gretchin's Cradle


Vic

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Hmm, I don't think I'd like the look of all those pegs. The flow of the sleigh is what's nice. the slanted sides compliment it. Black/white contrast would complement it (note the spelling :)) It would be too much in my opinion.

I was recently thinking about a project I'd like to build and thought of pegs. What I decided for that project is to put in square end-grain pegs pillowed and burnished to stop them from absorbing so much finish that they are much darker. The end-grain will be different looking than the face, will be slightly darker in finishing and the pillow gives a tactile element. That might work for you, too. Again, for my project, I thought to pillow them, but for yours, your idea of chamfering them into mini-pyramids would compliment the shape of the fingers.

For the scroll question, it's a curvy embellishment. Scroll saw gets its name from them. The idea was to make the walnut at the bottom of the gusset (i think that's what you called it; part between the legs... oh that sounded bad) well, to take that walnut and make an upward curve that flows with the curve of the legs. The birch part above it would need to be curved equally if you wanted them joined to look like one board or you could match the curve and leave a small 1/2" gap to look like a piercing. It was just an idea; what you have is good.

Regarding the pegs, I think you may be right. That's what I was wondering. I wasn't sold on the idea. It will certainly save me some time, which I am running short of.

As far as the scroll, I'll have to talk to you about that the next time we have a chance to chat. I think I have an idea of what you're suggesting, but not quite sure.

Thanks Paul.

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I'm with Paul on the pegs, I think it would be to much. What you can do to get a clear picture is color some tape cut to the size of the pegs and place the pieces on the cradle. Even cut some false pegs that stand proud, bevel and place them on with double stick tape or hot glue. Look at the cradle and take some photos.

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Vic, I sincerely don't see anything about this cradle I don't like. I think it will turn out beautifully. With your next piece, you should push the pace. Now that you know you can make beautiful, high quality furniture - do it faster. I know you're not the type to rush something or compromise quality, but you're capable of the same quality at a faster pace.

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Hi,

Excellent job on the cradle, documentation, and posting it here. You clearly do great work.

My first thought was to do dovetails instead of box joints. They would add some of the strength you were looking for with the pegs. Regarding the pivot beams (?, I can't remember what you called them), are they shouldered on the outside? I like the idea of wedging them, but it's a fairly short tenon. I'm just trying to picture how it will work.

I agree with nixing the pegs, though. The woods complement each other so there's not a disconnect between the cradle and legs. The curves tie it together particularly well. The rocking/locking mechanism is very well conceived and executed, too. I don't see the issue with the masculinity of the grain, although it is an important consideration.

I can't wait to see it come together. Sorry about the short critique. I'll give it some more thought, but I really wanted to comment on this. It's lovely.

Eli

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Hi,

Excellent job on the cradle, documentation, and posting it here. You clearly do great work.

My first thought was to do dovetails instead of box joints. They would add some of the strength you were looking for with the pegs. Regarding the pivot beams (?, I can't remember what you called them), are they shouldered on the outside? I like the idea of wedging them, but it's a fairly short tenon. I'm just trying to picture how it will work.

I agree with nixing the pegs, though. The woods complement each other so there's not a disconnect between the cradle and legs. The curves tie it together particularly well. The rocking/locking mechanism is very well conceived and executed, too. I don't see the issue with the masculinity of the grain, although it is an important consideration.

I can't wait to see it come together. Sorry about the short critique. I'll give it some more thought, but I really wanted to comment on this. It's lovely.

Eli

Thank you, Eli. First, I have to apologize profusely for not giving credit in my original post for the inspiration of this cradle. To get an idea of what Gretchin would like, I'd sent her about a dozen images of cradles. The one she chose was this one by Timothy Clark. I contacted Tim and got his permission to use his basic design, but I wanted to use his idea and basic form more than the specific cradle. Since this is my first piece of furniture, I wanted to keep things as simple as possible while still exploring where I could go with the design. While I agree the dovetailed joints would be strong, the amount of gluing surface should be plenty strong. The proud box joints are a design element I particularly love from Green and Green, but again, I wanted to make it more my own, which is where the chamfered edges came in.

Regarding the tenon that lets the cradle rest on the trestle stand, they do have fairly healthy shoulders on all sides. I've tested the strength somewhat by inserting the wedges on the ends of the tenon, which wont be as strong as the final configuration.

Vic

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Hey Vic. I'm a bit late to the game on this one. When we mentioned this on WTO, the chat room lit up with excitement about what an awesome job you did on it. And I have to agree with them. I know you're looking for some hard critiques, but clearly you hit the mark on this one. Frankly, I can't offer much more than my opinion on a few potential alternative options and some things I would have done differently. Is that a critique? lol

You know how I love my curves and I think I would have made them a bit more pronounced. See my terrible shaky hand Photoshop job below. I would like to see the curve drop more severely, and then return back up again a little higher where it meets the footboard. Also, with the beautiful asymmetry of the side, the tall symmetrical arch of the head and foot boards clashes a bit (to my eye). I would bring that arch in quite a bit and make a small subtle arch from side to side.

Also, taking some inspiration from the Timothy Clark model, I might incorporate a hand hole on the sides as well. Not only does it serve a function, but it also visually lightens up the side to some extent and breaks the retaliative monotony of a solid panel.

Another thing, which would clearly raise the difficultly level, would be to angle the side out a few degrees (again, like the Timothy Clark version). I think that adds a real elegant touch.

As for the dowels, I say skip 'em.

Hope that helps buddy and best of luck on the finishing portion.

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Hey Vic. I'm a bit late to the game on this one. When we mentioned this on WTO, the chat room lit up with excitement about what an awesome job you did on it. And I have to agree with them. I know you're looking for some hard critiques, but clearly you hit the mark on this one. Frankly, I can't offer much more than my opinion on a few potential alternative options and some things I would have done differently. Is that a critique? lol

You know how I love my curves and I think I would have made them a bit more pronounced. See my terrible shaky hand Photoshop job below. I would like to see the curve drop more severely, and then return back up again a little higher where it meets the footboard. Also, with the beautiful asymmetry of the side, the tall symmetrical arch of the head and foot boards clashes a bit (to my eye). I would bring that arch in quite a bit and make a small subtle arch from side to side.

Also, taking some inspiration from the Timothy Clark model, I might incorporate a hand hole on the sides as well. Not only does it serve a function, but it also visually lightens up the side to some extent and breaks the retaliative monotony of a solid panel.

Another thing, which would clearly raise the difficultly level, would be to angle the side out a few degrees (again, like the Timothy Clark version). I think that adds a real elegant touch.

As for the dowels, I say skip 'em.

Hope that helps buddy and best of luck on the finishing portion.

The carved in handles are still coming today. I have the center of gravity marked out already to make carrying the 40 lbs are so a bit easier. The curvature of the side was to follow the grain. The heavy crotch figure somewhat mandated where I could drop off and I dipped down to a point that was then picked up by the curve in grain at that point. I was originally gonna go with a more pronounced angle on the head and foot boards, but again, the material dictated my 3 degrees. I just plain didn't have enough material without going back to the sawyer and I loved the flame in the boards.

I'm conceding the opinions on the dowels/plugs. I agree it will be too busy and I don't have the time anyway.

Thanks Marc! And again, thanks for all the years of information and practical knowledge you've given me. It's kinda funny, but the "how to" hasn't been as helpful to me as the insights behind why you are doing a particular thing or how to functionally fix a mistake or overcome an obstacle. You don't get that in any other medium.

Vic

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Yesterday, I got the trestle done and glued up. Tonight, I cut the bottom panel for the cradle and got it dry fit. Tomorrow, I'll do a final sanding and glue up on the cradle itself. Then three nights of finishing. As you can see in the close up, I didn't get the gussets as tight as I would of liked and, hopefully, future laminations wont have the huge glue lines.

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Another really long day. Had a windstorm that woke me up at 1 a.m. and I couldn't get back to sleep by 2:30..so, out to the shop. Good thing, as it took me until just a bit ago to finish up. Hopefully, I'll get a more professional looking shot before I deliver the cradle, but here it is finished in the shop

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It Looks excellent Vic. I can't arm chair quarter back this project for it would just be to serve my own taste. This is a project you put your heart into and it is a true expression of you. I see many advanced design elements expressed and I enjoy just sitting back and enjoying all the detail and beautiful grain.

Again Congratulations on completing a tough project.

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It Looks excellent Vic. I can't arm chair quarter back this project for it would just be to serve my own taste. This is a project you put your heart into and it is a true expression of you. I see many advanced design elements expressed and I enjoy just sitting back and enjoying all the detail and beautiful grain.

Again Congratulations on completing a tough project.

Are you callin' me a BABY!?!?! lol...thanks Kip!! I really appreciate all the encouragement you guys offer me. I'm on a big high tonight, after the second coat of oil...wow! I'm even starting to be happy about it.

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Vic, it has been a treat to follow your progress on this cradle.

Speaking for my fellow sawdust-makers, I appreciate you letting us into your operating room to look over your shoulder and watch you work, hear you sing, and share as this was brought to "full term". I wasn't there for the conception but I know you were in labor for a few days on this ....but at last you delivered!!

There were times we were at our monitors shouting encouragement at a difficult stage...."BREATHE......BREATHE...." whoooo!....whoooo! Like an obstetrician you sometimes toiled at night, coaxing and pleading the wood into doing what you had in mind until resting and complete, the patient received it's final wipe down and could be proudly presented.

Way to go Dr. Vic !!!! :rolleyes:

(. . . and our thanks to Nurse Sylvia for her part and patience behind the scenes too)

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Vic, it has been a treat to follow your progress on this cradle.

Speaking for my fellow sawdust-makers, I appreciate you letting us into your operating room to look over your shoulder and watch you work, hear you sing, and share as this was brought to "full term". I wasn't there for the conception but I know you were in labor for a few days on this ....but at last you delivered!!

There were times we were at our monitors shouting encouragement at a difficult stage...."BREATHE......BREATHE...." whoooo!....whoooo! Like an obstetrician you sometimes toiled at night, coaxing and pleading the wood into doing what you had in mind until resting and complete, the patient received it's final wipe down and could be proudly presented.

Way to go Dr. Vic !!!! :rolleyes:

(. . . and our thanks to Nurse Sylvia for her part and patience behind the scenes too)

That's good, Don! Yes, a huge thank you to Nurse Sylvia. This has taken me 2 1/2 months from the beginning of design to fruition. The last month has pretty much taken all my off time. I'm looking forward to spending some time just playing Dr. for awhile. ;)

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Well, ran into a little snag while applying my final coat of finish. The tenon on one end of my stretcher didn't evidently have enough glue and didn't hold. So, instead of delivering this weekend, will make another identical stretcher and place it centered on the gussets. My guess is there is too much racking force for the existing stretcher to handle by itself. Luckily, this isn't an intrusive procedure and shouldn't be much of a problem or drastically change the look of the trestle. It wont be quite as delicate as I had wanted, but sometimes function trumps design. I'll update with pics as soon as I have time.

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Only problem I see with this piece Vic, This kid is going to be so big before it'll ever leave it's cradle they will have to gemmy it out. But, worse than that the doting parents will have to be physically extracted from just sitting and admiring the sheer beauty of the piece and I don't mean the baby. I know I'm a long ways off here in darkest South of France, but, from here it looks wonderful. a great great job. I'm sure it was well worth all that massive effort and perhaps a few moments of heartache. Brilliant.

Pete

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Really...

...As you can see in the close up, I didn't get the gussets as tight as I would of liked and, hopefully, future laminations wont have the huge glue lines.

I looked at the photos first, and was thinking, wow, if only I could do such tight joints... (I'm referring to the woodwork, obviously)

Looks like you're really enjoying yourself. Bravo, bravissimo!

John

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