Making a Child's Doll Cradle

We all get different kinds of satisfaction from all sorts of different projects. For me, utility projects and furniture have the most appeal but once in a while I like to make things for other members of the family too. In this case, a young niece. Another member of the family hand made a doll's quilt, so to make a complete package a doll was purchased and of course some sort of a bed is needed, so why not a cradled.

Since this is a child's toy I wanted something that would not be too heavy to carry around, yet sturdy and of course easy to clean. The wood I selected was some rough cut Cedar of Lebanon that was well below 12% on the moisture scale. I knew at the outset that this cradle was going to be painted (not by me, I hate covering wood with paint) so I was not so concerned about how the colors of the wood matched up.

As usual, this was a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants project, which means I wasn't working from a formal pattern, so I needed something to work with. I started by measuring the hand made quilt and from that could determine a base for the cradle which would be around 9 by 20 inches on the base and 10 inches in height.

The first order of business is to size the wood which means breaking down the rough cut wood on the jointer, then the planner then the bandsaw and finally back to the planner .... I always love dressing lumber because it's just like a ...

Incredible Carved Winged Lion End Table

Every once in a while you come across a woodworking project that makes you say WOW! This end-table created by Dennis Zongker is just one of those pieces.

Carved End Table

End Table

It took Dennis around 1100 hours to complete this piece and you can see the craftsmanship and time really shows. You can find out more about Dennis Zongker at his site: 

The Fletcher Capstan (Kaleidoscope Style) Table

This is a truly incredible table design that comes in both manual and powered versions.

The Fletcher Capstan Table (Created by DB Fletcher) can double its seating capacity with just a quick turn, going from a six seats to twelve seats. The best part of this design is there is no leafs to add, everything is self-contained.

Clock Plans

With the home remodling and revitalization effects still taking place in North America, nice looking, quality items are STILL in demand. Clocks are the one thing that are unique and can add a special "richness" to a home that most other pieces of furniture cannot compete with. For the woodworker, making a clock is fun, rewarding experience and for those inclinced, there is even a market for making them in small quantities for a bit of extra spending money (like for more tools .... )
It is difficult to beat the old look of a "Schoolhouse" or "Rail  Road" Clock, or even an Grandfather Clock to enhance the look and charm of a home. 

With a little bit or oak, a clock mechanism and wee bit of time, some very elegant time pieces can be turned out of even the most rudimentary workshop.



 Click here to securely order the Plans of a Grandfather Clock ....

Copyright - Colin Knecht

Adirondack Wooden Lawn Chairs

There is something appealing about sitting in the shade in a nicely constructed wooden lawn chair. Adirondack Chair's have been around for decades and there are as many different patterns for them as there are places to put them in the back yard. It's a good idea to do a bit of research on them before you settle on a pattern, or if you are making your own pattern

The angle of the back, as well as the curve along the back, make a huge difference in the comfort of the chair. Other things that make a difference to the comfort is the height of the arms as well as the slop and height of the seat.
If you don't believe me, go to a store that sells a few different models and sit in them, you will be astounded at the difference in comfort from one to another. If you are short on storage place there are even some folding models. The plan I used was a very basic one, sadly I learned after the chairs were built what the term "comfortable Adirondack chair" means, but now that I know I am on a new quest to find or build a much more comfortable chair so that in the lazy days of summer I can sit in the shade sipping my lemonade in comfort.



Quilt Rack Tips

 Some woodwork projects seem to be very hard to find plans for, and quit racks is one of them. After searching through a few books I found a few designs that I somewhat liked and one particularly caught my eye more than the others. It looked tall, lean and elegant in a dark finish. As usual, there were no dimensions, but I surmised that with a bit of guesswork I could come up with a workable plan.

 I started off my making some drawing and and finding out exactly what kind of measurements I would need to work within. Once I had a design that I liked (and that may wife approved)  I used an old piece of cardboard to cut out a patten that looked appropriate. The heart was added on the side gables to keep help the piece from looking "too heavy". This is a trick I learned years ago from and old woodworking craftsman who explained that lightening the look of a piece of furniture can sometimes be accomplished by adding "take-away" design elements (take-way as in cut-out).

I think one of the main things to remember with quilt racks is that the quilt rack should not outshine the quilt in terms of eye appeal, after all it is the quilt that is beind displayed not the rack.

Selecting a finish for the quilt rack was another exercise in agony. I knew that it would have to be a darker finish so that the quild rack would not stand out. Darker colors to "fade to the back" in terms of looks, ... but I also didn't want to make it too dark because then the texture and elegence of the wood is lost and that feature is another point that helps the quilts to stand out more.

If wanted it dark I could have simply painted it. After trying a few stains on test boards, this is what I can up with. The surface finish is hard, glossy varnish. I wanted a finish that would withstand a lot of use and there is little that can beat a hard glossy varnish.

Copyright Colin Knecht

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