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Frank Hagan

Cradle Boat Finished

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I decided to build a cradle for my grandson, to be born around Christmas this year. The design I settled on was a dinghy, built in a "sort-of" traditional manner with copper roves and rivets, from Jordan Wood Boats (he advertises in Wooden Boat Magazine - http://www.jordanwoodboats.com). Just like a real boat, you build a strong back first, and then lay the stem and stern post, transom and keel.

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The planking comes next, and this is where my first problem started. It is difficult to plane red oak this thin and keep it in one piece ... the porous nature of red oak makes it easy to split. The plans call for white cedar, which would be a much easier wood to plane this thin, and then keep it from splitting as you bend it and fasten it with silicon bronze flat head wood screws (another bow to tradition that I'll never make again!)

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The rivets presented a problem for me too, and I think I have them inside out ... the flat head of the rivet should be on the inside, and the rove pounded onto the outside. Too late! Riveting boat planks together is just another reason I'm a thoroughly modern boat builder! Give me epoxy from now on! But enough complaining, the bottom planks were easier ... 1/2" thick instead of 3/16" like the sides, and not much bend.

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The plans include both rockers which attach directly to the bottom of the cradle, and davits to suspend it. The construction of the davits is pretty straight forward, but I think the plan's rigging is a bit of overkill. I think I could hang my Potter 19 from the davits! But here are the finished pics:

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For the rigging, a bridle is made to attach to the stern quarter knees with figure-8 stopper knots underneath, with a bronze double block riding on the bridle. A bronze eye strap is positioned under the davit head, and the line is attached to it using an anchor bend. The line is rove down to the block, up to one of the sheeves in the davit head, down to the other side of the double block and back up through the other sheeve in davit head, then down to a bronze cleat to be made fast, so as baby doesn't crash to the ground.

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All in all, its been a worthwhile project. My wife has made some great bedding for the cradle, and I'll post pictures of it with the bedding when the battery on the camera recharges!

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After all the sanding, which rivaled making a REAL boat, I finished the cradle with 4 coats of BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil) applied with a cloth. To help fill the pores of the red oak and mahoghany (used for the transom, quarter knees, breasthook and keel) I used 4F pumice forced into the pores of the wood while applying the BLO ... it works great, and helps give a slightly darker hue to the wood. The other lighter wood used is beech, which I found finishes beautifully. It will definately find its way into more projects!

After the BLO hardened, I sealed it with a 1# cut of Garnet shellac, applied with a pad. Then, I sprayed 4 coats of Target Coatings' "Oxford ULTIMA Spray Lacquer" in a satin finish. ULTIMA is a water based product, and I was skeptical at first ... but it acts like a true lacquer (each subsequent coat "melts" into the one before it, so you end up with a very "deep" looking coating). And it dries hard within about 30 minutes, ready for recoating. This allowed me to fill the spray cup and simply clean the nozzle between sprayings. It is easy to spray with my $99 HVLP spray unit, and the finish comes out great.

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That is a really nice cradle you have made! I can see a lot of time' date=' love and effort. :) Nice job![/quote']

Well, all I can say is the little guy better be cute! I don't want an ugly baby in my cradle!

My daughter doesn't know its coming, so we're shipping it this week and will be there when it arrives.

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I put the bedding my wife made for the cradle ... we wanted something nautical, but not cutesy, and I think my wife found something that works really well ...

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I thought the project fit better here than in the Main Forum ... it is a boat of sorts, but this one would never float for long!

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WOW, I do like that teak decking with an alternative white seam compound.. It adds a very nice touch indeed. :lol: Great piece of woodworking, Frank. Thats something that will be enjoyed and hopefully passed along for quite some time.

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The rivets presented a problem for me too, and I think I have them inside out ... the flat head of the rivet should be on the inside, and the rove pounded onto the outside. Too late!

I think you have it right. They should be from the outside in, that is, they would be nipped on the inside and the rove put on from the inside. The flat part of the rivet/nail would be on the outside.

It looks fantastic. i've always liked the looks of those projects and wanted to build one. We are, fortunately/unfortunately past the baby cradle stage in my family (extended and otherwise). I have thought about building a scaled down version for Dolls though, and it may still happen.

I'll bet your daughter gets tearful when she see's this one. A true family heirloom. All of it looks great. Well done....

b.

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The rivets presented a problem for me too' date=' and I think I have them inside out ... the flat head of the rivet should be on the inside, and the rove pounded onto the outside. Too late![/quote']

I think you have it right. They should be from the outside in, that is, they would be nipped on the inside and the rove put on from the inside. The flat part of the rivet/nail would be on the outside.

OK, good. I wasn't sure, and then I thought no one in his right mind would design a baby cradle with dozens of these little sharp points pounded over roves INSIDE a baby cradle. I ended up sanding them all very smooth ... but its good to know I did it the right way.

I'll bet your daughter gets tearful when she see's this one. A true family heirloom. All of it looks great. Well done....

b.

Leah is the analytical type, so I doubt she will get teary. I'm hoping for happy, which is a pretty safe bet with her.

Although she is pregnant, and I always thought the aliens took over my wife when she was pregnant, so its possible she could get teary.

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