Barb Siddiqui's Cradle

A birds-eye maple lullaby with a coincidental history.

SHOP OWNER: Barb Siddiqui
LOCATION: Wenatchee, WA

    I am introducing Aneesa, my first grandaughter born last month [September, 2000] in California, and the birds-eye maple cradle I made for her.
Barb and Aneesa
     This is a knock-down cradle of wedged mortise-and-tenon construction, designed by Simon Watts and featured in the old American Woodworker's Great Gift Projects, put out in 1995. It uses a canvas sling with a 12-in. x 29-in. bedboard. The endboards are angled out at ten degrees; so all the mortises and tenon shoulders have to be angled to fit, which took me a little while.
    Someday, I'm aiming for that 'pie in the sky' perfection when everything I plan with wood goes the way I want it to, and I don't have to correct for my mistakes.
Side View of Cradle     The birds-eye was not sanded, but finished off with a cabinet scraper, and then given two coats of Danish Oil Fruitwood stain and two top coats of buffed wax. The wedges are lacewood, only 1/4" thick.
    The baby sleeps all night at only two weeks old, and I'm very grateful to Simon Watts for his design. In three months when she's too big for it, it can be taken apart and the three rails folded up and the end boards laid flat to await its next resident. I now have a second set of kids expecting. Back to the workshop ......
     Oh, one other note. There is a purpose to posting pictures of our work here. My son-in-law asked what kind of wood that was, and I smiled and said, very proudly, "That's birds-eye maple."
    He looked at me a minute and said, "Hardwood, right?"
    Oh murder; get me back among woodworders who can see what I've done here. I was in great despair. :-)

...Barb Siddiqui

[EDITOR'S NOTE: The plans for this cradle were originally published in American Woodworker magazine in August 1992. It was one of the first project articles I ever edited, and the beginning of a close friendship with Simon Watts, a dear and talented craftsman, boatbuilder, author and teacher, who now lives in San Francisco. I'm deeply touched and gratified by Barb's Shop Shot, proof to me that, in this world, "what goes around comes around."]




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