Joe in Colorado wrote, asking whether the cradle I built might tip toward one end or the other as it was picked up by the handles. I replied that the cradle is perfectly balanced, as I used the following balancing technique prior to cutting the handles on the sides:
The tool: a 1-inch dowel placed across the bottom of the cradle, and perpendicular to the sides. I was careful to measure the distances with a tape measure prior to balancing. Once perfectly balanced, I marked the pivot point with chalk, and used a square to transfer the balance point to the top side edges. Then I marked the handle openings, cut with a jig saw, and smoothed the handle openings with rasps and files.
Balancing this way requires that the cradle be ready, or close to ready for the finish. At this point the cradle was already glued up; I had cleaned up the joinery with hand planes to ensure the corners were nice and flat, and that all the surfaces were sanded.
Here are the handles, already shaped:
Why wait to this point?
The answer: Removing material from large surfaces such as the sides may throw the balance slightly toward one end or the other. Given precious cargo such as a newborn baby, improper balance is a risk not worth taking.
How would YOU do it?
- Is there a better way to properly balance the cradle to mark the handles?
- How would YOU have done it?
I would like to learn how you would have done it. Please leave a Comment below, or contact me via the Contact Form by clicking on my signature below.