An easy glue-up with great results

Preparation for the cradle glue-up involved several dry runs, to cover every eventuality that might come up. In the end I did not use cauls on the corners, as the I have cork on the clamp heads:

Cradle glue-up image: an easy glue-up!

I cannot remember a previous glue-up of a large carcase going as smoothly as this one. Not only did the joinery slide nicely and easily, but it was tight. And all corners were perfectly square:

Making sure everything is square.


I used blue tape to hold in place the thin spacers I made to get proper spacing for the shiplapped boards:

Blue tape holds the spacers between the bottom boards.

Now that everything is in place I can drill the sides and shape the handles. I wanted the entire carcase assembled so I can get the center of gravity accurately. In my opinion this is required, as I always like the client to not have any surprises when lifting an item. If the center of gravity is off, it can result in unpleasant results and even injury if the cradle or other heavy item tilts unexpectedly.

Stand by for further work. As I near completion, I can feel the crescendo that normally peaks as I apply the last coats of finish on a project. My hands are itching to get to the finishing process to get this one ready, in the event the baby calls early!

Read more articles on the build of this cradle by clicking on this link.

Al Navas


Dovetail joinery for the cradle

I love it when I get to this stage. The panels are now literally coming together into a cradle. Dovetail joinery is a great way to do this:

Dovetail joinery on the foot panel.

The photo above illustrates why it is wise to wait to get to this stage before making the final cuts on the head board and the foot board. Simply put, the joinery will determine exactly where the boards will join. Now it will be simpler to mark, and then cut accurately.

The reason I love having the 24-inch D4R dovetail jig — huge capacity:

Left side panel of cradle mounted on the D4R.

I will document the complete build of the cradle in a future article.

Al Navas


Woodworking in America video: Dovetailing drawers – tails or pins first?

Frank Klausz and Roy Underhill show how each cuts dovetails; each starts with a different part of the joint. This has been a perennial issue with these two amazing craftsmen. Klausz always starts pins first (with one exception, the hidden mitered dovetail), while Underhill always starts tails first.

I have watched both in every Woodworking in America conference – and every time I am amazed not only at their skill at making this joint, but also their teaching ability. They are ageless.

  • Which do you cut first, pins, or tails?
  • What type of saw do you use?
  • Do you have to do a lot of paring to get good fit?
  • Or are you good enough that the joint fits right off the saw?

Al Navas