Last edited by Matt Dunlap; 03-31-2008 at 04:50 PM.
Congrats on the pending grandfatherdom.
I think my first choice for a crib would be maple. Nice smooth finish without open pores to deal with like oak or walnut. (Take that with a grain of salt...I've never made a baby crib.) I'd think cherry would also look very nice. Both of those are assuming it's be a natural finish. If you're planning to paint it, then I'd still say maple (for durability), although poplar would be less expensive. I forget where in NM you are located, but I know the hardwood selection in most parts of the state is pretty slim, so any hardwood will likely be expensive.
I think there are a few other grandfathers (and fathers) here who've built cribs, so you should be getting some more qualified advice soon.
When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan
I'll second the congrats, just think how much fun you will have spoiling the new grand kid
As for wood, I've seen some VERY nice cribs made from both Maple and Cherry, for the very reasons Vaughn states.
When you get more of a concept that you can post, do so, I'm sure we will take a good run at it and try to avoid any pitfalls, after all, the cargo in a crib is a bit more precious that a book on a bookshelf.
Are you looking at a crib that has four sides and stands on the floor, or more of a cradle?
One other thing to think about, if the crib will easily breakdown for storage, if the time between bundles of joy is short, it is not a problem, but one day, if the crib gets put away, awaiting the next generation, well, you would want it to be able to store flat.
Just some random thoughts.
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
William Arthur Ward
I believe wood choice is wide open, matter of personal preference.
With cribs, the thing to watch is the width between slats. Go to a store that sells cribs and measure the spacing. Gub'mnt is very picky about this issue, but it is a matter of safety.
Sounds like a fun project - and you are right, if you make one for one of your kids, you better make one for each of them!
On the issue of wood movement, I think its probably more of a design issue than which wood you use. If you like maple, go with it - it doesn't move too badly.
The things you need to avoid when you are building something that will go from a dry to a wet climate are moving parts that have to fit tightly and large wide pieces that are glued cross grain to other pieces. So, if you plan a "solid" front or back, you might want to make that frame and panel so the panel can 'float' inside the frame. If you make it in NM, leave plenty of room for growth. After you choose the wood and come up with a design, we can help you calculate exactly how much that panel will grow when you take it to Florida. Oh, another thing. Put the finish on the panel before you assemble the frame and panel, otherwise when it grows and shrinks you might wind up showing some raw wood.
When I make things that need to come apart, I like to use through wedged tenons. They will work well with humidity changes, too.
Let us know how the project is coming, and post some pictures!
Walnut probably has the least movement of any common hardwood, but it's still going to have some movement with those sort of humidity change.
However a crib design is usually a set of rails and vertical bars and is pretty forgiving about humidity changes. The idea of through tenons should work fine and make it easy to knock down and store / transport flat.
I dont think it really matters what wood you use, you just want something hard wearing and nice looking. I have just built one from Bluegum eucalyptus, not the most stable wood, but it's HARD and finishes up nice.