A Homemade Slot-Together Crib

A Homemade Slot-Together Crib

Richard Popovic
Jul 25, 2012

I am writing this post not because I love the way this crib looks, although I think it is a very handsome piece of work. Nor am I writing this post as a standard nod to a DIY tutorial, because it is a pretty advanced piece of carpentry not particularly well-suited for amateurs. I am writing this post to talk about the process that went into this crib's construction, because a look at how this came together can teach us all a thing or two about how we approach challenging projects, and offer a little insight into new ways to meet them.

When I saw this slot-together (meaning no hardware is used in the construction) crib on MAKE, a creation of NY-based construction guru Adam Seim, I was taken with its clean lines and elegant construction. But what impressed me the most was Seim's approach to the challenge of making a custom crib for his family's small Brooklyn apartment. My own approach to building a crib would have included weeks of looking for plans and drawings, followed by a long build time which would have involved all of the tools in my shop and pound upon pound of hardware to hold it together. Seim, as the old adage goes, worked smarter, not harder.

First he did his research on the correct spacing between slats. Then, he drew his own design using Google Sketch-Up. Next, he chose a material called ApplyPly, a very strong formaldehyde-free plywood with a maple veneer finish, perfect for constructing a crib. His next step is the one that blew me away. He re-drew the plans in AutoCAD and emailed them to a local woodworking shop, where the shapes were cut out by a large CNC milling machine. One hour later, he had his patterns.

Seim then used just one tool, a router, to make all of the crib parts, which he then clicked together. That's it. Admittedly, he used a bolt in each corner to hold up the platform for the mattress, and he probably used a sander before finishing it with all-natural milk paint and tung oil. But that's it.

Knowing what resources are out there is such a key component when approaching a project. Whether it's Modge Podge or Washi Tape or ApplyPly, there are products that will do exactly what you are trying to do, and do it a whole lot easier than you ever imagined. By utilizing Sketch Up, AutoCAD, and a large machine at a local woodworking shop, Sein removed countless steps and hours of work from his build. How many times have we done something a certain way because that's how we learned it, and that's how it 'always' has been done?

In my short time writing for Apartment Therapy I have been constantly amazed at how many tips and tricks of the trade pop up in our posts. The technology and methodology behind everything from painting a house to screen-printing artwork changes so quickly that it is hard to keep up. But the next time you are preparing to tackle a project, take the time to look at all of the resources available to you. There are no doubt more than you ever imagined, and they just might revolutionize the way you work.

• See more: MAKE

The Ultimate Homemade Crib
Mini Nursery Tour and Burton's Homemade Crib
Look! Handmade crib and high chair
Jason's DIY Crib Solution
Daddytypes Makes His Own Crib

(Images: Via Jon Kalish /MAKE)

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