Cot’s Coming Close to the End

Today I was fully in the saddle to almost close out the baby cot project I’ve been working on. It went particularly well and the end result will indeed be the sturdiest take apart, knock-down, almost flat pack cot in existence. The fasteners facilitate taking a large rectangle of frames and panels apart into five elements to get them through narrow doorways, along corridors and passages and on up awkward stairways with with equally awkward turns around corners and on into a nursery bedroom. Almost all beds of different types and sizes must have knock-down components. It makes for an easier life.

This particular project has been as much about measurements and sizes as anything, measurements tried, tested and passed to ensure a safe place for a baby to rest and sleep. Inn other words kept from harm in a confined area yet in comfort. The gaps and hole diameters are all part and parcel of this when it comes to children’s safety whether that be for toys, furniture or whatever.

This weekend went quickly and some of the steps needed completing ahead of today’s filming rather than unnecessary repeating. Much of what is involved is the repetition of joints, things like that. Planing all of the surfaces can be tedious, but plane them I did and I enjoyed every stroke, even the in the awkward grain figured oak has. I suppose it was as much to do with the reason I was building it as the project itself. This is for my granddaughter who I can’t believe is now in her fourth week of life. Over the weekend I bobbed in and out to prepare some areas of the frame for applying the finish. Some projects are better with the components pre-finished (for which I give reasons in the video) before gluing up because the finish looks and feels better,  otherwise awkward internal corners can look ugly. You see you can pull the strokes through without internal corners globbing up to where you cannot sand them flat afterwards. Today I glued up to camera and because this is my second cot, and I have already glued up two of everything already, it did go like clockwork. I also managed to show how to set the fasteners for guaranteed assembly ease. Bit fiddly but all came out as expected.

My favourite work has always been to gift what I make. I have made half a dozen caskets for friends that passed where I dovetailed the corners and hand planed every wooden section. It sounds morbid but it really isn’t at all. Yes, there is a sadness, but they were such people that just brought gladness to you when you saw them so I enjoyed the making of something money just could not buy. I have many fond memories  making other things as gifts or donations.


  1. Paul, I made my Mother’s coffin when she died of Alzheimer’s in early January 2016, but it was a rush job using materials I had at hand at my Dad’s. I’d love to see you do a coffin project. It’s not morbid at all. We all die. But we shouldn’t be taken to the cleaners to purchase a coffin to bury our loved one’s in. Making Mom’s coffin is what really what got me interested in hand tool woodworking. And it was about that same time that I discovered your YouTube videos. I want to get into coffin making–but making coffins that are affordable, beautiful, and using locally sourced woods. I do hope you’ll consider doing a series on coffins. Keep up the great work.

  2. There is nothing morbid about making a coffin. That is the last thing you can do for a friend. It shows a great deal of love for a person and their family.

    My dad drove my grandmother from Ohio to West Virginia to her burial site. I asked why and he said it was the last thing he could do for her. I know it was only the body, but it was closure for him.

  3. + 1 to the caskets/coffin project either for person or pets witch ca be great friends as well.

    Love the cot’s design!

  4. I have made four beds for my two daughters, as children and as adults. In the coming year I will be building number five (for a king size mattress, definitely a knockdown frame). I anticipate doing this for the grandchildren as well. Not usually a complex build, but there is something very satisfying about building beds that your children rest and dream in.

  5. I noticed your mention of caskets. I’m currently working on a burial urn for my uncle. He’s not passed yet–hoping he has a few more years yet, but he’s 80 and on dialysis, so he asked me last time we met if I’d make him an urn. Your attention to detail for dovetailing the caskets is the same level of effort I’m putting into his urn–why wouldn’t I do it? I’ll add some kumiko to the lid because he loved Japan during his Navy days and it seems right to add it. I’ve not done kumiko before, but I’ll do my best and practice on a few dry run attempts first. Hope he likes it.

  6. Moving forward in your granddaughter’s life, perhaps a classic wooden rocking horse might be an appropriate project.

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