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The perfect cradle

(ran HC edition)

Anyone who has ever had trouble getting the baby to sleep will appreciate this easy do-it-yourself cradle.

It's modeled after a popular colonial style, so its gentle rocking motion has been providing comfort for generations. And it makes a nice gift for a baby shower or baptism, too.

The project is simple, even for amateurs. It requires only six different cuts and 11 pieces in all. The average do-it-yourselfer will need only an afternoon or two to complete it.

It's also quite inexpensive to build, requiring only one 4 by 4 sheet of }-inch plywood, one 3 by 4 sheet of {-inch plywood and small quantities of nails, flathead screws, machine bolts and glue.

The four small casters are optional. The cradle pictured here is made from birch plywood, but many different types of wood can be used.

Because most of the project's pieces are traced from full-size patterns, sizing the parts is a snap. After tracing and sawing, simply assemble the parts with nails, screws and glue. Then suspend the cradle section from the posts using machine bolts and tee-nuts for a flush fit with no sharp edges.

Last, paint or stain with a child-safe finish. The completed cradle measures about 3 feet long by 3 feet high and is 20 inches wide at the base.

The Cradle Plan, No. 300, is $6.50 and includes full-size traceable patterns, step-by-step assembly instructions and a shopping list and cutting schedule.

Also available is the Cradle Packet, No. C32, which comes with this cradle plan along with three other designs for $14.

In addition, a 112-page catalog picturing hundreds of other do-it-yourself projects is available for $3.95. Prices include sales tax, postage and handling.

To order, clip this article and send it along with a check or money order to Steve Ellingson, c/o St. Petersburg Times, P.O. Box 2383, Van Nuys, CA 91409-2383.

Specify plan number and allow 3-4 weeks for delivery (for first class mail, add $1 per item).