by Brian Anderson
Rachel, our little girl arrived a couple of weeks
early, on June 7. She is healthy and happy. (Although her mother
is out shopping right now and Rachel is strongly and loudly
of the opinion that she should be eating instead of posing for
pictures and supervising the writing of this story. One might
even call it a mutiny, emotions are currently running so high.).
I had built a cradle boat at the in-laws’
place in France in the spring. Back at home in Cologne, Germany,
we found a store with a good foam that was certified not to
release any chemicals in the air or through skin contact and
had it cut into a mattress from a pattern I cut out. The only
hold-up was something to put it on. Valerie rejected the idea
of davits, so I settled on a simple stand.
I was reluctant to turn the living room into a
woodshop yet again though, and while I was dithering, Rachel
came two weeks early, and it was too late to build anything
in the flat. For the first month, I used some fairly grotty
old saw horses I had lying around. But these were frowned upon
by the mother in law when she turned up a couple of weeks back.
Luckily I have been helping some friends to build a loft-style
apartment inside an old printing shop, and one day I dragged
the tools and some wood over and put together a base for the
boat bed that I ended up being pleased with.
Rachel Helene Anderson in bed with her
friends the dolphin, the duck, and the lion.
The only slight hitch was the diagonal brace.
When I got the whole thing together, it turned out to be a little
wobbly. I considered plywood gussets between the legs and the
pine pieces in front and back, but I didn’t think they’d
look that good, I wanted to finish in one day, it was too late
to go out and buy some plywood, and so I made use of a couple
of scraps and put in the brace which stiffened things up nicely
without looking too out of place, I think.
The legs and the cross pieces that hold the boat
up are in beech wood. The stuff is really expensive here as
finished wood, but snooping around a DIY store here, I noticed
some beech sawhorses for sale for about $5. If you just bought
the wood it would be more like $20 for each horse, and so the
legs are each one half of a sawhorse, only pegged and glued
together instead of bolted. The pieces across the front and
back and the diagonal brace are in pine, and the shelf at the
bottom is commercially scarfed-and-glued spruce. The whole project
(boat and stand) probably ran about $125, mostly because the
plywood here is essentially marine plywood, good, even laminations,
mostly waterproof glues and no voids that I have ever found,
and it costs about the same.
I figure that once she has grown too big for the
bed, I can buy a big piece of plywood or a another big plank
glued up out of beech and make the stand into the base for a
desk or a table and the bed will become a toy box or perhaps