By Larry Speight from Waddell, AZ
Added on September 17, 2015
I guess I should start off by stating that I am a slow wood worker and I really don’t work well to deadlines. I don’t like them. So, I got a call from my daughter a few months ago and she announced she was pregnant! Yea!! Later she asked me to build her a co-sleeper. To this I replied, “Huh?” So much Googling later, I finally arrived at some satisfactory measurements with my daughter and I began working on this co-sleeper. I wanted to go beyond the plain and being inspired by David Marks and Marc, I decided to do some inlay on top of a rather plain and easy project. I have never done inlay, but David Marks and Marc provide excellent tutorials on the subject. Well this began my slow descent into madness. Inlay is slow meticulous work and I’m a slow worker. Add to that the brutal Arizona heat and I was reduced to working about 3 hours a day in the shop before the heat got to me. I started off with some pretty big plans for all six sides of the co-sleeper but by the beginning of July, I realized I was going to struggle to get it done by the September 8th due date. So I cut back on the inlay, but still managed to get something on all six sides. The outsides with the trees was kind of fun to do but very time consuming. On the inside I put in some stars to form the big and little dippers, a moon, and the southern cross (a navigational aid in the southern hemisphere and a great CSN song).
I used walnut for the trees, satinwood for the moon and stars on the outside, quilted maple for the inside moon and yellowheart for the stars on the inside. I finished the project with lots and lots of shellac using a technique I learned from David Fleming (a master craftsman here in the Phoenix area). All the inlay was designed and drawn by me.
It was a lot of fun and I look forward to doing more inlay in the future. One thing I did learn was that butternut is extremely soft and difficult to work with when doing inlay. I don’t recommend it and I won’t use it in the future for inlay work.
I apologize for the photography. It is obviously not one of my strengths. I was on a tight time line and as it turned out, the co-sleeper arrived in Eugene, Oregon on September 1 and my grandson was born September 3. So I barely had enough time to get it out the door to the UPS office to have it arrive in time for the arrival of my grandson. The co-sleeper is located in a very small bedroom that made it difficult to photograph. However, my wife was able to get a couple of pictures and of course, I had to include a picture of my grandson sleeping on the bed…he looks dwarfed by the bed.