Reading Baby Furniture Woodworking Plans

You’ve downloaded baby furniture woodworking plans, or you have grabbed a set of plans from a popular magazine or woodworking book. You are ready to go, and then you take a look at the plans.

The good news is that baby furniture woodworking plans are drawn like any other plans…

The bad news is…

Baby furniture woodworking plans are drawn like any other plans!

How difficult it is to read the plans is directly related to how the author made them. Remember, the quality (and durability!) of your baby furniture depends on the furniture plan, so make sure you choose a good one!

Great Baby Furniture Woodworking Plans

A great baby furniture woodworking plan will start with a photo of the finished crib, cradle, highchair, changing table, etc. and a description of it. It will then include items such as:

  • The difficulty level of building the baby furniture (suitable for beginners, some experience required, pros only)
  • The approximate time for completion (estimated for the difficulty level above)
  • Lumber list including:
    • Type of lumber needed to build the baby furniture
    • Quantity of lumber needed to build the baby furniture (usually includes a 10% overage for “oops”es)
    • Tips for selecting the lumber
    • Estimated pricing for the lumber to finish the baby furniture woodworking plan
  • Materials/supplies list accounting for:
    • Nails and fasteners, wood glue, biscuits, stain, varnish, paint
    • Hardware and accessories to complete the functionality and look of the baby furniture (hinges, knobs, wheels, drawer rails, etc.)
    • Best places to purchase the materials
    • Estimated pricing for the materials to finish the baby furniture woodworking plan
  • Woodworking tools list including:
    • All hand tools and power tools needed to construct the baby furniture (hammers, screwdrivers, planers, handsaws, handsanders, drills, routers, jigsaws, miter saws, belt sanders, etc., plus the size, type, and quantity of any belts, blades, and accessories required)
    • Best places to purchase the tools
    • Estimated pricing for the tools to finish the baby furniture woodworking plan
  • Measurements (measure twice before you cut!)
    • Common English measurements are 1/16 inch (1/16”, 1/16 in.), 1/8 inch, 1/4 inch, 1/2 inch, 1 inch, 1 foot)
    • You can find some easy-to-use calculators (and some specialized tools) online: click here
  • Line drawings, diagrams, and detailed instructions for constructing your baby furniture

Especially if you’re a beginner, having everything above listed out is extremely helpful. Unfortunately very few baby furniture woodworking plans include everything I listed above. What then?

Don’t panic!

Not So Great Baby Furniture Woodworking Plans

If your baby furniture woodworking plan has been simplified or whittled down to fit in a magazine, there is still a way to complete your project without tearing your hair out.

Start by reviewing your baby furniture woodworking plans and taking notes about the details you do and do not have. If the plan specifies nails, you can assume you will need a hammer. If the plan mentions paint, then you can safely grab a paintbrush. Use common sense to flesh out the missing information.

If you’re still a little cautious or concerned, or just want a second pair of eyes to look over your work, you can always take your baby furniture woodworking plans into a dedicated woodworking store, such as Rockler.

Remember, you’re taking on a very special task by building this baby furniture. I am certain that a baby furniture plan is not going to stop you. Now go get out a saw and figure it out!

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