Introduction: Man Cradle

Picture of Man Cradle

The "Man Cradle" comprises the latest installment of the "Hensel Home Collection". The introductory model for 2008 features a unique rocking sleep system. Achieve balanced sleep with this masterpiece crafted using the newest technologies. Uniquely designed to give you the kind of undisturbed sleep nature intended. This comfort experience will gently rock you on a cozy voyage to Slumberland.

1. Made in the United States from real wood
2. Earth-quake Resistant
3. Anti-Flood Construction
4. Unsurpassed luxury Alluring style

$1,199 The Man Cradle is the ultimate combination of comfort and value.

The Man Cradle will be on view at Clara Street Projects from August 28 - September 12, 2008. Opening Thursday, August 28th from 6 - 8pm.

Clara Street Projects is located at 170 Clara Street in San Francisco, one-half block north of Harrison Street between 4th and 5th Streets. Limited street parking is available. Garage parking is available nearby at San Francisco Center (5th Street) and at the Moscone Center (4th Street). Gallery hours are Tuesdays- Saturdays 12-6pm and by appointment.

For more information about the exhibition, visit or e-mail project organizers at

Step 1: Design

Picture of Design

Using the program SolidWorks I constructed the basic form. For optimal rocking I utilized a series of ellipses. After considering the dimensions of a standard twin bed I created this design. I wanted to build a bed that would rock side to side or front to back but not randomly, ideally creating a comfortable sleep experience.

Step 2: Water-Jet and Frame Assembly

Picture of Water-Jet and Frame Assembly

I imported the design to a Water-Jet and fabricated the pieces. It would be possible to cut the forms with a skill saw, but I wanted the precision afforded by the machine. After the pieces were cut: I fitted, screwed and glued them together.

Step 3: Slat Construction

Picture of Slat Construction

I built a skin for the cradle out of recycled lattice. I cleaned each piece of wood and attached it with glue and a nail gun to the previous piece. I cut the ends of each piece to a compound angle so that they would fit together in the corners. At first I used a chop saw, band saw, and a belt sander. However, later I was forced to switch to a Japanese pull saw. I think that the pull saw was faster, but the machines were more precise.

Step 4: Finish and Install

Picture of Finish and Install

Once I finished the lattice work, I placed the bed and bedding in the finished cradle. The work was included in an exhibition at the Diego Rivera Gallery in San Francisco.


Dream Dragon (author)2010-10-08

Very interesting, and I don't think it looks like a burial casket, not that I'd be too perturbed by sleeping in one of those. I suspect rocking in ALL directions could be tricky in terms of getting in and out, and it would be absolutely no good at all in my bedroom. I'd end up with books and stuff stuck underneath it.

I like it, very elegant but perhaps more design statement than practical sleeping arrangement.

startfresh (author)2008-04-04

Yes very unique, Like a COFFIN!!!!!!!!! Count me out!

Hell, I thought it looked plumb seaworthy

red-king (author)startfresh2009-01-23

thats exactly what i thought when i saw it... "that looks like a coffin..."

hammer9876 (author)2009-10-16

It does seem like the sides are a lot higher than necessary. Cut them down and cut the cost. Maybe add a rail or stops of some kind on the underside so the whole thing doesn't tilt all the way over and dump its contents.

Nice concept, but not very good for anyone with arthritic joints. It should come with its own overhead trapeze bar for help in getting in and out of it.

greenjedi (author)2009-03-30

i like it. but i think it could use some padding on thesides... and some days its hard enough getting out of bed as it is, if i had to climb walls, i'd never get out of bed again.

GorillazMiko (author)2008-02-05

Wait, this cost $1,700 to make?

I am selling the introductory model of the Man Cradle for $1,699. This price includes material costs, 90 hours of my labor over the course of three months, and a priceless dose of ingenuity. Material Cost Breakdown: $140 Mattress $70 Sheets and Blanket $120 Plywood $70 Philippine Mahogany $320 Wood Slats

Woah..... dang. I wish I had one. :P

if we only had the money.... :(

cheap price to pay for original modern art!

huddleto (author)2008-09-06

I move my arms around alot in my sleep. The sides look like they could be painful.

musa007 (author)2008-08-21

All you are missing is the part for the "lid" for viewing. I bet it's comfortable! No complaints from clients!

startfresh (author)2008-04-04

I was just lurking and thought i'd add my 2cents. Actually on first site.........My eyes and mind said, coffin! lol

SpinWard (author)startfresh2008-04-04

I'm glad I wasn't the only one that thought it was a coffin. I had to read thru it to figure it out. Beautiful work! Very unique on the outside.

joegeek (author)2008-02-19

Don't know about sleeping in the bed, but can I attach a 35 Hp Evenrude on the back - I'll take it out fishing :-) That thing is AWSOME!! I want one! Thanks Jesse

movingbebe (author)2008-02-14

and how is this an instructable? looks like a sales plan

jesse.hensel (author)movingbebe2008-02-14

Please see below regarding irony.

mademomma (author)2008-02-14

very creative and it looks so unique!

skyesidhe (author)2008-02-10

This is super sweet, but does it really count as an instructable? I mean, I don't think I could now go out and build one of these, which is kind of the point no? I don't mean to be mean or anything, and I'll fully admit I'm an instructables free-loader and haven't loaded any instructions yet, but as cool as this is it sort of seems like just a big advert to me..which isn't really what the site is for. not that I don't want one... :) I'm just sad I can't make one from these instructions!

jesse.hensel (author)skyesidhe2008-02-10

I am sorry if these instructions seem incomplete or overly commercial. I would love to clarify anything that seems unclear in terms of the construction process. I understand, and concede that this Instructable may seem more commercial than most. However, I do not think that it is outside of the purview of "the worlds largest show and tell" to include a price tag. Additionally, I am not sure if you picked up on the fact that the commercial/advertising language in the opening page is direct parody, with phrases lifted from top mattress brands. In addition to being a fun functional object, the Man Cradle is intended to be an ironic commentary on masculinity and consumer society.

skyesidhe (author)jesse.hensel2008-02-10

i totally didn't pick up on that..thanks for the in..and hey, as long as you're cool with explaining then I think it's fine..I just wanted to put my thoughts in, but since you are good with clarifying then it isn't a problem! thanks! :)

jimhensel (author)2008-02-09

Nice job Jesse. We would all like to sleep with you. Love Uncle Jim (and the rest of your family)

Hello Kitty (author)2008-02-08

Cool! +1

sir_h_c (author)2008-02-07

I'm expecting my first child in Sept. Any chance I can get a scaled down plan? I really love the idea of a self rocking baby and I can rock him/her to sleep as well! I generally prefer hand tools except for cutting the strips...

jesse.hensel (author)sir_h_c2008-02-07

It shouldn't be too difficult to make a smaller version. Here are the steps I would use. 1. Get/make a mattress the right size. 2. Measure the diagonal dimension. 3. Draw and cut an ellipse that is larger than the diagonal dimension. You can draw an ellipse with two nails and a circle of string. You could also use a coping saw for the cut if you want to stick with hand tools. 4. Duplicate the cut ellipse on a second piece of wood. 5. Fit the two pieces together so that the centers of the ellipses meet. 6. Attach a platform for the mattress to the ellipses. For a smaller version I think two ellipses will provide enough support, the large design utilizes four. 7. Skin the outside. You don't need to use wood, many materials could be used including canvass. 8. Post an Instructable. I would love to see your version.

mstaniga (author)2008-02-05 do short people get in?

jesse.hensel (author)mstaniga2008-02-05

The shortest person at the opening who got into the cradle was about 5ft. If you were much shorter you could add a rope ladder on one side.

Lftndbt (author)jesse.hensel2008-02-07

LoL! Little person climbing up a rope ladder on the side, would be very funny indeed. :)

Lithium Rain (author)2008-02-05

It looks like a coffin...

Doctor What (author)Lithium Rain2008-02-05

I would want a coffin in my room.

Patrik (author)Doctor What2008-02-05

A coffin or a cradl e- either way, this seems perfect for a person with "issues" :-D

Doctor What (author)Patrik2008-02-06

I don't have issues... Where do you live?

Lithium Rain (author)Doctor What2008-02-05


Doctor What (author)Lithium Rain2008-02-05

I'm thinking of building one. I would need to custom build a matress or some sort of padding if I wanted to replace my bed with it. I asked for a casket for christmas this year, but they are a ton of money. I'm thinking just a pine coffin would be a little cooler, and a lot less. This is one of my projects still in blueprint phase.

I mean, don't get me wrong, it's neat, and you obviously put a lot of work into it, but it just...looks a little creepy to me. +1 though. Neat idea!

I did contemplate Queequeg's coffin from Moby Dick, however I don't think of it as "creepy".

sensoryhouse (author)2008-02-06

very cool............a true arteest!

WoodWinds (author)2008-02-05

Compliments to you on your woodworking. I like the originality and artistic delivery of your idea. When you roll to one side (and stay there) such as could happen while sleeping, after the initial rocking/teetering, does the cradle come to rest leaning toward that side? Or perhaps there is a counterbalance weight in the bottom ("the weebles wobble but they don't fall down" sort of thing) to maintain a tendency for the thing to always want to end up leveling itself out? I hope my question makes sense.

jesse.hensel (author)WoodWinds2008-02-06

The ellipse shape helps the cradle return to the central position, but in the current model it is not counter weighted. Therefore it has a tendency to self-level, but this tendency can be overridden by body placement.

grenadier (author)2008-02-05

If you jump on this bed it will roll up then knock you in the head... then you go flying through the wall.
nice idea though.

Check out my instyctable!

Transquesta (author)2008-02-05

Does this thing come standard with a beer cooler, tackle box, fish finder and outboard motor, or are those optional accessories? What about pontoons? I see a bright future for the "Man Cradle" as a bass boat. As a bed? Um, not so much. . .:-) Hey, all kidding aside, this is some really nice workmanship. I think it may lack something in the planning/conceptualization department, but the execution is top notch! "For what it is," the price isn't too bad, either.

Szech (author)2008-02-05

I don't think I could screw on that. Seriously not cool if Newton's first law is taking energy out of my motion.

jesse.hensel (author)Szech2008-02-05

I didn't make it for sex. However, if you want to buy it what you try in your own home is your business. Motion in the ocean? Rhythm?

SWV1787 (author)2008-02-05

hopefully the one to sleep in it doesn't get motion sick

jesse.hensel (author)SWV17872008-02-05

The cradle only rocks when you move, so as long as you don't roll around too much you shouldn't get motion sick.

darkmuskrat (author)2008-02-05

paint it black and purple so some emos can rock themselves to sleep (this does creep me out, but nice workmanship +1)

max53389 (author)2008-02-05


Brennn10 (author)2008-02-05

Wow this looks awesome and very well made!

Labot2001 (author)2008-02-05

very nicee hmm... it reminds me of Noah's ark for some reason..? idk

About This Instructable




Bio: Perhaps I am the heretical harbinger of the New Archaic, perhaps I just like wood.
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