About two months ago we had a beautiful baby girl. She is super awesome!! Anyway, when we had our son he slept in a bassinet by our bed but that meant that every time he would get up I would get out of bed, grab him and hand him to my wife. So before we had our little angel, I decided to make a co-sleeper so we could just reach over to her when she cried.
Because I have this need to make every project harder to prove some sort of point, I made it all out of pallets... The turned legs, the steam bent top, the smooth baby safe rail slots, all pallet wood. She has been using this co-sleeper sense we brought her home and it works great. Thanks so much for looking and enjoy!!
Step 1: What You Need
A bunch off pallet boards
A LOT of patiences
Step 2: Disassemble Those Pallets
If you have ever worked with pallets you know the getting the wood is always the hardest part of the project. There are many different ways to take apart a pallet. Also there are a ton of good instructables about that very subject. All the different methods aside, I use a sawzall in the disassembling process. I simply cut through the nails with a metal blade and they fall right off. I can have one completely apart in about 3 mins. This is my method but you can choose whatever works best for you.
Make sure that you take out all of the nails before preparing the wood. I used 18 pallet boards for this project. Yup it's quite a lot of pallet boards but I know you can do it. Find your favorite pallet destroyer tool and we can get on to the next step
Step 3: You Know Its All About That Base
To start out I made a frame out of some scrap 2x4. I made a 32" by 20" frame. Next I cut pallet boards to fit the top. I wanted all the boards to sit flush on the frame so I had to rip one of them to get the width that I wanted.
I nailed all the the boards on with a brad nailer and the frame is done as easy as that.
Step 4: Prepare Your Boards
Ok I can see the comments coming now... You should never put pallet board through a planer because you don't know what could be on it, wires sand and misc. You WILL ruin your blades...
Ok so I know it's not as safe to plane pallet boards as a boards that you bought but here's the thing... If you want to use pallets to make something other than coat racks and coffee tables, then you going to have to go for it. I have been using my planer for pallet for years and they still cut like butter. Sorry for the rant but there it is.
Anyway, run your board through the planer and jointer to get a smooth square surface. The boards do not all have to be the same thickness. Just run them through enough that they have two smooth sides. You'll need about 15 smooth boards.
Step 5: Let Make Some Legs
So this is a new one for me... As I go through this step please know that this is the first time that I have ever used a lathe. This is what worked well for me but I was learning as I went so I won't pretend to be a master at turning a leg. That being said...
I took 4 of the planed boards and glued them together. Apply a generous amount of wood glue and clamp the boards together.
You want to start off with a square stock of wood when to start turning. I squared the board with the table saw and then ran each side through the jointer to make everything smooth.
I do not yet have a lathe so I had to go to my grandpas shop. Start by rounding the board and then carve style as you go. I know that is not a great explanation but that's all I've got. I knew the general look that I wanted and I just kind of winged it. Play Around with the shape until you get something that you like. Make two matching legs and you're on to the next step.
Step 6: Bend Some Wood
This was another first for me and it was a lot of fun. I wanted a curved top for this co-sleeper and if I wanted to use pallet boards I had to steam bend it. The important part here is to do all of the prep work before you steam the wood because you won't be able to do it after its bent.
I started by cutting one of the pallets into and inch and 3/4 strip. Then I routed the edges and a track out of the middle that the other slats would slide in to. I put it into the steamer box and let it sit for about 45mins. I wasn't sure how long to let it go for but this seemed to work well.
I made a form out of a 2x10. I cut a very simple curve into the board and when it came out of the steamer box it bent right around the form. I clamped it up and let it sit for about 3 days. There was a little bit of spring back when I took it out of the form but not bad at all. It was really a very cool experience.
Step 7: The Slats
I cut all of the slats to the same width as the top rail. This way you get two slats out of every pallet board. The I ran them through the router to round the edges so it would be baby safe. I gave a final sanding to all of the pieces to remove any splinters and then started assembly.
I did not do the assembly very scientifically. I started with the middle and the outside slats and then just kind of eyeballed the rest. I know that's not the way to do it but when I was making this is was like -21 degrees and I wanted to get it done. I used a finishing nailer to nail the slats to the base and through the top. After I did the back and the sides I nailed those together as well.
Step 8: Paint and Pad
If you've gotten this far then you're just about done. I put two coats of white paint on just to make it match our bed. The pad was just a piece of foam bought from a craft store and then covered with some fabric that my wife liked.
Step 9: Slap It Together
Sorry I forgot to take pic of the last step. It is not that hard and the good people of instructables will figure it out. I used two full pallet boards and attached them to the bottom of the frame. Those stick out of the front and go under your mattress to hold the co-sleeper up. Then I attached the legs with a few screws. And there you have it. A sturdy and beautiful addition to any bed room. Like I said, so far it has worked very well and our little girl seems to like it. Thank you so much for reading my instrutable and I hope you enjoyed it.