I have built several cradles for friends and family who were expecting. As long as I have been able to build from wood species that are common, no problems. Recently one of my best friends found out that he and his wife were expecting. So we all went to a local lumberyard that specialized in hardwoods and they fell in love with the South American Walnut stock there. We bought the wood and I got started.
The problem is that the project calls for: 7/16"X11" dowels (for the rails), 1.5" dia. (drawer pulls), and buttons and plugs. I can't find any of these that match the color of the walnut we bought.
So, here are my questions: 1. I do not have a lathe, so turning my own dowels is out. I called a local wood turning company (the only one in the phone book) who wanted $10.50/dowel. I need 30. Ouch. Does anyone know of a rental company that would rent me a lathe in the Atlanta Area (Home Depot and Lowe's both did not have one) or know of a woodworker with a big heart in the Atlanta area who might turn these for a better price, or know of a way that I can accomplish this without a lathe. I've read about pounding through a metal opening slightly larger than the desired dia. but is this practical? Is an 11" dowel too long for this process? Any other ideas?
2. I have the same "lack of a lathe" for the drawer pulls (which actually act as decoration) more that anything. I though about attempting to hand carve these, but fear they will cause me hours of displeasure only to look like crap.
3. The fasteners are covered (normally) by wooden 3/8" mushroom buttons, or 3/8" plugs. Seems like I've seen a tool/jig at some time in my travels that allows one to create their own buttons and plugs. Am I off my rocker or does this tool/jig exist? Any creative ways of doing this?
These really are good folks that I am building the cradle for, but unfortunately I can't afford to buy my own lathe right now. So, please don't just tell me I need one. I know.
Thanks in advance for your help,