Of all the toys I have made, these baby rattles are perhaps the most fun. Each rattle is made from five 1/8 wooden planks. This project os small enough to allow me to use scraps and cut offs.
Step 1. Cherry, maple, walnut and other fruitwoods are re-sawn and planed to thickness.
Step 2. Three of rhe pieces are glued in alternating species and dried.
Step 3. A 1-5/8 inch hole is drilled through all 3 pieces.
Step 4. The final two pieces are glued and prepared for clamping. Prior to clamping the cavity created by the hole has a small amount of seeds installed to make the sound. (I have experimented with popcorn, rice, dried peas, and smaller seeds such as celery seed. The small seeds produce a soft soothing sound while popcorn produces a louder playful sound.)
Step 5. Each stacked blank is cut to a rough shape on my band saw and prepared to be turned on the lathe.
Step 6. The fun part. The final shape is achieved by turning them on the lathe. I allow the wood to speak to me. I have no planned concept when I start. I will caution you to be careful. The blanks are 5/8 × 2-1/2 inches and starting slow is essential.
Step 7. The rattle is sanded while on the lathe using 320 grit and finished with a blend of beeswax and food grade oil to achieve a splinter free, baby safe surface.
I offer clients the option fof laser engraving with D.O.B., Name, or Monogram and a keepsake matching box.
To date I have made more than 26 rattles with no two the same.
The real joy comes from receiving photos of happy babies with rattle in hand.