My first attempt at a baby rattle was nine months ago–the first week-end after my granddaughter was born on March 2. I used a piece of boxelder burl that was sent to me in a wood exchange. This is basically a hollow sphere with a spindle shaft attached. The sphere was split with a parting tool and the hemispheres hollowed and filled with plastic beads approximately 1/4″ in size. Allowances should be made for the loss in the middle when the rabet is created on one of the hemispheres. The join is disguised in the three center grooves. From earlier efforts at resealed hollow forms, I knew that filling the interior volume was not productive, as the sound is lessened when the void is nearly full. There are no strict guidelines for quantity, but filling the void to about 30-40% seems to work well. Titebond II glue was used at the join. After applying pressure for about 30 minutes work on the piece can be continued, but allow for drying overnight. I started with a tenon on both ends of a cylinder, but eventually these will have to be removed during final shaping, and it helps to have some cushioning on the jaws of a chuck to minimize clamping marks. I fashioned a captive ring (my first) using a spare screwdriver ground to undercut what started as a tall bead. Finish was with the Beal buff system after some wipe-on Watco Danish (clear).
The burning was patterned after a Kukui Nut Tree leaf.
Granddaughter Kira saw the rattle for the first time when she was 7 months old.
Fast forward to October, 2012. I received a couple of requests to make more rattles, and this is the result:
Woods are, l. to r.: Maple, Longan, & Olive.