Turning a baby's rattle with loose rings
A baby's rattle with loose rings isn't the first project to make when starting woodturning, but it isn't as difficult as it might look. Here is the method I use:
You start by finding a suitable piece of wood. It must be without knots and from a nontoxic and odourless wood species. It could be beech, ash or birch, and NOT for example yew, laburnum, thuja and cypress.
1. The blank is turned round and a tenon for mounting in a scroll chuck is made in the headstock end. If the scroll can take a square blank, it can be mounted in the scroll chuck from the beginning. You can also turn the whole project between centres if you find that more convenient or you have no scroll chuck.
2. The blank is mounted in the scroll chuck and leveled off. The end i rounded. A recess is turned close to the end and another a little further down to define the first ring. It can be a little difficult to do because the recess must not take up too much space. I usually use a small bowl gouge or a small spindle gouge.
The outher side of the ring is rounded - remember to keep the bevel in contact with the wood! Then it is sanded.
3. Now the ring has to be turned free. This is done with a special hook tool. You can buy such a tool or make it yourself from an old screwdriver or the like that is bent in shape and sharpened.
The hook is used as a scraping tool. The best result is achieved if the hook tool is held against the ring as if it had bevel contact. The hook is used to turn almost half way under the ring from each side. Make slightly more space under the ring than necessary for the tool to get through.
The side of the ring and what can be reached of its underside is sanded before the ring is loose..
4. The ring is turned loose and more rings are made in the same way.
5. Now the inner part of the rattle under the rings is turned. It isn't easy because the rings get into the way. I hold the rings in one end with the one hand while I turn the other end and vice versa. A small bowl gouge with a steep bevel is good here
6. Now only the handle remains. It shouldn't be a problem if you have made the first part.
You are welcome to send me an email if you have comments, corrections or additions.