Baby rattle from 1 piece of wood

In this article we create a seamless baby rattle from a single piece of wood. This is a nice present and most people will have a hard time to guess how the rattle sound got in the wood.

We start this project with a piece of firewood that has relatively straight grain.

The first step is to square up the block on the table saw to get it approximately to the size of the rattle.

We also cut it to the appropriate length.

Rough turning

We mark the center and the lower half of the rattle that later becomes the handle is turned to a cylinder on the lathe.


Now the magic happens.

We don’t want to have a visible saw line in the middle of the block so we will just use a handsaw to mark a line across the middle of the wood and then split it with the biggest chisel available.


We then mark the area we would like to hollow out. By removing two parts of a four jaw chuck we can secure the pieces and mount them on
the lathe.

With a mix of carbide and traditional woodturning tools we are now hollowing out the marked area.

By constantly checking the depth we make sure the depth matches the radius of the circle.

To create a rattle sound we throw a bunch of nuts and washers in that opening and glue the wood back together.

To be save we let the glue cure over night.

When the glue is cured the glue line is more or less invisible.

Turning the outer shape

We are then heading back to the lathe and turning the outer shape of the baby rattle. With the roughing gouge we turn a cylinder shape that we then refine with a gouge to create the handle of the rattle.


We then cut three small bands in the handle and use a wire to darken them.


Finishing starts with sanding from 80 to 320 grid.

After using sanding sealer on the piece the final finish is a coat of a beeswax, tung oil and linseed oil mixture.


After finishing most of the rattle we secure the handle in a chuck to cut the rattle free and sand the top smooth.

The remaining part at the handle is removed and the handle bottom is sanded and finished.


The baby rattle works and most people won’t guess how the rattle sound got inside.

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