turned cherry wood bowl

Baby Rattles

These rattles are made of maple and make use of the captive ring turning technique. At shows people ask me how I get the ring on the handle. I give a long explanation how the wood has to be soaked so it will stretch and much force has to be used to squeeze it over the ball.

It is just my way of having fun with them. In practice, to make captive ring turnings I use the skew chisel to cut away under the ring more and more until it separates from the shaft. Then the free ring is taped to one side and I use the skew to clean up the shaft and makes it smooth. Then sandpaper is taped to the shaft and the ring is brought over it and held motionless while the shaft spins. This smoothes the inside of the ring.

My oldest daughter, Sarah, says that for a while this was her son’s favorite object. He spent more time with the ball in his mouth than he did spinning the ring. It does not take anything very complicated to amuse a small child. I fear we have gotten overly complex with children’s toys.