Captive ring baby rattle

Having built a lathe, I find myself looking for projects that can be done on one. That's the catch with lathes, you have to look for suitable projects.

I was thinking of making a baby rattle with some captive rings, so I experimented with turning rings. These rings aren't captive, but I turned them right on the workpiece as though they were.

A bigger workpiece, mounted on the lathe. Adding a drop of oil against the dead center to make it turn without burning.

Turning it round. I have an air cleaner that I built recently running to take care of some of the airborne dust.

The way chips are thrown in all directions from a lathe, trying to suck them up with a dust collector would take a hurricane of airflow, or a hose mounted directly to the chisel. I figure, let the chips fall where they may and try to clean the air as I go.

Workpiece turned round. Unfortunately, it has a bit of rot in it (or as some like to call it, "spalting"). I'll try to avoid that for the most part, so I'll turn the rings on the left side.

Turning the first ring. But I can't quite separate it in place with regular turning tools.

So I made a sort of "hook chisel" using some very hard steel wire from a clip that was used to fasten cords together around shipping crates.

I didn't bother making a handle for this temporary tool, so I just clamped it firmly in a pair of vise grips (locking pliers). Here I'm hooking under the ring to turn it free.
Before separating the ring completely, I do some sanding on it. Once it's separated, I'll have to do the rest of the sanding by hand.

I then use some rubber bands to hold the ring off to one side and turn another ring.

With the second ring separated, I tied both rings to the left to finish the area on the right, then tied them to the right to finish under them on the left side.

Finally, I tied one to either side to finish the area in between.

After that I shape the rest of the handle and mostly cut it off with a parting tool.

I didn't use the parting tool on the top of the rattle because I was very close to the drive prongs and was afraid I might hit those. So I cut it off on the table saw.

Then trimming the insides of the rings with a carving knife

A bit of sanding. This technique (at left) looks cool, but wasn't actually that effective. I had more success just grabbing the rings with one hand and sanding with the other.

After varnishing, introducing baby to the rattle.

She's not quite at the age of banging things against hard surfaces yet. She examined it carefully, but didn't rattle it much. Oh well. My main motivation wasn't so much a toy for her as it was to have a challenge on the lathe. I could make a very similar rattle without a lathe (but not from one piece) in less time.

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