2 more projects - engraving and a baby rattle

I picked up some mini cutters and gave them a try this evening. I used a .03" and tried a few different fonts. Not all of them worked out, but I’m still very pleased

Next up was a project I have been wanting to try since the day I discovered the nomad on kickstarter - a baby rattle. I used easel to make the elephant shape and I added a pocket to each half. The idea was to put some steel bbs in the pocket and glue the 2 pieces together. She turned out pretty slick

I was using 0.5" cherry hardwood and I think it’s a little too thick for little hands. Next time I may use 0.35" stock so the combined thickness will be 0.7".

Here it is in action. Nice loud rattle sound!

I love this freaking nomad


Awww, tha is sweet. Not to mention cute. And a nice-looking piece of work. I’m guessing you made one elephant, then copied&flipped to get the “mirror image” pieces?

And that surface finish is lovely! Did that come right out of the Nomad, or did you have to do finishing work on it?

One wet-blanket question: what happens when the baby chews on it? I’m sure you used a non-toxic glue, but I’ve been amazed in the past at babies’ ability to chew through things when they start teething (lamp cords (zap!) and chicken drumstick bones, for example). Might the wood pose any splinter risk after prolonged gnawing?

Thanks @SkyeFire!

I had 8x8x0.5" cherry hardwood blanks made by a friend of mine, and he ran them through his planar - so the flat surfaces were already nice. The curved edges came out nice from the nomad, but I sanded them to make the joint between the pieces flush and to clean up any remaining glue.

And the hardwood has a very high number on the janka hardness scale, so it’s unlikely little ones would be able to bite through it. And the hard woods are good for not splintering easily, and if they did, it would be noticeable that it was going to happen as opposed to happening immediately. But of course we still need to keep an eye on them just in case.

I wrote a piece about wood toys if you’re interested in learning more


Cool, thanks. I’m a lumber ignoramus, so that’ll come in handy.

Guess I’m just a tad paranoid after seeing that lamp cord get chewed through by a teether, many years ago… when it was plugged in. She bit it, it bit back… No lasting harm done, though, except to our nerves.

Good stuff as usual Darren! :blush:

If you don’t mind posting your settings and maybe some screenshots of what your process went through, I’m sure the community would appreciate it!


That’s really nice work! How did you manage to cut it without the cutter hitting the sides of the stock? Whenever i try something similar like this, the cutter gets either stuck or hits the sides of the wood.

Well the cutter did touch and chatter on the sides of the stock from around .4 to .5".

I also made sure the cutter had enough length coming from the collet so it would cut all the way through the wood without hitting the collet

Just fyi - the stock I used was 0.5" thick which was no problem for the .125 cutter. I did it in 2 pieces and glued them together.

Thanks for sharing this Darren, another great project.