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Which wood to use for babies rattle

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Alli

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Hiya, I would like to make a babies rattle for a friends little one but I am a very concerned with wood choice and finish, especially as I can foresee the baby putting it into her mouth!

Which woods would you recommend for this type of project? I have some Maple left over, which seems quite nice when finished, but is it safe enough for little mouths?

I was also considering using food safe finish, would this be okay, or is there a better alternative?

Any advise would be really appreciated.

Cheers David
 

chipmunk

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David,
I'd suggest a fruitwood such as cherry since it's non toxic and unlikely to splinter, and an edible vegetable oil (not nut oil obviously) such as olive oil or rapeseed oil.

HTH
Jon
 

Alli

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Thanks Chipmunk.

Thanks promhandicam. If I have read the leaflet right, most of the hazzards are caused by dust during the machining of the wood. If a seasoned piece of wood was used and sanded, sealed and oiled would the effects of 'sap' still be a health issue?
 

Jonzjob

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I have been making babies rattles for about 15 years using maple, beech, box and others and so far I have had no complaints from anyone. As you said, the sheet is refering mainly to dust, sap, latex or lichens associated with a wood. You won't get any of these with seasoned oiled wood.

In fact when I first started making them I phoned the Trading Standards in the local city and spoke to the guy who had visited me to check out what I was doing, at my request, and when I told him they were sealed with sunflower oil he asked me if they would burn? Wood? Oil? Of course they will burn, if you set light to them! ., not that I said that to him :mrgreen: . He told me to hold a lit match under the rattle of 5 seconds or more and if it didn't catch fire it would be OK #-o So I did and it didn't.

These are a couple that I have made just reciently, both beech and they will be going to the new baby boy of a good friend in the next few days, as soon as he appears :mrgreen:

 

Phil Pascoe

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Maple should be o.k.- it doesn't splinter easily and it's not toxic. Tung oil is o.k. for toys. I have read that olive oil is best avoided as it can turn rancid.
 

deserter

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I always use parafin oil from a chemists on child's toys etc. it's a non toxic substance people used to use as a laxative many moons ago, so safe if chewed.
 

Jonzjob

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That should keep them going Deserter :twisted: :twisted:

We have not had olive oil go rancid on wood or in the bottle and we have some quite long, hot summers here. Although it doesn't last long in the bottle! We use it on just about everything eatable and but it from the producers 8) 8)
 

Finial

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I used all kinds of fine grain wood when I made rattles for sale but plum and other fruit woods were the most popular. I used olive oil and it was fine while fresh, never had any complaints. But I had to throw away a lot of old stock because the oil had gone rancid in the wood. Perhaps it depends on the oil, I wasn't using posh stuff.
 

cambournepete

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Jonzjob":1e7whlob said:
I have been making babies rattles for about 15 years using maple, beech, box and others and so far I have had no complaints from anyone. As you said, the sheet is refering mainly to dust, sap, latex or lichens associated with a wood. You won't get any of these with seasoned oiled wood.
That's almost exactly word-for-word what Bill Care told us at the Cambridge Woodturners meeting yesterday evening. He demoed a rattle and a rattle was the competition piece.
Bill also said he often used nut oils and had no complaints.
 

Jonzjob

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Ta Pete!! It is nice to kbow that I don't spout a load of old pony all the time :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

I really like turning rattles because they are fairly simple and so very appealing when done. They provide a delightful, safe toy for new babies and their parents think that you are some kind of star to be able to produce something so lovely.

Win, win I think is the modern idiom?
 

12345Peter

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Jonzjob":2gvh2gnn said:
I really like turning rattles because they are fairly simple and so very appealing when done. They provide a delightful, safe toy for new babies and their parents think that you are some kind of star to be able to produce something so lovely.

Win, win I think is the modern idiom?
Hi John, what do you put into the first rattle in the photo, to make it rattle? Do you glue the top on or is it threaded and glued?

Regards
 

Kalimna

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Food safe finish is probably about the safest of all - kinda says it on the tin, and it's nothing more than clear mineral oil if memory serves (not a particular aesthetically pleasing finish, but darned safe). I remember the American FWW mag did a piece on finishing for chopping boards a few years back, and they recommended not using olive for the reasons mentioned above (although several folk have not noticed a problem), but did suggest walnut oil for the reason that it will harden off unlike olive oil.
Does Danish oil not have a whole bunch of synthetic additives to enhance drying time/hardening quality?
As for wood, I don't think you can go far wrong with those mentioned already, and obviously avoid stuff like yew and laburnum.

Adam S
 

Jonzjob

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12345Peter":v96vqajg said:
Jonzjob":v96vqajg said:
I really like turning rattles because they are fairly simple and so very appealing when done. They provide a delightful, safe toy for new babies and their parents think that you are some kind of star to be able to produce something so lovely.

Win, win I think is the modern idiom?
Hi John, what do you put into the first rattle in the photo, to make it rattle? Do you glue the top on or is it threaded and glued?

Regards
I used a 5/8" turned ash ball that I had as a spare after doing my 'lazy susan'. I turned 37 and only needed 36 for it :shock: The top is glued onto a spigot on the handle using a weather proof PVA and it makes a lovely, soft rattle. They are both about 4" long. I got the idea from another thread on here, can't remember the name though. It's me age :oops:

I'm not sure where it was, but I have just read a thread on an Anglo/French forum I'm on and someone was on about worktops for a rented house. They asked the question of some professional/council set up as to what they should use for the worktops in the kitchen and they were told not to use wood!

Wood is probably the best anti-bacterial material you can get and these clowns are advising against it!
 

Mark Hancock

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cambournepete":2o3fp8kp said:
Bill also said he often used nut oils and had no complaints.
The use of nut oils is not a very good idea and I'm very surprised that Bill suggested that. How do you know that the youngster doesn't have a nut allergy?

A much better finish is no finish at all and the use of a sensible timber, close grain and dense.
 

Finial

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I think you are right about the nut oil. But they look better with a finish, and perhaps the oil might repel saliva and stop them getting too soggy when chewed. Baby oil is good, it's scented mineral oil.

Terry
 

Alli

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A big thank you very much for all your advice, I don't mind poisoning me or the girlfriend (Ummm that gives me an idea) but I wouldn't of been able forgive myself if I'd made a baby ill. I will try it in Maple and raid the kitchen cupboard for some olive oil.

I was going to try the captive rings as I have set it as a challenge to myself, but I really like Johnzjob's rattle that has the bulb that you can fill. decisions, decisions.
Thanks again
Cheers David
 

duncanh

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I usually use sycamore but have recently done a few in beech. My finish is usually Chestnut finishing oil followed by a coating of homemade beeswax/carnauba wax mix.

Have a look at this interesting post and the one 2 down from it where Terry Smart (from Chestnut). The interesting parts are...

Terry Smart":3dstkeuc said:
To be regarded as toy/child safe (the phrases are pretty much interchangeable) a coating has to comply with part 3 of the EN-71 regulation. You can read more about the test here.

We have had many of our products independently tested to this regulation and they have passed, which means they can be safely used on toys and nursery furniture and other items which a child could suck, chew, lick etc and they will suffer no ill effects.

We haven't tested all of our products - for example Lemon Oil and Friction Polish and although we are confident they would pass, to label them as toy safe would imply that we also think they are suitable (ie hardwearing enough) for toys, which we don't feel to be the case.

Curiously, we haven't tested the Food Safe Finish for this very reason; whilst it would almost certainly pass, we can't recommend it for use on toys! The other products have been tested and would, in our opinion, make a better job of protecting the item.
and

Terry Smart":3dstkeuc said:
I think I'd opt for one of our 'softer' finishes for a rattle, such as Shellac Sanding Sealer and WoodWax 22 or Hard Wax Oil or Finishing Oil.
My reasoning is that these finishes are flexible enough to 'give' slightly if bitten (or gummed!) on. It's not that I'm worried about the other coatings chipping off (that really shouldn't happen under these circumstances) but a flexible coating should be longer lasting and shouldn't harm tender gums.
Hard Wax Oil would be a good option.
.

On a different note, when I made my first rattles I posted a photo on a US forum and the immediate feedback was that they wouldn't pass US safety standards because the end of the handles were narrow with a small ball on the end. The issue was that they could fit down a babies throat and pose a choaking hazard. As far as I can tell there's no similar standard in the UK but to be on the safe side I now use various designs of flaired base. This has the advantage of allowing the rattle to be stood up on one end for storage.

My original rattles...


One of my curent designs
rattle6.jpg
 

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Jonzjob

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Dead easy David, as OH has just said. Make both of them and give the child 2 toys 8) 8)

I made myself a tool for doing the captive rings and unlike the ones you buy you can make any size you want to. It's was an old 1 1/4" firmer edge chisle. It doesn't have to be particularly strong because it doesn't remove much wood. Looks a bit yuk, but works very well and hasn't even been sharpened for ages. It hasn't needed it..

 

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