Welcome to Woodworking for Mere Mortals.

Free woodworking plans. Easy woodworking projects. Fun woodworking videos. Woodworking for Mere Mortals.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Make a really loud noisemaker

A New Year's Eve project

I'm not really sure why we make a lot of noise to ring in the new year. Somewhere I seem to recall it has something do do with scaring away evil spirits. At any rate, here is a simple project you can easily put together in a couple of hours and I guarantee: it's noisy!


You've probably seen these before. It's a simple gear that ratchets against a thin strip of wood to make a loud noise as you spin it. It is known as a gragger, used in the Jewish festival of Purim, as well as a watchman's rattle, to be used as an alarm.



It's only a rattle

In Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass, Alice encounters Tweedledum who is angry because Tweedledee has broken his rattle. After examining the object, Alice remarks, "It's only a rattle...not a rattlesnake, you know." Alice was always quick with a quip.

In both of his Alice books Carroll employed John Tenniel, a brilliant, if somewhat temperamental artist to provide illustrations. Tenniel was a master at carefully reading Carroll's text and provided amazingly detailed drawings. In this scene we can see Tweedledum's rattle on the ground. He's angry, Alice is attempting to console him over his loss, and Tweedledee is hiding under an umbrella.


The White Knight

Interestingly, the White Knight (who is forever falling off his horse) can also be seen with a watchman's rattle in Tenniel's illustration in the frontispiece of the book. (Look carefully on the front of his horse. Click through for a larger image.) Both the red and the white knights move quite erratically throughout the story: naturally, they are chess pieces and well, the knights do move in an odd manner in the game. I suspect the White Knight would often need to signal for help using his rattle, considering how often he fell from his mount!


John Tenniel also drew cartoons for Punch Magazine. Here's a great picture of a rattle from the Jan. 19, 1856 issue. I like that the body of the rattle appears to be one piece, so this is the style I wanted to copy in my design. It's yours to guess what's going on in the illustration. I tend to think the fellow is frightening a flock of birds to take air before firing upon them. Or perhaps he's acting as a scarecrow to protect a crop.


Well, that was a long way to go to get to my rattle. I made it out of a piece of oak and three thicknesses of dowels. Enjoy the video and the project!


17 comments:

  1. This is the most annoying gift anyone could make in their shop...seriously. And that's precisely why I'm gonna make a bunch of them!!

    As always awesome video and what a cool project.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I will be making one of them tonight... let's see how fast i can be sleeping on the couch tonight...lol...oh its the little things that amuse me so...ha ha!! Cool Project !!

    ReplyDelete
  3. awesomeness, total awesomeness...

    ReplyDelete
  4. Cool, I'm going to make them for my grandkids, that's just payback for my own kids :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. My little bro now has 6 kids with his new wife, all under 10(3 his 3 hers). I think I'll make 6.
    HA ha ha haaa bad uncle.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You are all evil, evil people. Eeevill, I say! Well, to be honest, my wife has officially banned my rattle from our house. It is seriously loud! Someone did mention that you might add more teeth in the gear to make it even more annoying....

    ReplyDelete
  7. You are amazing Man........ Merry Christmas and
    A Happy New Year
    Bill Martin
    Edinburgh

    ReplyDelete
  8. You are now my favourite woodworking blogger. Please never take this to the professional level. Keep doing what you are doing. If you have to get sponsors, that's understandable, maybe desirable. But please don't ever become so cool and professional that you stop being who you are and doing what you are doing. There is no other RSS feed that gets my attention so quickly as yours! (Now, I have four grandchildren. Each of them have a parent that irritated the living daylights out of me when they were kids. Four noisemakers coming up. Time to get my revenge.) P.S. Not that you aren't cool and professional now!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This is something the "Worlds Greatest Grandpa" would build for their grand kids... to keep at their house!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. Gracias amigo por todos tus vídeos. Una gran ayuda para mi todos tus proyectos. Feliz Navidad y mejor año nuevo. Que la salud abunde en tu vida, Que la felicidad y tu contagiosa alegría no te falte nunca. Un abrazo desde Argentina.

    ReplyDelete
  11. hmmm... easily modifiable for mounting to the front wheel of a bicycle... who needs playing cards?!?!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Great job. What size drill bits and router bit did you use?

    ReplyDelete
  13. truly evil sire what what about puting the read board in a box frame would change the tone abit I would think

    ReplyDelete
  14. Great project! My kids love them... and my wife hates them!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This project will be a good thing to chear on my kids soccer team, I'll a bunch, hope the other team croud don't kick us out of the field. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. I just used your technique to make a knob on the end of a bolt, rather than a noisemaker gear. Epoxied a nut into a countersink and it works great. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Has anyone tried running one with a cordless drill?

    ReplyDelete