Thor Mjolnir Rattle

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About: I am a young engineer who enjoys making and restoring whatever I can in my free time. I like the challenge of making new things with the tools I have available.

My wife and I both love the marvel moves and now that we have a baby I wanted to impart some of our nerdom into their toys. And why buy something when you can make something unique just for them. This led me to create a scaled down version of Mjolnir that was designed to be a rattle.

Step 1: Materials and Concerns

The main concern about making something for a baby is to make sure that it will not hurt the baby with the materials that you choose. With this project you will want to make sure the wood, glue, rattle fill, and finish are all materials that you are comfortable with a baby putting in their mouth.

Wood: From what I could find, woods are mostly a problem if you breath in the dust of some but I wanted to be safe anyways. I couldn't find any concerns with Maple but there was a little concern from some people online about Walnut. I found a lot of baby items made out of walnut so I figured it shouldn't be a problem, I'll just keep a watchful eye to make sure there is no problem.

Glue: Look at the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for the glue you plan on using just to double check there are no side effects if ingested. Titebond Original is safe if ingested.

Fill: The fill shouldn't ever leak out but just in case you will want to make sure that if it is swallowed it won't be a problem. Rice is a safe bet but if you want something louder and use plastic or metal just make sure its a nontoxic plastic or it does not contain lead. I used a mix of rice with bb's added to increase the noise. The bb's are copper plated steel so there is no poison concern and they would just pass right through.

Finish: Since this is the coating covering everything, this is the most important to make sure it is safe. Look for any food safe finishes as these are designed to be safe if ingested. I had some mineral oil laying around that I bought for my cutting board so that is what I used.

Step 2: Design

This design was based off of the wood that I had on hand. It was all 3/4 inch thick so that is what drove the size of the rattle. I then modeled it to confirm the angles needed to make it look correct. This is going to be a simplified version of the hammer as I don't have a good way to add all the details well. To somewhat match the colors of the hammer, I am going to use walnut to give it a dark handle and maple for the head.

Step 3: Making the Head Shape

The Head was designed to be three pieces of maple stacked to create a 2.25 x 2.25 x 4 inch block. I used my table saw to cut these to shape but you can use whatever you have.

Step 4: Handle

To create the Handle, I cut the piece of walnut so that it was a 0.75 x 0.75 inches and at least 6 inches long. I then used my wood lathe to turn it into a cylinder. Mjolnir has some ribs on the handle so I wanted to do my best to partially recreate those by adding grooves while it was on my lathe. It won't have the same two colors as the movie version but I think it gives it a similar but simplified look. Mjolnir also has a silver cap on the end of the handle and to partially create this I glued on a thin piece of maple that I sanded down to match the handle diameter.

Step 5: Making It Rattle

To make this a rattle, it needed to have an open space to house the fill. Because this was three pieces of wood, all I needed to do was hollow out the center piece of wood and then it would all be contained when glued together. To do this, I just drilled three 1 inch holes and then used a chisel to clean up the pocket. I was using a spade bit that was self driving so I had to pre-drill holes so that it wouldn't pull in too quickly. This also allowed me to drill from both sides to prevent blowout.

Now to determine what to put in the rattle. You could essentially use whatever you want as long as it sounds good to you and you make sure it's safe for a baby. I tried both bb's and rice. The rice was too quite and the bb's were too loud/metallic sounding so I used a combination of the both of them. This gave me a sound I liked.

Now that you decided on the fill, it is time to glue it together. I glued one side first, when that was dry I added the fill and then glued on the other piece making sure to keep that piece facing up so that the fill would not come into contact with any glue that may have seeped out when clamped.

Step 6: Shaping the Head

This step is the reason that I made a model of the hammer. I determined that the angles on the end of the hammer were 25 degrees and 0.5 inches tall. After making the first angles, I decided to stop there even though I modeled in the other angles that the movie hammer has. I thought it looked good just like this and it kept it looking more like Thor's hammer in the comics. Now that the angles were cut, I just sanded it all down to round over the sharp edges and remove any saw marks.

Step 7: Attach the Handle

The Head and Handle are both now complete so it is time to attach them together. I just drilled a 5/8 inch hole in the bottom of the hammer to fit the handle because that is the diameter handle came out as. It didn't sit very tight so I made a small wooden pin to better hold the pieces together.

Step 8: Add Finish

Now that it is all glued together, the last step is to apply your finish. As I mentioned before, I used mineral oil because that is what I had on hand but you can use whatever food safe finish you would like.

Step 9: Complete

Now just let the baby that you deem worthy play with this mighty rattle. Some might say this is a tad large for a rattle but if you expect them to be like Thor then you can't give them some dinky little rattle.

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    32 Discussions

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    DrFJMabry

    11 days ago on Introduction

    Walnut and oak are NOT safe choices for a child's toy. Urine on walnut can result in chemicals that have been known to kill horses. Allergic and sedative effects are known negative outcomes. Look for woods used for cutting boards. Obviously any paint that might contain lead is inappropriate.

    Dr. Frank Mabry
    Associate Professor
    D/EECS, USMA
    West Point, New York

    3 replies
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    DrFJMabryDrFJMabry

    Reply 10 days ago

    http://veterinaryteam.dvm360.com/top-5-trees-poisonous-large-animals

    Remember secondary effects from toxic wood are seldom documented. I was surprised many years ago when developing a database for forensic evidence of toxic effects of trace elements. The devil is in the details.

    My old saying for my students:
    "In the grand scheme of things there isn't (until we suffer the unforseen consequences)!"
    Dr. Mabry

    I'm a little confused. Your link and everything else I could find is saying that walnut is toxic only to horses and they don't know what exactly is causing it. The only possible toxicity to humans stated is possible allergic reactions to the sawdust or sap. If it only effect horses then why would it be a concern for humans?

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    Can you provide a link about the walnut wood? I did not find anything about this in my research. I chose to use walnut and maple because I found that they are commonly used and recommended for cutting boards.

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    JohnD164

    2 months ago

    so you made a rock hard chunk of wood a baby passifier .. ehh what can go wrong.. oh ill tell you it smashes its face with it... seeing how babies skulls are soft.. great idea.... sorry just stating the obviouse..

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    quixotiCfluXJohnD164

    Reply 7 weeks ago

    I'm just gonna leave totally 100% safe looking vintage metal Victorian-era rattles from eBay right here.
    :)

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    drew02520982JohnD164

    Reply 2 months ago

    Remember...only those that are worthy can lift the hammer

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    IJustLikeMakingThingsJohnD164

    Reply 2 months ago

    It is just as hard and heavy as many plastic and wood baby toys currently available. You just have to know when to give your kid a toy they can handle.

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    quixotiCfluX

    7 weeks ago

    I think this is awesome and I wouldn't worry about the comments about injuries, between @TheShopTeacher thousands of years ago and today, we humans gave plenty of hard, wooden rattles to our babies, and it all turned out okay.

    One question about the insides, though. (minimal usage aside) I'm worried that you've accidentally created a rice-flour grinder using both BBs and rice grains?

    1 reply

    I thought about this too afterwards and it probably wasn't the best decision. But the sound comes mainly from the BB's. The rice just dampened the sound. I'm guessing the sound profile will probably change over time as the rice gets smaller and smaller. Worst case, I just have to make another.

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    ruudcreates

    2 months ago

    I need this!! If the baby doesn't like it, I will use it myself :)

    4 replies

    I'm glad you liked it. After I saw how cool it turned out, I might make another just as a paper weight for my desk.

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    I just started restoring an old Lathe that I got from my grandpa but if I have some time to make another then I'll message you about selling it.

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    Please do, it's such a beautiful piece

    I, unfortunately lack the space and skill, but not the interest. My girlfriend has a a friend whose father has/had a woodworking shop....the tools have sat idle for years as he won't let anyone touch them

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    The Shop Teacher

    2 months ago

    Thank you for the inspiration. I scaled it down a bit and used beans inside. I’m sure everyone will get bonked but we’ve raised kids for thousands of years before soft fabric toys and somehow we're still here as a species. Thanks again.

    CB9D6E50-24B2-47B0-BD02-13F0C531E8E9.jpegF7D22288-6190-494A-82D9-2EC6C4FC315C.jpeg
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    stealthatron

    2 months ago on Introduction

    This is really really awes, don't get me wrong.. but what happens when, upon being strong enough to actually lift the thing, baby cracks him or her self in the face? Well, it's actually rhetorical because I think we all know what happens (the worst sound imaginable - la sola)..

    ...I think it's worthy of the pool room wall at any rate so. Sorry bubba but you'll be big enough to make one and not give it to your kids one day. =)

    1 reply

    Because the head is hollow it doesn't weigh that much. It's lighter than a cell phone and the same weight as many of the baby toys we have. I think it looks so big because my baby was only 2 months old in the picture and is on the small size. My wife, who is very careful about such things, has no concerns with the size or weight if this rattle. This could also be scaled down even further for those who want to make it even lighter.