Ratchet Rattle – This is the perhaps the noisiest and the most effective rattle to make. You have probably been to football and other sport’s matches and you have heard the noise these aristocrats of the rattle can make. They can are most expensive to buy but there is no reason why you should not make one of these rattles, similar to the illustration.
The principal of this rattle is based on the wooden tongue clapping over a ratchet wheel, when the rattle is being waved round by the handle. First of all, make the ratchet wheel from wood, for this is the all important part to construct. Get a piece of round, hard wood measuring about I ½ in. in diameter and saw this off to I ½ in. deep. Drill a hole through the centre to take the handle spindle, about ¼ in. in diameter. Now mark I6 points on this as shown in the diagram, do this with a pencil. Next, file notches as shown, using a triangular file and your ratchet is ready, after a little gentle sandpapering, to take off the rough bits.
The framework of the rattle should now be made and this is taken from two pieces of 3/8 in. wood, 2 in. wide, tapering to about I ½ in. as illustrated, with ¼ in. hole drilled to take the ratchet spindle. You will need a block of I ½ in. square wood to hold the tongue, and this has to be slotted so that the tongue can be held at an angle. Make the tongue from plywood I ½ in. wide and nicely rounded at the end that touches the ratchet. The length of the tongue will depend on experiment and the diagram make this point clear. See that the end of the tongue fits on the teeth of the ratchet.
Make the handle from a piece of broomstick about 4 in. long and shaped as shown in the diagram. Drill a hole ¼ in. diameter through the wood to take a ¼ in. steel spindle, having a threaded top to take a securing nut. Make a 1/16 in. hole through the spindle and wooden handle and push a piece of steel through this – see the diagram. Now push the spindle through the hole in the base and fasten the ratchet to this, using cement to hold it rigid. The upper part of the spindle will now protrude through the top hole showing the thread. Put on a washer and a nut to secure. See that the holes in the wood allow the spindle to turn freely. Assemble the tongue in the block and secure it with two nails as illustrated in the diagram. The block is then put in position and firmly held with four screws. Your rattle should now look like the drawing, with the tongue resting on the ratchet. When the rattle is swung round, it gives out a very loud clicking noise and the faster you swing it, so the noise becomes a continuous roar of loud clicking and snapping.
Give the rattle a good coating of brightly coloured enamel paint and varnish afterwards.