Introduction: Cranky Noisemaker Toy

About: If its practical, I have no use for it!

As a grandfather I like to make toys, especially if they can make noise. It's payback for my kids :-)

So here is a little noisemaker for your kids or grandkids. You can call it a cranky noisemaker, but the sound is actually pretty pleasant, at first. It's really simple to make.

Here are a few more toys I have made in the past:

Wooden Nuts & Bolts, Twisty Toy, Toy Workbench, Wooden Spirals


Laser cutter or scroll saw

1/8" (3mm) plywood

3/8" dowel

3/4" dowel

Wood glue or CA glue

#4 wood screw

small zip-tie

Step 1: Cut Out the Parts

The cranky noisemaker is easiest to make with a laser cutter, but could be done with a scroll saw. Cut the various parts out of 1/8" plywood from the attached svg files.

The noisemaker basically looks like an old-fashioned manual hand mixer, or hand drill. You use a plastic strip (feather) to make a ratcheting sound when it strikes a rotating gear wheel.

Step 2: Assembly

The plywood parts are an 18 teeth gear, two side pieces, center spacers, a crank, and washers. In addition you use two short 3/8 inch dowels for the axle and crank handle. The axle is 3/4" long, the crank handle is 1-3/4" long.

Cut the plywood pieces on a laser cutter or scroll saw and assemble as shown in the pictures. The noisemaker is 3 layers thick. Be sure to apply glue correctly to the gear, axle (dowel), washers, and crank handle so that the crank is secured but can turn the gear freely. For this project I used thick gel-type CA glue.

Step 3: Complete the Noisemaker

The 'feather' is a small (4" long) zip-tie that is inserted into the center slot at the top so that it touches the gear teeth. When the crank is turned the feather makes a sound when hitting and releasing from the teeth. I cut off the tapered tip of the zip-tie as shown in the picture.

The feather is fixed by a #4 wood screw, and can be replaced if it breaks. The #4 screw will pinch the zip-tie to hold it in place. After attaching I trimmed off the zip-tie 'head'.

A 3/4 inch dowel - 5 inches long - is slotted 3/8" wide by 1/2" deep and glued to the noisemaker as a handle.

If necessary lubricate the gear with paste wax to make it turn easier.

Step 4: More!

The toy is simple to make and fun to play with. It can be a 'pretend' fishing reel. You can modify it by stacking two gears and feathers, or having a smaller number of irregular spaced teeth on the gear wheel to create a rhythm.