Introduction: Rainstick

About: I started woodworking with my grandfather as a young boy. I continued woodworking through high school, and started woodturning after seeing a turned project in a friends shop. Some of my fondest memories are...

I made this Rainstick out of Cherry, and Walnut. It's 28" x 3"

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Step 1: Cherry

I started with two pieces of Cherry 13 1/2" x 3 1/4". Mark center on each end, and mount on the lathe between centers. I used a roughing gouge to true it up, and then put a tenon on each end.

Step 2: Drilling Out the Tube

Using the tenons you made on each end mount it on the lathe with a 4 jaw chuck. I used a 2" forstner bit to drill out the tube. Drill about half way down the tube, and then flip it around mount it in the chuck and drill out the other end.

Step 3: Bring Down the Wall Thickness

After the center is hollow remount it to the lathe between centers, and bring down the wall thickness. I used a skew chisel to do this. The finished wall thickness should be 1/4" or a little less.

Step 4: Marking the Tubes

Mark both tubes with a pencil. I marked them 1/2" apart, but you can very this to make a defiant pattern too. Next use the indexer on the lathe to mark each 1/2" line. I rotated the indexer every 4th hole, and work your way down the tube. This will create a spiral effect.

Step 5: Drill the Tube

Use a 1/4" brad point bit to drill all the holes. A brad point bit is best for this, the point will help it stay on track. After you have all the holes are drilled, lightly sand the tube to remove any tear outs from drilling.

Step 6: Installing the Dowles

Cut the dowels so they just stand a little proud when installed. Mine worked out to be 2" I cut 21 for each tube I used 1/4" Walnut dowel's. Use a mallet to install all the dowels part way in before gluing. Put a small amount of glue on the top of each dowel, and tap in with a mallet. After the glue dries, sand the dowels flush.

Step 7: Handle and End Caps

I started with a piece of Walnut 8" x 4". Mark center on each end, and mount it on the lathe between centers. I used a roughing gouge to being down the diameter to 3 1/2". Put a tenon on the tail stock end, and mark the length you would like with a pencil, I made mine 4". Use a parting tool to part the two pieces in half.

Step 8: Clean Out the Inside of the Handle

Mount the handle in the chuck using the tenon you made. Clean out a little bit of the inside, and make a recess with a parting tool for the tenon on the tube. You will use this recess to remount the handle, and clean out the other end. Depending on the size of the beans will determine the diameter of the hole you dill in the center. I went with one inch. Drill 3/4 of the way in, and taper the inside like a funnel.

Step 9: Shape the Outside of the Handle

Shape the outside of the handle anyway you like, just don't go in to far in the center. Remount the piece in the chuck using the tenon you made, and clean out the other end. Repeating the same process. Now you're ready to sand, and finish.

Step 10: Making the End Caps

Mount the other half of the Walnut in the chuck, and cut a recess for the tube. Shape the outside of the cap, and part off.

Step 11: Remount the Cap

Remount the cap using the recess you made for the tube. Shape the top, and sand. I sanded up to 400, and added a couple detail grooves with a the tip of a skew chisel. Then finish sanding with 600.

Step 12: Start Glue Up

Put a small bit of glue all the way around one of the caps, and attach to one of the tubes. Add glue to both ends of the handle, and glue to both tubes.

Step 13: Beans and Rice!

After the glue dries add the beans and rice. I added three different sizes to try and get different sounds. Now you can glue on the second cap, and let dry completely.

Step 14: Finish

After the cap has completely dried apply desired finish. I used Howard Beeswax and Orange oil.

Step 15: Now You're Ready to Play!

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    4 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Awsome I love your projects

    Carl Jacobson
    Carl Jacobson

    Reply 3 years ago

    Thank you very much!


    3 years ago

    Wow! A gorgeous piece of fun art.