Do you remember the rain stick I showed you the other day? I was fascinated by the simplicity and cleverness of its design and decided to make one myself using simple and cheap materials. I thought that you may like to make one as well, a little project you to do.
I made a short video showing you the process.
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In this post I have pictured everything you need and have explained the project using photos i took at different stages of making the Rain Stick, together with a short explanatory description.
I hope you like the idea of doing a project together with your dad,
I wish this to inspire you to make a Rain Stick for yourself, ' as well :-) Good luck!
Let Us Start:
First thing we need is a hollow tube. I have chosen one of the tubes that stationary shops sell for carrying, storing or posting maps or documents.
These tubes are cheap, have a cap at either end, which we can use it once our stick is ready. They are available in different length and width and can easily be pierced but yet they are strong enough not to fall apart or change shape during our project.
Alternatively you can use the tube from the middle of cooking foil or cling film, or any other hollow tube, which is strong enough not to change shape while you make holes trough it. We need to make lots of holes in the tube; therefore it is important to choose a tube that is strong, yet easy to make holes in.
As we pass wooden skews trough the tube and glue them in the tube regains the strength it lost when we made holes in it. It is therefore best to work is sections, passing a few skews in before making more holes. .
I made an experimental RainStick with the tube from the middle of a kitchen foil, this is the short one you will see in one of the later pictures.
we need some wooden skews, I used the bamboo skews, the one which is often used for barbeques and cooking. You can alternatively use toothpick, but then you will have to cut both sides rather than only one side. Do not choose hard wood skews, as they will be more difficult to cut.
We need these pins to pierce our tube according to our template, these are our pilot holes, which will be equally spaced along two spiral curves travelling down our tube. The two spiral curves will be identical but 180 degrees apart, starting opposite one another.
One is to mark the point the skews are to go in and the other to mark where the skews will come out. We will then make these pilot holes big enough and will pass our skews trough them.
We will make a Template showing us where to put our pins.
Atria choose good quality strong pins with large ends; do not use needle or pins sawing pins, as they are not safe for the purpose. Always remember that your own safety and safety of those working with you or around you are the most important part of any project you ever do.
This is to glue the skews to the tube in order to make sure that it does not come out. If we glue both sides it largely improves integrity of our tube. I used wood glue, but paper glue or any other glue will do the same job.
Atria before starting the project please make sure your work surface is disposable and your cloths are work cloth. A good idea is to work on a wrapping paper with layers of old newspaper underneath. You can ask your mom for an old apron or a set of old cloths.
No matter how careful you are, accidents may happen, and when working with glue an accident can leave a stain on your cloth, on the carpet or on the table you are working on.
Safety First, before using any cutting tool be sure to put on protective goggles to protect your eyes and protective gloves to protect your hands. Be sure to safely dispose of the ends you cut.
This is to cut the wooden skews to size and later to trim all the extra bits of skews that will be sticking out of our tube.
I used a nail clipper, you can use wire cutter if you prefer.
Do Not use scissor of knife or even small pliers or cutters, they are not safe.
Accidents may happens regardless of what abilities and experience we may have and we can not prevent it because we do not know if it is going to happen and if so when and how it is going to happen.
However, by taking precautions and following safety guidelines we can minimise the probability of any accident happening at all, as well as doing our best to make sure in the unlikely event of an accident the damage be limited to only financial loss.
We now will make a paper template showing us the two spiral curves and the points we need to push the pins trough.
This will speed up the making of the stick and will ensure that all our guide holes are uniformly spaced along our two spiral curves as well as making sure that all of our skews will be passed trough horizontally and not each arbitrarily and at different angels, thus creating possibility of a deadlock where the beans we put inside can not pass.
First roll the paper on the outside of your tube and draw a line using the edge of the paper as a ruler.
This will be the width of out template, the length of the template can be the same as the width, or either shorter or even longer if you can easily slide the folded template up and down you tube. If you later find your template to be too long, you can cut it short then.
Now the fun part, we want to draw 15 equally spaced parallel lines on the paper in order to divide the paper to 16 equal parallel sections.
You can do this using a ruler, or you can do it by folding the paper in halves several times.
Fold your paper in half, and then fold each of the two half in half again so you are left with four equal parts.
Now fold each of the quarters in half to divide the paper to eight equal sections.
Finally fold each of the eight sections in half again so you are left with 16 equal parts.
Using the ruler draw a line alongside each of the 15 folds you made on the paper and you will be nearly there.
Finally we need to draw the lines which once folded on the outer of our tube it will form two uniform spirals curves opposite each other. It is easier than it sounds.
From the top left of your template come down along the left edge of the paper by the outer diameter of your tube and mark a point on the left edge of your paper.
Draw a line between the point you just marked and the top right edge of your paper, once folded this line will form the first turn of your first spiral curve.
Next using ruler come down from either end of the line you just draw by again the outer diameter of your tube, mark your points and draw another line parallel to the first one. When you fold your template this will form the second turn of your first spiral curve. Repeat to achieve more spiral turns on your template.
I made the pictured template to show you how it is done. The template I used to make my rainstick was shorter & had less than two spiral turns; I simply moved my template down, aligned it and made my guide holes in sections.
To draw the line that makes your second spiral curve you need to come down from the top left of your template by a distance equal to half of the outer diameter of your tube and mark a point, then drawing a line from the middle top of your template to this point. This will be a line parallel to the very first line, but above it by exactly half of your tube’s diameter. Once folded this line will form the first half turn of your second spiral curve and it will start exactly opposite the first curve, thus giving us the points where our skews should come out. Remember that the first curve has already defined the points where the skews will be going in.
Come down from either end of the above line and draw another line edge to edge to get a full turn for your second spiral curve.
Now starting from the top put pins between all the intersections where the lines on the template cross each other. No doubt your tube will be longer than your template, not a problem, take all the pins out, slide your template down and align it so you can put the first pin in the last hole you made on each spiral curve, just to make sure your template is correctly aligned, and you can carry on making more guide holes using the same template.
Below are a few photos I took while I was making my RainStick, as they say a picture is worth 1000 words.
- Using your template, starting from the top of your tube, put a pin in the intersection of a lines.
- Pull out all the pins and slide your template down your tubeAlign the first two holes of your template with the last two hole already on the tube
- Put a pin in the holes to make sure your template is aligned and secured in place
- Put the rest of the pins in your template
- Repeat until you have made guide holes to the end of your tube,
- If you choose to put your skews in before making more guide holes remember not to use the last two wholes as you will need them as guide to align them with the first two wholes of your template.
- It is best to do the rest in small sections at a time
- Make your guide holes bigger from either side.
- Do this by gently turning and pushing a skew inside each of the guide holes.
- Push the skews in from one side and get it out from the opposite side. This will become a challenge when you get to the middle of your tube. It will be very helpful if you shine a torch inside the tube, the idea being to be able to see where the head of skew is in relation to the whole it we want it to come out of. You can also try shining the torch into the whole, from outside.
- Before fully pushing the skew in, put a touch of glue on the end of the skew.
- Use a coin or a ruler when pushing in the skews. Do Not use bare fingers.
- When you fully push the skew in, it takes some glue in with it and it gets glued in.
- Cut the extra length of the stick using the nail clipper, do not cut flush, leave about 0.5cm
- Put a touch of glue on the other side of the skew, the 0.5 cm we left was to push some glue in from the other side
- Using a ruler of a coin push the 0.5cm of the skew back in till it gets flush with your tube.
- This is so that we glue both sides of the skew to the tube. Once the glue is dried we shall trim this extra 0.5cm
- you can push 2-3 skews before cutting them, but glue them one by one, the glue dries fast
- if once you glue one side your skew get stuck, say because glue has dried, just cut the extra bit, do not force it
- Continue the same until you get to the end of your tube
- Put the cap on one end, or if your tube does not have an end cap close one end with tape
- Try different beans until you find the beans which makes the noise you prefer.
- Put the other cap on your tube, or close it with tape
- Your rain stick is ready, give the glue a few hours to dry, then cut all the skews which are sticking out so they all become flush with surface of your tube. Next using a thin string go around your tube from top to end. Use a bit of glue at either end to secure the string to the tube. Now you can decorate your tube with paint or in any other way you like.