Homemade Chatter Tool

I’ve been wanting to try some different embellishment techniques, one of which was chatter work.  However I kept on balking at the price of a new chatter tool.  I decided to make my own.  It cost me $3.00 and a hour or two on a Sunday afternoon.ACT_859607

I got a 1/2″ x 10″ nipple from the plumbing department at the home improvement store, along with a 3/4″ long 1/4 20 bolt.  The rest of the materials I used were in the shop already including a used jigsaw blade.


I mounted the pipe between centers on the lathe and after a bit of sanding it was nice and shiny.  I then cut the threads off one end and drilled and tapped a 1/4 20 thread about 3/4″ back from that end.


The next step was to mount a cherry pen blank in a chuck and turn it down to 1/2″ so that if fit inside the pipe.   I only turned down the first couple of inches, and then put it in a vise and cut it lengthwise.   This off cut was then glued into the pipe with CA glue, the bolt served as a clamp.



After turning the block of wood to be used as a handle round, I drilled it to fit the the OD of the pipe.  Unfortunately, the OD of the pipe was around 13/16″ and the only forstner bits I had were 3/4″ and 7/8″.  So I drilled with the 3/4″ and then widened the hole using a square edge scraper until the pipe fit inside.  The image below show the handle shaped and sanded, just prior to being parted off.


I’m playing with dyes at the moment, so I applied a red dye to the handle and then a couple of coats of shellac.  While I was waiting for the shellac to dry, I ground the teeth off the jigsaw blade, shaped the point of the blade and bent it as in the image below.


The completed tool, ready for testing!  Did I mention how nice and shiny it is!

I’ll show some pictures in a future post of the results from the tool.  I also have a couple more jig saw blades and some sawzall blades.  I plan on experimenting a bit with the different blades and profiles and see what sort of results I get.

If you’ve made a chatter tool let me know what type of blade and profile you got the best results with by posting a comment.   Thanks.

Update:  I got a chance to experiment with the chatter tool and have posted some images and comments.  You can view that post here.