Making a seed pod shaker with my son

I have previously started collecting and preparing gumnuts with my son for making a seek pod shaker but we left all the previous gumnuts because they were too small. On my recent trip to the local bushes, I managed to find much larger ones which are giving a nicer sound when bumped into one another.

Angophora sp.

Large gumnuts

I've collected couple of handfuls from the ground and made sure to put back those that were already occupied by insects or spider cocoons. First thing I needed to do is empty and clean the inside of each gumnut to create a larger hollow space for more resonance. For that I used a milling bit on my drill press and carefully break the inside walls that separate the compartment of the pods.

The inside of a gumnut

Cleaning out the inside of a gumnut

After all the pods were cleaned on the inside, I proceeded with cutting the stem off them and sand the top of the nut to make it easier to drill a hole through it.

Cutting a gumnut stem

Sanding the gumnut

My son then used his battery powered rotary tool to drill a little hole at the back of each pod. He's been using manual wood working tools for quite a while now and this is his first power tool. It is safer than a corded rotary tool since the battery power is quite low.

Boy drilling a gumnut

Hole drilled into a gumnut

The large gumnuts were much easier to drill through than the smaller ones. Not only they were easier to hold on to thanks to their size but their wall is also less dense and required less pressure on the drill.

Making gumnuts shaker instrument

Here is a first prototype of our gumnut shaker. It has a nice sound but I believe we can improve on it by making adding more gumnuts to it and make each strand a but longer maybe 6 pods per strand instead of just 4.

Gumnut / seed pod shaker

Here is a sample sound from the new instrument:

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