Maple teethers

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Project by Elizabeth posted 11-05-2012 02:53 AM 1962 views 3 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted to make a teether for my son, so I whipped this up today from a scrap piece of maple. I made a second one for a neighbour’s boy of the same age. No finish, but a lot of sanding, raising grain with water and re-sanding.

I ended up hand-sanding the corners to round them sufficiently. I’d rounded the pieces generally with the router, but the corners ended up pretty sharp. The belt sander was too aggressive in taking off material.

I tried to get a good “in use” photo but my model was too distracted.

14 comments so far

View Sandra's profile


7122 posts in 1678 days

#1 posted 11-05-2012 03:21 AM

Wow, never seen a wooden teether before. Beats having them chew on the crib rails.

-- No, I don't want to buy the pink hammer.

View vipond33's profile


1405 posts in 2100 days

#2 posted 11-05-2012 03:31 AM

I have to laugh at you “raising the grain” as there will be plenty of that going on in use. If you want to make it really interesting for them make the teethers out of a checkerboard of dark and light woods, they’ll stare at it for hours.
Good way to introduce them to the craft. Measure nothing, cut many times!

-- gene@toronto.ontario.canada : dovetail free since '53, critiques always welcome.

View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 2746 days

#3 posted 11-05-2012 04:23 AM

Yeah I figure they will be helping me prepare for future sandings! Mostly I wanted to be sure nothing went wrong when they got wet, particularly for the gift one.

View sharad's profile


1109 posts in 3407 days

#4 posted 11-05-2012 08:34 AM

Very nice finish of the teether. Is there any other wood than maple for making them?


-- “If someone feels that they had never made a mistake in their life, then it means they have never tried a new thing in their life”.-Albert Einstein

View Blackie_'s profile


4648 posts in 2115 days

#5 posted 11-05-2012 11:00 AM

Now this is out of my realm as I never had kids but seems like a great idea and they look very nice.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at

View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 2746 days

#6 posted 11-05-2012 04:24 PM

Thanks Sharad; I’m not sure. I think I have seen them made of cherry as well, but mostly the ones I’ve seen online have been maple.

Last night my son discovered that the teether is also excellent for banging on other toys; then he got it stuck on a protrusion on the other toy and had to figure out how to get it off. An all-around learning tool!

View WoodenFrog's profile


2737 posts in 2516 days

#7 posted 11-05-2012 05:11 PM

That’s pretty neat, useful tool!
Nice work!!!

-- Robert B. Sabina, Ohio.....

View chrisstef's profile


16251 posts in 2609 days

#8 posted 11-05-2012 05:15 PM

Ill be making a bunch of these for my little guy. Hes 10 weeks today and drooling like a faucet. Teeth cant be that far off. Thanks for the inspiration Elizabeth.

-- Something, something, something.

View Shanem's profile


130 posts in 2069 days

#9 posted 11-05-2012 08:15 PM

looks good.

what are the dimensions?

View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 2746 days

#10 posted 11-05-2012 08:26 PM

I don’t remember offhand, but the holes are 1 1/2 diameter. The width is whatever the scrap was that I had lying around – I think it was a little over 2 1/2 inches – and I cut them to length after drilling the second hole, just eyeballing to get roughly the same distance between hole and edge on each end.

View Eric_S's profile


1555 posts in 2798 days

#11 posted 11-06-2012 12:40 AM

Elizabeth, thank you for this post. My wife is pregnant and I’ll be adding this to the list of baby projects to make. Great idea! My wife watched a documentary on plastics a couple months back and now she wants to try and avoid as many plastic toys as possible for our baby when its still teething. Lol, hey, more projects for me so I dont mind. Thanks again and great idea. I like vipond33’s suggestion as well.

-- - Eric Noblesville, IN

View rance's profile


4252 posts in 2763 days

#12 posted 11-10-2012 03:19 AM

Nicely done Elizabeth.

Interesting about the plastics Gene. I found out a while back that the wooden teethers are probably better than most through a thread here on LJ. I asked a parent/child educator that deals with these things in her teaching. She said as long as it is BPA-free, then the plastic is considered safe. I did some googling and found What is BPA? Should I be worried about it??

I still like the wooden ones better.

-- Backer boards, stop blocks, build oversized, and never buy a hand plane--

View CFrye's profile (online now)


9261 posts in 1442 days

#13 posted 08-17-2013 05:26 AM

Elizabeth, great and useful project! How has it held up? Anything you’d do differently? Thanks for sharing.

-- God bless, Candy

View Elizabeth's profile


817 posts in 2746 days

#14 posted 08-19-2013 06:41 PM

He hasn’t played with it much, actually. Not terribly keen on teethers in general. I think I would have made it a little thinner (but the scrap was too short for my planer), as long as it wasn’t so thin that it might crack if someone stepped on it the wrong way.

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