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Toy Top ala Steve Ramsey, but with More Success

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Project by Dave Rutan posted 12-10-2015 02:22 AM 665 views 1 time favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch

[Legebla ankaĆ­ en Esperanto]

I wanted to make some sort of toy for my nephew, (he’s the son of my wife’s nephew to be exact). I remembered a somewhat humorous video by Steve Ramsey where he has a hard time turning a simple top. You should check it out. I still get a laugh from it. [link]

So I glued together some oak I had, squared it up and set up my home made (sort of) lathe. It’s drill powered and runs at only one speed, but I did contrive a sort of live center.

I used my very cheap turning tools and got the wood rounded to a cylinder, then down to a spindle with a pointed head. I used an open end wrench to gauge the spindle to 3/8 in. A few times the drive spur jumped, but I reset it and kept going. I was lucky to get only a few small chip outs.

I sanded most of the top while on the lathe leaving only part of the head once I cut it from the lathe.

I made the handle from another piece of oak, sort of shaping freehand with the band saw and belt sander. I used a piece of 3/8 in dowel as the pull handle on a piece of string which is about 14 inches long. I used a piece of black string, but I think orange would also work. It’s finished with spray lacquer.

I’ve gotten the top to spin about 45 seconds while ‘testing’ it for our nephew. It wobbles a little bit, but still works well. My daughter tried it and the top actually bounced down the steps to our basement and kept spinning the whole time.

More pictures here: [link]

[Fun Fact] The Esperanto word for this kind of top is turbo.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!





8 comments so far

View majuvla's profile

majuvla

9118 posts in 2328 days


#1 posted 12-10-2015 05:00 AM

Wooden gyroscope is always fun game.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1649 days


#2 posted 12-10-2015 11:09 AM



Wooden gyroscope is always fun game.

- majuvla

Hours of fun for any child!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View  woodshaver (Tony)  's profile

woodshaver (Tony)

4000 posts in 2814 days


#3 posted 12-10-2015 02:18 PM

Well done and nice work on your improvised lathe.

I know how the little ones love playing with these toy top’s. I made a few for our granddaughters and they love them. I posted them in my projects page here on LJ’s. if you care to take a peek.

-- Tony C UAW, St Augustine FL, My high school shop teacher said "You can do it"... Now I can't stop!

View WoodNSawdust's profile

WoodNSawdust

1417 posts in 637 days


#4 posted 12-10-2015 03:29 PM

Nice looking top. I hope your nephew appreciates it.

-- "I love it when a plan comes together" John "Hannibal" Smith

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1649 days


#5 posted 12-10-2015 05:06 PM



Well done and nice work on your improvised lathe.

I know how the little ones love playing with these toy top s. I made a few for our granddaughters and they love them. I posted them in my projects page here on LJ s. if you care to take a peek.

- woodshaver

I like the design of your handle. I wish I’d have thought of it. There’s always next time!

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1649 days


#6 posted 12-10-2015 05:07 PM



Nice looking top. I hope your nephew appreciates it.

- WoodNSawdust

I’m sure it will be enjoyed.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

View helluvawreck's profile

helluvawreck

23127 posts in 2327 days


#7 posted 12-10-2015 05:37 PM

Dave, this turned out nicely and I’m sure the kids will love them.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

-- If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. Henry David Thoreau

View Dave Rutan's profile

Dave Rutan

1430 posts in 1649 days


#8 posted 12-10-2015 06:47 PM



Dave, this turned out nicely and I m sure the kids will love them.

helluvawreck aka Charles
http://woodworkingexpo.wordpress.com

- helluvawreck

I suppose he could share it with friends.

-- Ni faru ion el ligno!

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