Old time spinning tops

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Project by oldguy2 posted 08-06-2016 01:53 PM 412 views 1 time favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

This old time top spins by pulling a string wound through a hole in the shaft while mounted in the handle. In my home there is some history, my wife’s grandfather made one and I never met him but it was still in use many years later at the Grandparent home. Now my grandson just received one for a birthday present and a lesson here. Don’t use pine, his broke on the third use. Not a happy moment. So Me Granddaddy off to my scrap pile and found some on utube and old plans in Hands On from Shopsmith. Yes I am making 3 for 3 grandsons and a spare for home.
All sizes could vary some so I included the pic with the ruler and here are my dimensions: 4 parts: Handle..9 in by 2 1/4×1inch, 1 1/2 hole with enlarged 3/8 hole for dowel. 3/8 dowel approx 4 1/2 inch..tapered end not pointed. I did mine in a pencil sharpener. disc two and half inch..I cut mine with a hole saw. mark the center clearly for later drilling the dowel. 24 inch of nylon twine, burn or super glue the ends. drill the hole in the dowel after you have the cord and approximately the middle of the handle hole, do this later and slightly loose it only has to hold in place for the winding.
In the pic with the handle holding the top the dowel is slightly above the top of the handle, so I added a half inch in the measurement I wrote. The string hole should be about mid height of this 1 1/2 hole. The 3/8 hole I enlarge to let the top spin and then slip the handle off easier, and it has spun on rug and vinyl floors.
Taper the handle to suit. The large end for the top is about a 3 1/2 curve. I drilled one cross hole for the dowel with a brace and then thought better of using my Shopsmith and this was easier. definitely hold the handle in a vise or wood jaw clamps to drill the 3/8 hole.
I choose to paint mine for effect after seeing the one in Mexico one 4 section 2 with 6 sections and later will add a side color or line. A solid wood color spins just the color effect is so much better.

3 comments so far

View GR8HUNTER's profile


990 posts in 134 days

#1 posted 08-06-2016 02:30 PM



View HillbillyShooter's profile


5811 posts in 1714 days

#2 posted 08-06-2016 02:57 PM

Cool! A nostalgic project that brings back memories of the “toy box” at my grandmother’s house when I was a youngster. Thanks for sharing your project and the details of how you did it.

-- John C. -- "Firearms are second only to the Constitution in importance; they are the peoples' liberty's teeth." George Washington

View ralbuck's profile


1802 posts in 1688 days

#3 posted 08-06-2016 04:50 PM

Toy making is a joy of it’s own. Gives you a chance to be young again!

Neat project.

-- just rjR

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