Spinning top designed for Benham's discs

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Project by Scott posted 625 days ago 2464 views 14 times favorited 16 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Benham discovered in 1895 that spinning black and white discs show subtle colors, and everyone sees different colors. The effect is amazing, and if you watch the disc on the spinning top, as the rpm’s slow, the colors and patterns change.

You can see this effect in action here:

I made this for a child for Christmas, from cherry, maple and sapele. For the discs, I found some patterns on the internet and printed them on standard paper.

-- Scott in North Carolina

16 comments so far

View HorizontalMike's profile


6925 posts in 1547 days

#1 posted 625 days ago

Wow! What a neat and FUN project toy! Very cool!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View a1Jim's profile


112015 posts in 2210 days

#2 posted 625 days ago

Very cool idea Scott great idea

-- Custom furniture

View Doe's profile


953 posts in 1463 days

#3 posted 625 days ago

Looks great and I think it’ll look greater when playing with it; I think I want one.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View Ted78's profile


156 posts in 632 days

#4 posted 625 days ago

That’s cool, I think I’m stealing that idea for my nephews’ Christmas present

-- Ted

View Scott 's profile


154 posts in 900 days

#5 posted 625 days ago

Thanks for the comments! Feel free to take that idea, I think it will be a fine Christmas present.

-- Scott in North Carolina

View Gary's profile


7107 posts in 2065 days

#6 posted 625 days ago

I must be a dud….no colors

-- Gary, DeKalb Texas only 4 miles from the mill

View Fishinbo's profile


11217 posts in 808 days

#7 posted 625 days ago

I see the different colors! Very fun!
You have a happy kid this Christmas :)

View Scott 's profile


154 posts in 900 days

#8 posted 625 days ago

The colors are very subtle, so you have to look close.

-- Scott in North Carolina

View Scott 's profile


154 posts in 900 days

#9 posted 625 days ago

At that link the default speed is 0.9 rps, but I don’t see the colors clearly until you speed it up to at least 3.5 rps, and then they are shades of brown.

-- Scott in North Carolina

View quicksilver's profile


176 posts in 1220 days

#10 posted 625 days ago

Great idea

-- Quicksilver

View nonickswood's profile


390 posts in 1020 days

#11 posted 625 days ago

Very Cool,
I agree with Doe, “I think I want one”

-- Nick, Virginia,

View exelectrician's profile


1535 posts in 1060 days

#12 posted 624 days ago

Thank you for showing me this interesting effect. Wow! Your tops are going to be a hit at Christmas – good for you.

-- Love thy neighbour as thyself

View bigogre's profile


343 posts in 782 days

#13 posted 624 days ago

Cool. I finished some tops for gifts yesterday, thanks for the link on the printouts.

-- Putting the "mental" in experimental since 1973

View JuanGatico's profile


71 posts in 819 days

#14 posted 624 days ago


View Surfside's profile


3085 posts in 806 days

#15 posted 624 days ago

Very unique!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

showing 1 through 15 of 16 comments

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