Spinning top designed for Benham's discs

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Project by Scott posted 597 days ago 2380 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


6915 posts in 1518 days

#1 posted 597 days ago

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

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

View a1Jim's profile


112002 posts in 2181 days

#2 posted 597 days ago

Very cool idea Scott great idea

-- Custom furniture

View Doe's profile (online now)


934 posts in 1434 days

#3 posted 597 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 604 days

#4 posted 597 days ago

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

-- Ted

View Scott 's profile


148 posts in 872 days

#5 posted 597 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


7006 posts in 2037 days

#6 posted 597 days ago

I must be a dud….no colors

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

View Fishinbo's profile


11216 posts in 780 days

#7 posted 597 days ago

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

View Scott 's profile


148 posts in 872 days

#8 posted 597 days ago

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

-- Scott in North Carolina

View Scott 's profile


148 posts in 872 days

#9 posted 597 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


175 posts in 1192 days

#10 posted 597 days ago

Great idea

-- Quicksilver

View nonickswood's profile (online now)


378 posts in 991 days

#11 posted 596 days ago

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

-- Nick, Virginia,

View exelectrician's profile


1488 posts in 1032 days

#12 posted 596 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


339 posts in 753 days

#13 posted 596 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 790 days

#14 posted 596 days ago


View Surfside's profile


3050 posts in 778 days

#15 posted 596 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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