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Tippe Tops

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Project by jeffyap posted 411 days ago 623 views 5 times favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Tippe Tops are ones that will flip up on their post when spun. Really good for stumping science and physics people, because the way the weight is distributed, it will balance post up when not spinning but post down when spinning.

To make:
1) Sphere of maple. (Either turn, or buy doll heads from craft store.)
2) Forstner drill just over halfway through from one side.
3) Sink small hole at center of forstner.
4) Glue or just hammer in a dowel (these are rosewood)
5) Do NOT smooth top edges of post. Actually need them rough for this to work.

Short explanation on how they work: when spinning, the post rubs on the ground, causes friction, and due to torque and procession, the most stable position is post down.





4 comments so far

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Jim Jakosh

11071 posts in 1706 days


#1 posted 411 days ago

Very nice. thanks for the instruction. I made one and never got it to work. I polished the end of the rod very smooth but they need to be rough. How far does the post stick down from the sphere? yours appear to be square. Is the post round or square?

Thanks, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View jeffyap's profile

jeffyap

14 posts in 507 days


#2 posted 411 days ago

@Jim: Most of the times that the top doesn’t work, it is because the surface doesn’t have enough friction against the post.

These are 1.5 inch diameter balls, and the post only seats by about 3/8 of an inch so as to not break through the bottom. I just whittled them somewhat tapered, then hammered them in.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

11071 posts in 1706 days


#3 posted 410 days ago

Ohm then you don’t want to spin them a real smooth surface?

How much of the post is sticking out to grab onto?
Is that length sticking out a factor in their performance?

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View jeffyap's profile

jeffyap

14 posts in 507 days


#4 posted 409 days ago

Both the top of the post and the surface you’re spinning on need some friction. Not necessarily sandpaper, but for example, they won’t work on Ice. Your average tabletop or floor should be fine.

There is a half-inch of post sticking out in mine. That’s big enough for my fingers, and with the diameter of the recessed hole, I can reach in and grab a wee bit more of it. The longer the post, the less likely it will spin upside down, and the longer it will take to invert (meaning it won’t spin inverted as long). You could always try out a longer post, and cut it shorter if needed. A short post is harder to grip, and slightly less impressive when it pops up.

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