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Thread: Spin tops

  1. #1

    Spin tops

    Okay, for sure this is under the "I may be crazy, but I'm nutz..." Does any one out there know more about this type of top, not the wood ones in the first minute or three, but the big ones with metal rims in the second part????? I have an old CBN wheel, and wondering if it is possible????? The throw rope is looped around their hand and forearm, and they really give it a toss....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZzEawiPDAI

    robo hippy

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reed Gray View Post
    Okay, for sure this is under the "I may be crazy, but I'm nutz..." Does any one out there know more about this type of top, not the wood ones in the first minute or three, but the big ones with metal rims in the second part????? I have an old CBN wheel, and wondering if it is possible????? The throw rope is looped around their hand and forearm, and they really give it a toss....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZzEawiPDAI

    robo hippy
    Those are huge! And spinning on packed dirt. Evidently spinning top wars are a community pastime there.

    With the video clip of the fire, I wonder if they are using the old hot-setting method of stretching an iron tire over a wooden wagon wheel.

    I can't imagine throwing a heavy CBN wheel to spin like a top - but I'm sure you have a lot more muscle than me!

    JKJ

  3. #3
    Oh, I shouldn't have.... Found this as well, and it shows a lot of variations of styles. I did see one Chinese video where once the top is spinning, they use a whip on it, striking in the direction of the spin to accelerate the spin, and one video from Laos where they have an atlatl (Like the spear/light lance throwing stick) attached to the string for more rpm....

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD0HWbkBR4U

    One thing I noticed was that the rope they use is tapered, so thinner where it starts, and thicker on the hand end. No idea where to find some thing like that... The throw reminds me of the old thumb throw for the flying disc/Frisbee..... What amazes me is how true they spin...... Well, I had planned on doing a spin top demo and video, but can't do just one style of top..... No clue about the metal rings on some of them. I had wondered if some of them were on an epoxy of some sort, and epoxy could make a dense base for mass.....

    robo hippy

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reed Gray View Post
    ... Well, I had planned on doing a spin top demo and video, but can't do just one style of top.....
    That should be fun!

    For your demo how about some traditional (US) throwing tops. I've made a few. I generally turn a tip from softer nylon to keep the bottom from degrading and to keep from marring floors. Sorry, I never took photos.

    Have you seen YoYo Spin's (Ed Davidson's) tops? Works of art. I have one of his yoyos.
    Throwing tops: http://www.yoyospin.com/gallery/throwtop/index.htm
    Finger tops: http://yoyospin.com/gallery/tops/
    He often combines different materials.
    handmade_2018_top_12g_std.jpg

    I've made finger tops from nearly every kind of wood I have and some from aluminum and acrylic. I think a big variety and maybe some large and miniature tops would be fun in a demo. (the tiny ones that fit on a penny in the picture are pretty bad - I need to make better shapes and some smaller ones) The little ones don't have enough mass to spin well, unless maybe you could spin them at very high speeds.

    big_top_IMG_20171217_072821_499.jpg tops_comp2.jpg aluminum_brass_plastic.jpg acrylic_top_yellow_small.jpg tiny_things.jpg

    When I did a top demo I passed this around to let people see the process up close:

    top_sequence.jpg

    For small tops I chuck a square piece of wood maybe 6-8" long and make several tops until it gets too short.

    I also demonstrate how to use a wire to friction burn a clean, very fine line on a steep steep slope. Easy, once you know how. When I posted this on another forum years ago I immediately got lots of comments about better ways to do it but the problem is, none of them work, at least for lines as fine and dark as I get.

    top_IMG_4974.jpg

    You could also show the top methods lots of people use, namely chatter tool surfaces and markers for color. I personally don't care for those and don't make them.

    A variation from one-piece tops is two piece, disk and shaft.

    Another variation is the little self-inverting top, the "tippe top". AAW has a doc with these and more for ideas: "Turners are Tops"

    For test spinning in a demo a smooth plate from the kitchen works well. Challenge club members to make tops for the next month and have a contests - longest time, top war.

    A variation on spinning tops that might be of interest to at least show at a demo: drop spindles for spinning fiber into yarn. Used since ancient times and still today to make clothing in some parts of the world. I've made drop spindles and supported spindles for gifts but never took photos.

    JKJ

  5. #5
    It used to be an annual club event to make tops, largest, smallest, and spin to extinction. I think that category should be expanded to finger/hand spin and string spin. Yes, those tops from Ed are too fancy for my taste... I did get a pallet load of maple baseball blanks years back which are 3 inch diameter. Those tops tale 2 hands to spin, fingers just don't quite do it. Spin for 3 to 5 minutes. Finger tops seem to max out at around 1 minute. String tops, I can't remember, but I have made a few.... Have to find that tapered rope..... Hope I don't have to braid it myself.....

    robo hippy

  6. #6
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    tapered rope

    Quote Originally Posted by Reed Gray View Post
    Have to find that tapered rope..... Hope I don't have to braid it myself.....
    At a llama event I met a guy who made and sold lead ropes - pick the color(s) and get a custom rope made while you wait. The device he used twisted three strands (I think) such that the strands in the finish rope grip each other and the whole thing won't untwist. I took a photo or video of the process that might explain if I can find it. (Never mind, I just asked Sir Google to look for rope twisting machine and he kindly obliged.)

    I wonder if a similar method could be used to make a tapered rope - start with a lot of fine strands and cut them one at a time as the twist works towards the end.

  7. #7
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    I used to make a lot of toys, tops included. One of the best was a string top that had a handle, the adults played with them as much as the children did. mine were like this, except the handle and the top were turned and embellished. https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Antique-Wood...kjw:rk:41:pf:0

    Some more ideas in this link.
    https://www.handycrafted.net/wood-tu...spinning-tops/

  8. #8
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    I grew up in the Duncan Yo-Yo and Spintop generation. I still have mine, and can still throw it and make it spin. There are videos on youtube of a guy that uses a Duncan expertly doing all kinds of tricks I'd never even imagined possible. Thanks to the OP for jogging good memories of my childhood.
    Maker of Fine Kindling, and small metal chips on the floor.
    Embellishments to the Stars - or wannabees.

  9. #9
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    Bullships are often tapered along their length. I have a physical book about making them, but you could probably find info on tapering them on the web.

  10. #10
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    The throw top was a toy I grew up with in The Netherlands, the game to knock the other tops out of the ring (drawn circle) was one of them, I could scoop the top up and have it spin in the divid between thumb and index finger, some where better.

    So I made a bunch of the throw tops, but kids here seem to be unfamiliar with them, though even when I showed how to, there was little interest, sold a couple this summer to a lady that was intrigued with them, as I met her recently, she said her kids got the hang of it and played with them quite a bit.

    After the flop trying to sell the throw tops, I have made a bunch of the pullstring tops, they did sell much better, still not a runaway success, but I had fun making all of them, also made an extra large one that spins well, just for fun.

    They all have metal tips, I use a pop rivets for that, taking the nail out first and then place the sleeve in the wood, (plus a washer for the throw top) and have the live center hold it while finish turning it to spin accurately, then insert the nail after that (cut to length first)

    Tops.jpg Top tip.jpg How I hold the top and throw it.jpg String hole inside handle opening.jpg string opening above handle.jpg
    Last edited by Leo Van Der Loo; 12-06-2018 at 4:19 PM.


    Have fun and take care

  11. #11
    Looks like the Amish do something similar though they do not seem to require you to smoke while playing like the Thais!

  12. Wow there is a gasing on ebay for $299. Now if we could get kids into a top craze in this country.

    I made a couple of 4 inch diameter tops a few years ago. one would spin for just over 2 minutes. I thought it would be a good contest for a turning club. Make a solid wooden top and see whose top could spin the longest.

  13. #13
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    I made a bunch of pull tops and found the bigger they are the more susceptible they are to be out of balance. I played around and found the plastic deck boards (Trex Decking) had good balance when used to make the larger tops.

  14. I am pretty good with a frisbee, not so much with a top. But then there are these guys.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLYazynm_1M

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Perry Hilbert Jr View Post
    Wow there is a gasing on ebay for $299. Now if we could get kids into a top craze in this country.
    I'm imagining he injuries if thousands of people start slinging those heavy tops everywhere! The videos didn't show any but I did cringe at a couple of the clips.

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