Tops - Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 13 Old 10-15-2010, 11:00 PM Thread Starter
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,536
View frankp's Photo Album My Photos
Tops

I made my first top today. My second project ever on my lathe, and third project in my life on a lathe. Turned out okay but it is top heavy so only spins for a second before flopping over on its side.

Any suggestions on some dimensions for preventing this, or is it just a trial and error effort? Hopefully I'll get a pic up later...
frankp is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 13 Old 10-16-2010, 12:31 AM
4Woodturning
 
Jeff4woodturning's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Cedar Hill, MO.
Posts: 352
View Jeff4woodturning's Photo Album My Photos
The way i make some tops, i use maple turn it 3" round 8" long, then part off every 1" or so. then i drill 1/2 inch hole and glue a 4" maple dowel in each piece. use a chuck to hold dowel and turn out my top with low center of gravity. use chatter tool and markers. make very nice tops.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	P1010034.jpg
Views:	52
Size:	97.9 KB
ID:	17411  

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1010035.jpg
Views:	72
Size:	97.2 KB
ID:	17412  

Click image for larger version

Name:	P1010036.jpg
Views:	60
Size:	96.5 KB
ID:	17413  


Jeff,

"Just because your not bleeding, don't mean your turning safely"..
Jeff4woodturning is offline  
post #3 of 13 Old 10-16-2010, 07:44 AM
Splinter Cushion
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 661
View b00kemdano's Photo Album My Photos
I've made a bunch of simple tops (not as attractive as Jeff's) primarily from scraps of exotic wood. I found that the lower the profile, the more stable the top. If there is too much distance between the point and the majority of the mass, it will tend to flop over quickly.

On the other hand, I made a couple that were so low profile, kids couldn't spin them. It took some skill to spin those. But I got one of those suckers going and my brother timed it at three and a half minutes! :D

So, keep the center of gravity low.

Here are a few examples of the tops that I've made. At the last craft show I did, I had a big bowl of them on the table next to a picture frame. The glass in the frame was waxed and the picture was the price sign ($1) for my tops - and the arena! I'd keep tops spinning the whole weekend, and invite the kids over to give it a try. I was surprised at how many kids didn't know how to spin a top! It was a great hook to get mom to come over and buy something more expensive. :P
b00kemdano is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 13 Old 10-16-2010, 10:55 PM Thread Starter
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,536
View frankp's Photo Album My Photos
Thanks for the information, folks. I appreciate it. I'll definitely have to rework the one I made so that the 1 year old I made it for can actually use it as something other than a projectile weapon. Right now the thing looks very much like a plumb bob, but I'll shorten it quite a bit based on the information you folks have given me. Thank you very much.
frankp is offline  
post #5 of 13 Old 10-18-2010, 09:05 AM Thread Starter
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,536
View frankp's Photo Album My Photos
I didn't bother trying to rework the first one. I instead made a new one out of some scrap padauk. Turned out reasonably well and spins for about 2 minutes, which is more than enough to entertain the one year olds.
frankp is offline  
post #6 of 13 Old 10-18-2010, 05:42 PM
Splinter Cushion
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 661
View b00kemdano's Photo Album My Photos
I like making tops with padauk, it turns very smoothly, doesn't splinter much, polishes nicely, and is hefty enough to have some good spinning mass.

Let's see some pics!
b00kemdano is offline  
post #7 of 13 Old 10-19-2010, 02:53 PM
Senior Member
 
duncsuss's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 2,609
View duncsuss's Photo Album My Photos
another way to lower the center of gravity

Frank --

It might be possible to lower the center of gravity of your first spinning top by drilling out some wood from the bottom and filling it with something very heavy. I was going to suggest lead shot but then remembered this a child's toy so lead isn't a good idea ... maybe a lump of steel or iron?

D.

Please visit my website, Fruit of the Lathe
duncsuss is offline  
post #8 of 13 Old 10-20-2010, 10:00 AM Thread Starter
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,536
View frankp's Photo Album My Photos
Quote:
Originally Posted by duncsuss View Post
Frank --

It might be possible to lower the center of gravity of your first spinning top by drilling out some wood from the bottom and filling it with something very heavy. I was going to suggest lead shot but then remembered this a child's toy so lead isn't a good idea ... maybe a lump of steel or iron?

D.
Duncsuss, thanks. I have considered reworking it and just taking the top half of it away to make a long spinning post, but I may just keep it as a plumb bob since I need one of those anyway...

Easy enough to just make a few more and leave that one as a lesson learned. I'm hoping to put some pictures up this evening, so maybe I can get another one turned by that time...
frankp is offline  
post #9 of 13 Old 10-22-2010, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,536
View frankp's Photo Album My Photos
Okay, so here are a few shots...
First, me putting the second blank on the lathe. The second and third shots are the two "tops". The one on the left is the first attempt and, as you can tell, is quite a bit taller and narrower than the second.

I don't know the wood of the first, possibly poplar. It was a salvaged shipping pallet.
The second, as I said in an earlier post, is padauk.
Attached Images
   
frankp is offline  
post #10 of 13 Old 10-22-2010, 05:59 PM
HALL OF FAMER
 
Kenbo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 8,207
View Kenbo's Photo Album My Photos
Looking good Frank. Be careful, you are delving into addiction territory!!!!

There is a very fine line between a "hobby" and a "mental illness"
Kenbo is offline  
post #11 of 13 Old 10-22-2010, 11:17 PM Thread Starter
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,536
View frankp's Photo Album My Photos
Ken, yeah I noticed. I've already got ideas for "scrap" tops made from all the various hardwood scraps I've created and have been saving for no obvious reason. Quick and easy little "projects" and so far we all love the one that actually spins.
frankp is offline  
post #12 of 13 Old 10-24-2010, 10:27 PM
Splinter Cushion
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Huntsville, AL
Posts: 661
View b00kemdano's Photo Album My Photos
Looks great, Frank! I think that tops are a great way to use up slivers of scrap. If you looked at my earlier link, there's a top that started from cutoff scraps from a domino set I made. I just kept glueing more on and had no idea or plan for what it'd look like when it was turned.

Once you get the hang of it, you can whip these little guys out in no time and have a bucket of them ready to sell or give away.
b00kemdano is offline  
post #13 of 13 Old 10-25-2010, 08:17 AM Thread Starter
No Longer Here
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,536
View frankp's Photo Album My Photos
Yes, my daughter insists I should start selling them at the Renaissance Festival here next year. We'll see, though, since there's already a couple of very good craftsmen selling wooden things there. I can't hold a candle to the quality of work they produce, but their prices are insane. $200+ for a turned beer mug with 3 different woods. I can produce the same mug for less than $10 in materials and probably $50 in time. That's a damn good profit.
frankp is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Woodworking Talk - Woodworkers Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Kitchen Counter Tops? clarionflyer Off Topic 15 06-02-2010 11:35 PM
Resin tops Rick Mosher Wood Finishing 1 04-25-2010 01:41 PM
Tops Mitch Cholewinski Woodturning 6 04-19-2010 08:28 AM
First Tops b00kemdano Woodturning 14 04-08-2010 08:54 PM
Table tops jimmyjamonit Joinery 5 03-24-2009 06:29 AM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome