The Five Tops

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Project by Jim Jakosh posted 07-10-2016 09:56 PM 1452 views 0 times favorited 18 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I wanted something to try out my new collet holder so I made these 5 tops out of the branch I was told was iron wood. I made them in one string and cut all the stems to .500” and added the top detail. then I cut them free and tuned the bottoms in a collet. It really works slick and I don’t have the chuck jaws flying around my fingers. I finished them with Watco Butcher Block finish. I’ll give these away to some kids at the show on the 23rd. I may even make more from some different species.

They spin pretty good. (Photo 2)

Cheers, Jim

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

18 comments so far

View Andy's profile


240 posts in 1903 days

#1 posted 07-10-2016 10:09 PM

Man you have been busy. Didnt hear much from you for a while then boom. I like your method for making tops. Collets are very handy for a lathe.

-- Andy Smith

View tyvekboy's profile


2112 posts in 4089 days

#2 posted 07-10-2016 10:34 PM

Love your technique. Way to go. Thanks for sharing.

-- Tyvekboy -- Marietta, GA ………….. one can never be too organized

View Joe Lyddon's profile

Joe Lyddon

10963 posts in 5128 days

#3 posted 07-10-2016 11:31 PM

Super COOL the way you did it… Efficiency in motion… :)

We can tell you are definitely a Machinist...
... no one else would call 1/2” or .5” ... as .500” !! :)

Now, were they super hard to turn… like Iron Wood would? :)

Those were always fun to play with when I was a kid… brings back very OLD memories… :)

Thank you!

-- Have Fun! Joe Lyddon - Alta Loma, CA USA - Home: ... My Small Gallery:

View doubleDD's profile


10348 posts in 3119 days

#4 posted 07-10-2016 11:43 PM

Looks like an assembly line Jim. I can see how valuable those collects are. Like you say, nice not to have the chuck around the fingers.
Isn’t it the 4 Tops? Lol.

-- Dave, Downers Grove, Il. -------- When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams.

View kiefer's profile


5836 posts in 3743 days

#5 posted 07-11-2016 12:51 AM

Nice production technique .
The kids will be thrilled with these .


-- Kiefer

View lew's profile


13353 posts in 4831 days

#6 posted 07-11-2016 01:04 AM

Cool! Did you get much vibration when turning the center ones or did you use a steady rest?

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View Tooch's profile


2016 posts in 2952 days

#7 posted 07-11-2016 01:40 AM

Always fun to try out the new equipment. They look good, too! Nice work Jim

-- "Well, the world needs ditch-diggers too..." - Judge Smails

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26186 posts in 4181 days

#8 posted 07-11-2016 03:08 AM

Thank you all for the nice comments, These were real quick to make this way and they are real concentric!!

Hi Andy, I have been busy with a lot of metal work. I had to do some house work too. I washed the whole house on the outside on Friday and painted the faded aluminum siding on 2 of the sides on Sat and then finished all this wood stuff. I don’t watch TV and stay busy in the shop.!! I put the elves to work, too, as Bob would say!!

Hi Joe, this so called piece of iron wood is kind of green and turned very nicely in long strings like in the photo. The whole lathe was covered in wood strings.

Hi Dave, that was the band. These 5 Tops followed them!!!!! I hear 6?

Hi Lew, I was thinking of using the steady rest when I did the middle one but instead I took fine cuts and ran it up to 2000 to keep it running better on center. I used a parting tool for most all of it. That is my favorite tool for hitting a dimension on a tenon, etc.

Cheers, Jim

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

View Ivan's profile


16785 posts in 3943 days

#9 posted 07-11-2016 06:10 AM

This toy gave me much joy when I was a kid.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Cliff 's profile


1907 posts in 2800 days

#10 posted 07-11-2016 11:10 AM

Really good Jim…...That Top photo 2 is really spinning well and I like Photo 4…Great Action Shot. The Tip of the Chisel is at that sweet point and the sawdust is spraying out perfectly.

I now fully understand the importance of the Collet…..When you said that you don’t have the chuck jaws flying around your fingers, it brought the message home to me. Thanks Jim, more good tips I can think about to use at some stage.



-- Cliff Australia : Snoring is good. It blows away all the Sawdust.

View BusterB's profile


2316 posts in 3084 days

#11 posted 07-11-2016 01:26 PM

That’s a cool project. Can see the benefit of the collet right off….nice job sir.

-- Buster, Ocoee TN (Critics are men who watch a battle from a high place then come down and shoot the survivors - Hemingway)

View CFrye's profile


11243 posts in 2916 days

#12 posted 07-11-2016 02:15 PM

Thanks for more tips and tricks, Jim! These are the tops!

-- God bless, Candy

View stefang's profile


17040 posts in 4410 days

#13 posted 07-11-2016 02:57 PM

Great fun Jim.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

26186 posts in 4181 days

#14 posted 07-11-2016 03:18 PM

Thanks Ivan, Cliff, Buster, Candy and Mike.

Hi Ivan, I had a lot of fun with tops as a kid too. My favorite was this metal one that would hum and I have not figured out how to make it hum but I have been drawing up some plans for one to try out of wood , of course! it has to be hollow , I think!

Cheers, Jim

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

View helluvawreck's profile


32122 posts in 3943 days

#15 posted 07-11-2016 03:47 PM

That collet chuck holder looks like a very addition to your lathe accessories. It looks like it worked like a charm on these tops. Nice work!

helluvawreck aka Charles

-- helluvawreck aka Charles,

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