A couple of tops for fun

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Project by Brett StClair posted 02-16-2010 09:18 AM 2098 views 2 times favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

When I first got my lathe I was anxious to turn something. I saw some basic top projects and thought I could do those easy enough. I had also seen some projects that I loved on Woodturners Workshop where he combined different species of wood in a single turning. So I combined the ideas and came up with what you see in the pics.
The first one is 3 species: Rosewood for the core. Oak for the center ring, and Wenge for the outside ring. I created a jig to accurately drill the center hole and 8 radial holes. I wanted to remove material from the center to give the top some better rotational intertia. I realized only afterword that I had basically created a wood replica of an axle/wheel/tire. Oh well. It works pretty well and stays spinning for a quite a long time.

The second one is Rosewood for the core and outer ring and Walnut for the center ring. These were fun to do.

Both of these wobble a bit when spun. This is probably due to not having the proper chucks and tail center. I have now aquired a good 4 jaw chuck and a tail center set. I am going to keep working on these to see if I can improve the balance. I want an eye perfect spin (no visible wobble) when spun on a smooth flat surface. I am even thinking of adding to the aethetics and tip durability by using a brass (or other metallic) tip.

-- "Make things as simple as possible... but not any simpler." - Albert Einstein

5 comments so far

View SgtSnafu's profile


960 posts in 3657 days

#1 posted 02-16-2010 01:29 PM

Nice job on the tops

Thanks for sharing

-- Scotty - aka... SgtSnafu - Randleman NC

View Phil53's profile


90 posts in 4008 days

#2 posted 02-16-2010 05:12 PM

I love the design of your tops. I’ve made a few of these and I think the adults like them more than the kids.

View Mlke's profile


119 posts in 3430 days

#3 posted 02-16-2010 11:27 PM

the reason they wobble when spun is because of the length of the handle thing..
i really like the contrasting woods, im gonna have to try that

-- The hard work won't take too long, the impossible will take a little longer

View donjoe's profile


1360 posts in 3416 days

#4 posted 02-17-2010 04:29 AM

Really nice tops.

-- Donnie-- listen to the wood.

View scrappy's profile


3507 posts in 3816 days

#5 posted 02-17-2010 08:20 AM

Great tops. Like your designs. One of the reasons they woble, even tho they may be perfectly centered in the wood, your wood could be denser on one side then the other. (tighter grain) Check this when you put it between centers. Just touch your centers enough to keep it from falling and see if it wants to rotate to a heavy spot. That should help cut down on the wobble.

I have used a metal push rivet for the bottom tip. Helps them to spin a lot better.

Keep it up.


-- Scrap Wood's the best...the projects are smaller, and so is the mess!

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