Yoyos (Christmas Presents)

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Project by Brian Havens posted 12-14-2012 08:16 AM 2153 views 10 times favorited 15 comments Add to Favorites Watch

It is that time again; time to make Christmas gifts for the kids. These are made from a kit that features a bering on the axle. It takes a little practice, but the bering make it much easier to to tricks.

In addition to getting Christmas gifts out of the way, I found this to be a great skill building exercise for several reasons. It may seem like it would get a little boring making ten of the same thing, but consider:

- A yoyo requires you to make two identical parts

- Not only will you have to make two identical parts, but also, you will have to turn one to the left and one to the right.

- Making the same cuts over and over builds muscle memory. I find this key to developing consistent tool control

- Making the same item in different wood species lets you compare the nuances of how different woods behave.

Photo #2 Purpleheart / Morado
Photo #3 Zebrawood / Quartersawn White Oak
Photo #4 Redheart / Paduk
Photo #5 Callery Pear / Leopardwood
Photo #6 Jatoba / Curly Maple

Just a side note, There is one very important last step when making these, a crucial step that was omitted from the instructions: Hide them from the grown-ups till Christmas! LOL

Merry Christmas!

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

15 comments so far

View Doe's profile


1428 posts in 3337 days

#1 posted 12-14-2012 08:41 AM

They’re really nice. I wouldn’t mind the Leopardwood one myself :) Your tips are helpful; I think I’d like to try to make one some time. Thanks for posting.

-- Mother Nature talks, I try to listen

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

30441 posts in 2845 days

#2 posted 12-14-2012 09:39 AM

Ya gotta try each YoYo man! :-)

Something about them. These are very cool. Glad yo put the bearing in them. much better that way.

-- Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View HalDougherty's profile


1820 posts in 3744 days

#3 posted 12-14-2012 10:21 AM

Thanks for posting! I need something to make for my nephew. I bet he’d like a yo-yo. A quick google search turned up this page of instructions. It’s 5:30 am so I’ll wait till the hardware store opens to go buy some bearings and get started.

-- Hal, Tennessee

View Donna Menke's profile

Donna Menke

617 posts in 4773 days

#4 posted 12-14-2012 02:28 PM

Very nice yo-yos. Did you make them using kits? If not- tell us more about these bearings.

-- "So much wood. . .so little time!"

View Matt Nudi's profile

Matt Nudi

121 posts in 2498 days

#5 posted 12-14-2012 03:07 PM

Very original, I haven’t see these made too often, but these look great!

-- - Still a new guy to the craft, but always striving to learn more

View polecat's profile


78 posts in 3176 days

#6 posted 12-14-2012 04:27 PM

Great job Brian, Did you make a how to video doing this?

-- polecat, south alabama

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 3613 days

#7 posted 12-14-2012 04:30 PM

I used the kit from Penn State: click here My experience with dealing directly with Penn State has not been very good, so getting the kit in time for Christmas could be en issue. However, check with Ryan at Woodturningz . He sells anything that Penn State carries, even if not on his website, and usually for less $.

If you buy the kit, do not forget the bushings so you can mount it on your pen mandrel. The good new is that the same bushings work with the top kit, so next Christmas you can do tops. I made tops a few years ago: My tops

And if you cannot get the kit in time for Christmas, the instructions that HalDougherty pointed out look well explained and detailed.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 3613 days

#8 posted 12-14-2012 04:34 PM

No videos lately, sorry Polecat. I have been busy with live demonstrations at my local club.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

View socrbent's profile


883 posts in 2776 days

#9 posted 12-14-2012 06:21 PM

Nice looking. I am in process of making 8 for this Christmas. My prototype with a hardwood 1/4” axle has a problem – it wants to sleep and not return. Haven’t made the final assembly yet. Any suggestions?

-- socrbent Ohio

View Brian Havens's profile

Brian Havens

196 posts in 3613 days

#10 posted 12-14-2012 06:58 PM

socrbent, From what I understand, the string has to have some friction against the side of yoyo to get it to return. The idea is that by moving the string sideways such that it rubs agains the inside of the yoyo, the friction will initiate the return.

Google for ‘yoyo brakes’ and you will get lots of hits for yoyo brakes. The instructions that HalDougherty posted a link to uses an ‘o’ ring. The kits that I used have ridges along the part that presses in to the tubes on the inside, and I left the inside of the yo-yos rough (150 grit) to help out.
I am sure something could be devised from readily available supplies. Perhaps with some double-stick tape and super-fine sandpaper with a thin backing (e.g. 2000 grit wet/dry), you could make some brakes.

Hope that helps.

-- Brian Havens, Woodworker

View Surfside's profile


3389 posts in 2680 days

#11 posted 12-14-2012 08:37 PM

Those are great!

-- "someone has to be wounded for others to be saved, someone has to sacrifice for others to feel happiness, someone has to die so others could live"

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18671 posts in 4183 days

#12 posted 12-15-2012 06:12 AM

Very nice work. Thanks for all the pointers ;-)

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View hunter71's profile


3438 posts in 3693 days

#13 posted 12-15-2012 11:40 AM

A toy that never wears out. Well maybe a string. I have made some and I am amazed at some kids reaction to them. Most under 7 have never seen one. But once you give them one, they can’t put it down.

-- A childs smile is payment enough.

View Ivan's profile


15059 posts in 3374 days

#14 posted 12-15-2012 09:45 PM

One of toys that can’t never bored.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

View Dave's profile


11434 posts in 3347 days

#15 posted 12-16-2012 02:24 AM

Better than a Duncan. Nice work.

-- Superdav "No matter where you go - there you are."

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