Making a spinning top on the lathe
Having made some improvements to my lathe it was time for another small project to try it out. This time I made a small spinning top.
The blank consisted of a 20 mm thick piece of maple with two pieces of mahogany glued to the side to get sufficient thickness for the wide part of the top. I cut off as much as I could on the bandsaw before putting it on the lathe.
Before I made a motor mount, I clamped both the motor and the lathe to the workbench to maintain belt tension. With the motor attached to the lathe, I could use it without clamping it down. But with the lathe as light as it is, and the vibrations from turning, the lathe started to wander away from me. So I clamped it down again.
After that I shaped the main bulb. With the bulb shaped, I started thinning down the stem and the point of the top. I thinned these down last because once they are thin, the workpiece becomes too weak to do much work on the wide bulb part of the top.
I wrapped some paper around the stem, put it in a drill, and then spun it against my strip sander to finish shaping the point.
There are brass tops that you can buy that can spin for ten minutes straight. I wasn't aiming for that kind of record.
Tippe top the self-inverting spinning top