Saturday, April 18, 2015

Turn a Swedish Top, It Sings While It Spins!

This unique Christmas gift for a small child is designed for those of you who have experience using a lathe.
      Patterned from an original made in Sweden more than a century ago, this unusual, wooden top, which is turned on a lathe, produces a pleasing hum as it spins swiftly over the floor. The hollow, ball part of the top is turned from two maple blocks on a faceplate, each half first being glued to a scrap, pine block, after which the latter is attached to the faceplate. Then the center of each half of the ball is turned concave and the edges rabbeted to fit together snugly. Stock for the spinner is glued at the base of one block and the two halves are glued and clamped together between the lathe centers. The outside diameter is turned to the dimensions given above, checking the work frequently with a cardboard template to obtain a perfect sphere. The square opening made in one side of the ball is filed to shape after first drilling a starting hole. Variation in sounds can be obtained by varying the size of the opening, this being accomplished by providing snug-fitting inserts of various sizes which can be pressed into the opening.
      The handle, in which the top is held to spin it, is turned from a 2 3/8-in. square piece and is planed or sanded flat on two sides to measure 1 in. thick. A hole to take the spinner is bored through the center of the flat portion and an opening is made through the side through which a string is pulled to spin the top. To do this, the string is wound around the spinner, as shown in the upper photo, after which the end of the string is passed through the hole in the side of the handle. Holding the top upright as shown in the lower photo, give the string a quick pull and with a slight upward motion, throw the top clear of the handle to alight on the floor.

More Toy You Can Make With a Lathe:

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