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 Post subject: Tops 4 tots
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 1:22 pm 
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Location: Skagit Co WA
Each year during the year our club, Northwest Washington Woodturners, collects these spin tops to donate to the Toys for Tots program. I try to spend a few minutes a few days during the week to produce a few for the month's meeting. Here are a couple from this week:

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Two tops.jpg
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Sorry - I shoulda put something in for scale. They're about 2" in diameter. The light colored one is from some scrap bamboo flooring. The other is black locust and walnut, veneers glued up and both with dowels glued in for handles and tips. I actually prefer turning tops from solid blanks but the dowel method opens up a lot more design possibilities.

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 Post subject: Re: Tops 4 tots
PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 6:29 pm 
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Location: Rochester MN USA
DENNIS S: Do you have problems with the end grain portion of the circumference tearing out? I suspect you don't with really sharp fine cuts. How do you fix the dowel in the center, epoxy or just plain old glue?
A turner here in Rochester is doing that design but adding chatter tooling on the topside and then using sharpies to color. They ( mom and pop) sell them with pens and other gifts type goods in the subway shops here at the subway system connecting the Mayo to the down town and hotels.

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 Post subject: Re: Tops 4 tots
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:48 am 
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newtooth wrote:
DENNIS S: Do you have problems with the end grain portion of the circumference tearing out?


Like you say, NT, sharp tools and light cuts gets the job done. But the other side of that coin is that turning from solid stock, that is spindle turning, you're not faced with end grain on the edges, circumference, of the piece.

newtooth wrote:
How do you fix the dowel in the center, epoxy or just plain old glue?


I just use ordinary yellow, tight bond wood glue for the dowels. For wood tops that is. I've made some with solid surface (Corian) and other non-wood materials then I opt for epoxy. Some of the club members use CA glue but I've not had great success with it.

There is one small gallery a bit North of me that's expressed an interest in marketing my tops but I've not followed through on it. Perhaps I should. Do you know how much those folks charge for their tops?

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 Post subject: Re: Tops 4 tots
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:38 pm 
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DENNIS S: They sell several sizes at the shop. The top which I think is closest to the ones you turn is about 2" and they sell them for $13.50 each. They have two other models ther but they wouldn't be for kids. One is about a nickel size diameter another is about dime size, swallow problems I'm sure.
The spindles that they turn on are very plain, possibly slightly ogee in form and on the chatter work face and bottoms the spindle is also colored in bands of the same colors used on the chatter work. There are also some plain wood tops in the 2" size turned from exotics and clear finished. The shopkeeper did confirm to me that all the color was from SHARPIES, but, I don't know if he is the turner.

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 Post subject: Re: Tops 4 tots
PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 4:49 pm 
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newtooth wrote:
DENNIS S: They sell several sizes at the shop. The top which I think is closest to the ones you turn is about 2" and they sell them for $13.50 each. They have two other models ther but they wouldn't be for kids. One is about a nickel size diameter another is about dime size, swallow problems I'm sure.
The spindles that they turn on are very plain, possibly slightly ogee in form and on the chatter work face and bottoms the spindle is also colored in bands of the same colors used on the chatter work. There are also some plain wood tops in the 2" size turned from exotics and clear finished. The shopkeeper did confirm to me that all the color was from SHARPIES, but, I don't know if he is the turner.


Yeah, we're careful to make sure there's no choke hazard for the Toys 4 Tots items since we don't know to what age group they might be going. Our rule of thumb is it has to be bigger than the diameter of a toilet paper roll (grin). That's our guideline but I don't know how they came up with it.

Sharpie? Those are alcohol based dyes, aren't they? Probably not a problem but for color work we use water based 'kid' coloring pens. I think Crayola is one brand we use. Other than that I stick to beeswax & mineral oil for a finish. I've yet to master the art of chatter work but then I don't have the best wood for it. Plus it should be end grain/spindle work - these where I use the dowel & slab, so to speak, end up being face grain.

Do you know if that shop where your friends have their tops has a web site? Would be interesting to see others' work.

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 Post subject: Re: Tops 4 tots
PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:09 pm 
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DENNIS S: check e-mail

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 Post subject: Re: Tops 4 tots
PostPosted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 1:45 am 
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newtooth wrote:
DENNIS S: check e-mail


Sorry, NT, I should have let you know - I got the infor. Thanks. I'll check it out.

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