Project Tutorials

Chatter Finger Spinning Top

Click image for enlarged view

Before you start to apply color to the chatter area, wipe the marker on a paper towel or old rag to soak a little of the excess ink out of the tip. I use permanent markers or washable depending on what I find in a brush tip I like. A quick spray with lacquer and the marker will not rub off on your hands.

Coloring chatter

Turn the lathe on about 1000 rpm’s and move the marker gently against the chatter area. Stop the lathe when it looks covered and see how it looks. It you have the lathe too slow or put too much pressure on the mark the color will get in the low areas instead of just the top of the chatter.

Close up of colored chatter

The chatter after coloring. When I am making the top for a child at a demonstration I let them pick the colors they want, it gives them a chance to add something that they want in the piece and makes it more personal for them.

Thinning the stem area

Reduce the wood of the stem area in preparation for chatter on that side of the top.

Cutting straight chatter

I make an area of flat chatter close to the outer rim.

Close up of straight chatter

This looks ok so I will add a little color.

Chatter colored

The flat chatter with a little red added.

Profile of top body

I added an area of spiral chatter closer to the center and colored it. I like to combine the two different chatter types on the topside of each top.

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