Project Tutorials

Chatter Finger Spinning Top

Click image for enlarged view

With the body of the top and the chatter finished, I now turn the stem and the top will be complete.

You can see from the profile of this top and the previous one that from the tip up to the widest part of the top I keep about ½” or more. If the bottom of the top is too short and flat instead of cone shaped the top can be had to spin because the outer diameter will drag on a surface when tilted over any, often when you first spin the top to start with.

Finger supporting top

When cutting on the thin stem support the top with a finger to prevent the unwanted chatter effect created by the wood deflecting away from the cutting edge.

Sand the stem now if you like.

The top ready for parting off.

Use the long point of a skew to gently part off the top. Do not hold the top because the marker will rub off in your hand and smear on the top. You also can twist the wood in two up inside the top stem if you grip a little too hard and it will leave a small hole in the stem end.

Let the top drop into your hand. Spray with lacquer or other clear finish and give the top a spin.

Spin the top upside down too so you see the chatter on that side. Point the tip up and let the top drop on the stem. Turn a gently dished surface in wood for the tops to spin on and you will not have to chase them all over the floor when you spin them. Spin two tops at the same time in the dished surface and you now have a finger top battle arena.

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