How It Works

Pull the string, holding the ring with your other hand. When the string is fully extended, let go of it. The ring rewinds the string.

Toy tops arc a big hit with the younger kids in my family, and they make great gifts. My top takes only an hour or less to make, and it spins easier and better than the average top. Unlike most tops, this one rewinds itself, so it's always ready to go.

The secret is the copper ring that fits loosely on the top's stem. (See drawing, opposite page.) It spins separately from the body of the top, helping the string to rewind itself. The drawings above show how it works.

Materials—You'll need some attractive offcuts for the body, and some less valuable scrap to mount the blank on your lathe's faceplate. You'll also need a few inches of brass rod for the stem; a short length of dowel for the plug; a ring cut from copper pipe; and 18 to 20 in. of silky nylon cord for the string. Drill a hole in the stem as shown in the drawing opposite.

Lathe setup—A section view of the lathe setup is shown opposite. Cut a scrapwood disc to go on the faceplate of your lathe. Drill an accurately centered l^-in.-dia. hole in this disc to receive the top's stem. To do this, I mount the disc on the lathe, turn it on, and find center with the most acute skew chisel I have. 1 carefully start a hole in the center, and when I've created a little indentation I take the disc to the drill press and

Make cap from V2-in. dowel.

COPPER RING (See detail.)

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Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

Woodworking Tools and Installation Tips

There are a lot of things that either needs to be repaired, or put together when youre a homeowner. If youre a new homeowner, and have just gotten out of apartment style living, you might want to take this list with you to the hardware store. From remolding jobs to putting together furniture you can use these 5 power tools to get your stuff together. Dont forget too that youll need a few extra tools for other jobs around the house.

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