YoYo Time Turned and Machined YoYo GoGo

I turned a couple of YoYo kits this weekend. My Brother-Inlaw was here for a visit and so I turned the blanks round and let him finish them. I turned a second one for a friend and used my Shapeoko 3XXL to engrave his name on the YoYo. Good Fun. Of course I had to take them for a test run to make sure they worked ok. The kits are PSI brand and I bought 5 together. So I have one more already made and two more in the box. Sometimes the simple things in life are the best. I will likely keep one or two in my truck and give them away to kids in a restaurant if they seem bored.

I made an mdf jig to hold the yoyo while engraving it. Since the yoyo already had the center cut out I placed a piece of blue tape on top and found the center and lined up the vee bit. I was off just a little bit but not enough to worry about. Trying to see a pencil mark on blue tape under the router was a challenge.

My spoilboard has 2" spacing with 1/4-20 tee nuts so I made the left side with two .26" holes and on the other side I cut slots to tighten down once I got the yoyo blank squeezed down with a clamp. I have used this method on several round objects I wanted to machine on.

Here is the one I let my Brother In-Law finish.

Here is the third one.

I started with 5/8" thick mahagoney and cut it to 2.5" squares. I rounded off the corners on the Jet 12-21 VS lathe on a pen mandrel with yoyo bushings. Then you use a pen press to put the inner and outer pieces in place inside a brass tube I glued in before turning. I sanded and finished with Shellawax. On the one with Bob’s name I finished sanded and then engraved with a 15 degree vee bit and put it back on the lathe to finish sand and put finish on it. Very enjoyable making toys.

I also made a few tops out of some hickory I had bought a few weeks ago. I also keep them in the truck and give them away to kids and adults and you never seen such smiles when kids are spinning tops. Since I had the lathe all set up they are also a lot of fun to make and take.


You stated that you buy YoYo kits. Take the next step and design one yourself for routing with your CNC. That way you can cut the design, name, gear, whatever and then do the center hole and a Profile cut on the perimeter of the YoYo - using Tabs to hold it in place. The Tabs are easily cut off, smoothed, and sanded.

I liked the tops you made. I need to do that too and just stash some in my vehicle to give away. Kids need something other than a cell phone these days.

There are also Gourd Tops called Tennessee Spinners. If you can find someone selling those demand STRAIGHT STEMS! Just sand smooth the small end and with thumb & middle finger and the gourd stem placed between, SNAP like you normally would and get those gourds spinning.

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