Precision Spinning Tops

Spinny-Doo is a precision rendition of the world's oldest toy, the spinning top. Spinning Tops are mesmerizing, fun, and educational. Not just enjoyed by kids, adults too find spinning tops to be a great ornamental desk toy, a stress-relief outlet, and enjoy spinning them while on the phone, thinking, or relaxing.

Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Tops are designed for the spinning top connoisseur who demands high performance and long spin time, but they are also elegant with smooth proportional curves, and give a very satisfactory sense of high quality.

Precision Means Performance

Being a precision made product, the Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Top production proceses is strictly controlled to ensure every Spinny-Doo meets our high standards. You can expect your Spinny-Doo Precision spinning top to give you long spin times easily up to seven minutes, and with a practiced spin, spin times can be well over seven minutes. The current world record for a Spinny-Doo spinning top is 9 minutes 55 seconds!

We claim Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Tops will Spin Around the Seven Minute Mark. Our packaging says up to seven minutes, but evidence shows over seven minutes. As you can see from customer contributed videos, our performance is proven. Our tops aren't designed to merely look good, they are designed to perform exceptionally well. Who wants a top that just looks good? Why not get one that looks good and actually spins well! You can have both with Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Tops.

Quality Precision Spinning Tops

We take pride and care to ensure every precision spinning top meets our strict quality standards. Each precision spinning top you receive is evaluated for both performance and asthetic qualities. We would rather scrap a spinning top than sell an inferior product.

Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Tops are World-Famous

We have been providing Spinny-Doo brand precision spinning tops to customers all over the world for nearly six years and have a substantial following of extremely happy customers. We frequently get emails from our customers telling us just how much they love their new spinning tops, and and very often get new customers who heard about us by word of mouth.

Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Tops For Your Desk - Executive Desk Toys

Spinny-Doo is visually very elegant and proportionally designed - an excellent ornamental addition to your elegant pen, lamp, and ornamental picture frame. Our customers tell us how the Spinny-Doo on their desk never sits still. People are always coming by to give it a spin and see how long it goes.

Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Tops For Fidgeting

While not strictly a fidget toy, Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Tops are for fidgeters. There's nothing more satisfying than spinning a Spinny-Doo while on the phone, thinking, or relaxing. Your colleagues will start showing up at your desk more often just to get a chance to play with your precision spinning top. Don't be surprised if you don't get your Spinny-Doo back again!

Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Tops Are Toys For All Ages

Yes, Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Tops are Toys. But that doesn't mean it must be for kids! We find that men between the ages of 18 ~ 55 find Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Tops incredible to watch and play with because they appreciate the underlying physics of spinning tops and know that beyond the simple exterior lies complex mathematics that explain how the gyroscopic effect of spinning tops defies gravity and stabilizes them during their spins. Kids learn the principles of gyroscopic motion and precession all the while having fun seeing who can spin theirs the longest.

Spinny-Doo Spinning Tops Are Made in Canada

Spinny-Doo Spinning Tops are Proudly and Exclusively Made in Canada. Spinny-Doo is a small private family owned business run by one man, yet "we" still speak in the general plural corporate entity sense because it sounds better for marketing ;-) Here, "we" design, manaufacture, package, ship, market, draw, and dream about Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Tops. We do all this right here in Canada, and we're very proud to say our products are "Made in Canada"

Spinny-Doo Spinning Tops Make Perfect Gifts for Men. Gifts for Him

Buy a Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Top Online Today and give the gift of spinny-doo precision spinning tops to a friend, loved one, colleague, or give them out as prizes or tokens of appreciation from an employer to an employee. They also can be marked with a corporate logo or slogan and given out as a marketing tool or marketing gift. Spinny-Doo precision spinning tops are high-quality, elegant products that make gift-giving so easy.

Spinny-Doo Spinning Tops are Great Christmas Gifts Ideas

Christmas is just around the corner! Buy a Spinny-Doo Precision Spinning Top Online Today as a Christmas Gift (even a belated Christmas Gift)

Knurls, Knurls, Knurls!

For the longest time, I've been manufacturing tops with a stem diameter of 0.151 instead of the designed 0.150. When one first sets up all the tools in a lathe and begins cutting, one will find (esp when chasing tolerances into the tenths) that one must tweak one cutter or another so that two different cuts on thinner sections end up at the same diameter. Suffice it to say that once I adjusted everything, the stem ended up being 0.001" over, and I just left it that way. The tool that cuts the stem is also the same tool that cuts the knurl, so the knurl was also over by .001.

While setting up the new lathe, and not being able to leave well-enough alone, I decided to tweak it back to spec and in doing so caused the knurl tool to get out of whack. At 80 TPI, a .001" variation can make or break the knurl pattern, and that is exactly what it did.

Oversized material diameter produces bad knurl pattern

Trying to get the Brown and Sharp 185-220 knurl die holder adjusted back to perfection proved difficult because as I would soon discover, the "swivel shoes" holding the dies at a specific angles and distance from center were either cracked or partially missing. When I adjusted one of them, the needle on the indicator started to move, but would stop midway through the adjustment even as I continued turning the set screw. Something was wrong. Despite trying many times, one knurl was always off by between .0005 and .001 resulting in mashed and twisted knurl patterns.

After disassembling the knurl holder, I discovered the fault - one was cracked and bent, and the other was missing an entire side of the shoe that normally keeps the swivel from moving vertically. No wonder it was making such a mess.

Broken swivel shoes on Brown and Sharp 185-220 crush-type knurl die holder

Calling up Brown and Sharp, I was able to easily reach their parts replacement rep and inquire about these shoes. I was told they'd be $20 USD apiece plus shipping, and would take a few weeks. I didn't have that kind of time and for such a simple part, I decided to make them myself.

These shoes are pressed against the swivel using a set-screw. I needed a material that wouldn't deform but not so brittle that it would crack. The rep wouldn't reveal the data on the print for this part, so I posted on a forum asking if 4140HT would be sufficient and a couple of guys nodded in agreement.

I have this great little shop nearby, Resource Metals (resourcemetals.ca) with equally great staff - Jason Bell, the guy who runs the joint, and Glen Koshien who mans the phones. I've been buying from them for years now. You'd be wise to make their acquaintance. A quick trip to Resource and I had two little off-cuts of rectangular 4140HT for under $20. I could have gotten away with just one piece for under $10, but I like having extra on hand for moments like these.

4140HT for reproducing the swivel shoes

The parts I'd be making are very small and will be tricky to hold, so I decided to make them in one piece, then split them afterward. I kinda fumbled here though because what started out to be two pieces side-by-side along the long edge ended up being two pieces laid end-to-end instead. Instead of clamping them just below the little dogs, I ended up holding them sideways... this is harder to describe, so just have a look at the pictures.

 Milling the swivel shoe dogs

 Once the dogs were machined, I sawed off the piece with a bit of extra meat to hold in the vice.

Sawing off the dogs

Next, I had to hold this in the vice so I machined a sacrificial mirror piece to enable clamping sideways in the vice.

Sacrificial mirror for clamping in the vice

Now with it held in the vice, I can mill both the bottom and side to bring it to final dimension. The lower part is the sacrificial part. After this, I'll flip it over in the vice and mill away the bottom which will bring the shoe width to spec.

Milling the bottom of the swivel shoes

This was a very tight fit. I think I had .02" left between the cutter and vice jaws when this was finished. As you can see, the sacrificial piece allowed me to get a better grip on the shoes rather than clamping the shoe by itself by its long edges. At 0.09" in height, there wasn't much to bite on. The height of these shoes were cut to 0.1" (about .006" ~ 0.008" taller than the originals which had different heights), so I could grind them down during fitting.

Milling the side of the swivel shoes to bring width to spec

The dogs fit perfectly in the swivel shoe recess. I then cut them apart, deburred and chamfered all edges, then ground them to size to achieve a perfect slip-fit between the swivel and the tool body. I wanted them to hold the swivels tight so that when the set-screws were loose, the swivels would turn with just a bit of drag rather than spin freely.

Newly fabricated swivel shoes mated perfectly

Here's a shot after separating them, but before deburring/grinding. I didn't take any pictures after this - I got lost in the finishing process and forgot final shots.

Completed replacement swivel shoes for Brown and Sharpe 158-200 knurling tool

The replacement shoes worked perfectly and allowed me to tune the knurls back to perfection. In the end, I saved $50, a whole lot of down time, and had some fun in the process.

Incidentally, my knurls are the straight type and must be turned at ~30 degrees to cut a diamond pattern. Literature provided by most knurl die manufacturers gives you equations that assume you can and will adjust the diameter of the material to get your knurls to track properly - that is, to get the teeth on the die to divide evenly into the circumference of your work. In my case, I preferred not to adjust the size of the work, but rather adjust the angle of the dies so to vary the distance between the grooves.

Adjusting knurls using transverse pitch angle

Adjusting the angle roughly 1.5 degrees more gives me an integer number of teeth for a fixed circumference of work. I'm posting the work here in case you, like me, have to work with a fixed material diameter.

Work Diameter, wd 0.3125 in
Work Circumference, wc
= wd*pi
0.98175 in
Knurl Die TPI 80 Knurl Die Pitch, dp 0.0125 in
Angle, a 31.454 Angle Fraction, af
= cos(rad(a))
0.85306
Teeth on Work
= wc/dp*af
66.999 Note: Adjust die angle until teeth are integer value

 

As you can see, turning the die to 31.45 gives me a proper engagement of the teeth, and quite doable with a B&S protractor... just measure twice - once before, and once after tightening up on the swivel shoes to make sure they don't move.

If you have any questions about the above, feel free to contact me.

Until next time, keep spinning.

Torin...

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