Lluis shows us how he made this elegant spinning top out of walnut wood:
Hi everyone! This week I want to share with you my first project on my new lathe. I’m very pleased with it, but no, I’ve no experience in wood turning, so I decided to make a quick and easy project for those who like me are newbies at this discipline. I must admit that I have a remarkable interest in Christopher Nolan’s films. And that’s how I came with the idea to make the spinning top that Cobb uses like a Totem (after Mal did) in “Inception” film. Below I explain the whole process of creating this object.
To make this wooden spinning top I started with a scrap piece of walnut about 30mm thick, and I needed to cut a square stick suitable for turning. For doing so I used my scroll saw with a skip-tooth blade which worked so good for this job.
Previously I marked the maximum diameter of the section and locate its centre to helping me when I attached to the lathe. Then I drill a pilot hole to allow a better grip in between the piece of wood and the driving centre.
Once the piece is locked on place I started turning the piece into a cylinder using the roughing gouge. After that I marked schematically with a pencil the proportions of the spinning top. Then, I started shaping with the spindle gouge.
Before the piece could broke, I change my shaping tool into a 80 grit sandpaper and continued modelling the piece. Because I don’t own a chuck yet, I can’t finish the whole shaping process on the lathe, so before removing it from the machine, I decided to sand it and finish the region that didn’t need more shaping work. So after sanding progressively with 120, 320 grit and 0000 steel wool I applied a cyanoacrylate finish and once it dried I rub it with leather to get a brighter finish.
Then I used a handsaw with the lathe turned on to remove the piece, so I could finish the shaping work with the file and sandpaper. Once I did that, I applied CA glue in all the unfinished zones and then I buffed out with a nail polisher.