Shop Made Yo-Yos

Over 6 months ago now I finally finished a pair of yo-yos I made for family friends who gave us a wagon for our kids.  The wagon was a very well made wagon and I wanted to make a special gift for the family in return.  I remembered how much I enjoyed yo-yos when I was a kid so I decided to make up one for each of their 2 girls.

The design is very straightforward.  Essentially it is 2 aluminum halves with a tool steel axle.  I chose to make the bearing / bushing out of some Teflon I had in the shop.   You could easily modify the design to use the very common rolling element bearings that so many yo-yos utilize these days.  The trickiest part of the design is sizing the o-ring that sits in each of the halves.  The size and cross sectional area of the o-ring used determines how easily (if at all) the yo-you will return to your hand.  If you remove the o-ring completely the yo-yo may never return to your hand and probably will require what is called a “binding” trick which causes the yo-yo to recoil its string.  Since I wanted these yo-yos to be easy to use for beginners I sized the o-ring so the yo-yo will return with a easy flick of the wrist.

The project made heavy use of the 5C collet chuck that I previously reviewed.  The chuck worked out very well and the soft 5C collets that I used made the job much easier and quicker than it would have taken using the old 4 jaw standby.

I chose to press in 12 pieces of brass on the outer rim for added mass where it is needed most.  Besides making up 48 pieces of brass for 2 yo-yos the process was very easy.  After the brass was pressed in I cut the outside radii with a custom form tool I made up in the shop.  I also made a video of making the form tool.  You can watch that video here:

Besides the custom form tool for the radii, there were a number of other tools I ground up to make this yo-yo.  The project once again highlights the basic home shop need of being able to grind high speed steel tools.  If I had to purchase all the cutting tools I needed for this project the cost would have been significant.

I also did a full build video of the process.  Many thanks to Megan for recording music for the introduction.

If you are interested in the drawings you can download them here:

Body – Rev 01, Bushing – Rev 01, Axle – Rev 01, Yo-Yo – Rev 01.

 

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