Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 3, Issue 1
September 2008
From the Archive

An Austrian Top

Excerpt from Boy Mechanic, Book 1, 1913.

All parts of the top are of wood and they are simple to make. The handle is a piece of pine, 5-1/4 in. long, 1-1/4 in. wide and 3/4 in. thick. A handle, 3/4 in. in diameter, is formed on one end, allowing only 1-1/4 in. of the other end to remain rectangular in shape. Bore a 3/4 in. hole in this end for the top. A
1/16 in. hole is bored in the edge to enter the large hole as shown. The top can be cut from a broom handle or a round stick of hardwood.

Parts of the top.
Parts of the top.

To spin the top, take a piece of stout cord about 2 ft. long, pass one end through the 1/16-in. hole and wind it on the small part of the top in the usual way, starting at the bottom and winding upward. When the shank is covered, set the top in the 3/4 in. hole. Take hold of the handle with the left hand and the end of the cord with the right hand, give a good quick pull on the cord and the top will jump clear of the handle and spin vigorously.

Editor's Note: This is a reprint of an article published in 1913. It describes what was recommended in accordance with the knowledge and practices of the day. While reading it, please consider this fact.

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