Are you looking for "how to" or size or ???? I'll tell you what I have done. I buy a chunk of 2" maple that is about 6" wide and 6' long and then rip off 2" wide strips. I then cross cut those into about 3" lengths. I don't have any chucks so I use my small face plate with a scrap piece of oak screwed to it that is 3/4" thick. I hot glue the top blank to the oak and then turn making sure to do the bottom of the top first and then working to the handle end with different designs at the base of the handle. Before parting it off I take sharpie markers or any kind and put different colour stripes and swirls on it and then add some wax for protection. Part it off and you are ready to go. I'm not as experienced as most here in turning but I can usually crank out 1 every 10 minutes once I get set up. The last thing I do is test every one but that's what I have kids for. They sell great at craft shows and I've found that the older generation can turn them better than kids.
Here are some I did along with my faceplate and top blank
Thanks for the info guys. What I'm specifically looking for are design ideas. I've made a number of tops... some "fly" easily, some don't. I guess I'm wanting to know more about the physics of top making.
Joe, the link provided by Penhead links to me (Russ Babbitt). What a surprise. I did not know I was there. It was a top hands-on day I did in my shop. I would suggest doing a search for tops on the internet. You will find a wealth of different shapes and designs. Also do a search for Bonnie Klein (Queen of Tops) and Jon Sauer. They both do incredible top work. Del Mano Gallery also has some tops displayed under their Small Treasures show. I have been able to accumulate over 100 pictures of tops over the web. Surely there are many more.
Some of my older tops.
A member of my woodturning club demonstrates a pole lathe at the Ozark Folk Center, in Mountain View, Arkansas. He makes tops there for demo. But his production is at home on a regular lathes. He makes thousands a year. He domoed for the club and said there is an ancient forumula for the shape which gives the best spin. A google search can find it for you. His name is Sherm Anderson.
Hope there is not a problem my posting the link to your article on woodturningonline.com....I had no idea that their webmaster would post links to articles that he hadn't requested permission for.
Originally posted by Russb
<br />Joe, the link provided by Penhead links to me (Russ Babbitt). What a surprise. I did not know I was there.