Make a Yoyo

Although it is relatively easy and inexpensive to purchase a yoyo, you may want the satisfaction of making one yourself. This project requires the use of a power tool. Therefore, it should be done only under the supervision of an adult.

This project is rated: MODERATE

Materials needed:
  • Wood,
  • Dowel rod
  • Electric drill and bits
  • Hole Saw
  • Sandpaper
  • Glue
  • Paint
  • String
4 Homemade Yo-Yo's

In a previous project, you learned how to make a Toy Top using a hole saw to make the pieces necessary. In this project, I will describe how to use a hole saw to make a yoyo. You can purchase individual hole saws in various sizes, or you can buy a kit that contains various sizes of saws. A kit will consist of a quarter inch drill bit which is mounted through a circular metal plate. The plate has circular groves in it to accommodate several different size saws that are included. These saws usually range in size from 0.75 inch in diameter to 2.5 inches in diameter. For this project, we will use the 0.75 inch size, the 1.0 inch size, and the 2.0 inch size.

Hole Saw Kit

You can use various thicknesses of wood and you can use any size hole saw. However, I suggest that you use wood that is one-half inch thick and that you use the 2.5 inch hole saw. The resulting yoyo will closely approximate the size of a commercial yoyo.

Project Instructions

  1. Use your hole saw to cut out two circular pieces of wood that will look something like the figure at right.
  2. Use sandpaper to round over the edges so that they are smooth.

  3. The next step is to mount the two disks on a dowel rod. The hole saw will have made a hole in the center of each disk and the hole is usually 0.25 inch in diameter. Therefore, you will need 0.25 inch dowel rod. The length of the dowel rod will be determined by the thickness of the wood that you have used. Let us say that you have used one-half inch wood as suggested. The dowel rod’s length should be twice the thickness of the wood plus one-eighth inch. In this case the rod should be 1.125 inches.

  4. Smooth the ends of the dowel with sandpaper and then place both disks on the rod as shown in the figure at right. A drop of wood glue should be used to secure the disks to the rod. 

  5. Paint the yoyo any color that you wish.
  6. After the paint is dry, attach a string. Tie a small loop in each end of the string. After making the loops, then create a larger loop as shown at right. The purpose of making these larger loops is to provide a method of attaching the string to the yoyo, and of attaching the string to your finger. Open one loop so that it is large enough to go around the yoyo and then drop it into the slot between the disks and tighten it so that it grips the dowel rod. Open the other loop enough to slip it on to your second finger. The length of the string depends on the height of the person using it. A suggested length is 3 inches more than the distance for your belt to the ground.
  7. Wind the string into the slot. Then you can “throw” the yoyo so that it unwinds the string and then rewinds the string bringing the yoyo back to your hand.

Yo-Yo image
Yo-Yo image
Yo-Yo string

If you haven’t used a yoyo before, it will take some practice to gain some proficiency. You may find it necessary to experiment with different types of string.

Tags: hole saw | toy | yoyo
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