Posts Tagged ‘yo-yo’

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I received a notice from my daughter’s school looking for silent auction donations for an upcoming fundraiser. The funds were going towards the school’s parent council and are to be used to fund programs, and purchases, not covered by the schools budget. I thought it would be fun to donate something that was hand machined in hopes that my labor would score a decent bid and therefore increase the funds collected from the auction.

I wanted to fabricate something that would appeal to a wide audience and so I settled upon machining a yo-yo. I figured both kids and adults could enjoy the pleasures that come from rotational energy. The yo-yos I build are not pro style trick units, they do not run ball bearing axles or friction pads. The units I make are for the pure novice that can appreciate the joys that come from classic design.

The first order of business was to change the name. Although yo-yo is a generic, non-trademarked, name I felt it was too immature. Therefore instead of machining a yo-yo I opted to machine a Vacillating Vertical Pendulum. The concept is the same, only the name has changed.

Since the pendulum will be placed on an auction block I opted to machine a custom storage case for it as well. I have posted pictures of my “yo-yos” in the past but have not dedicated an entire post outlining the process. The following is jam packed with pictures showing the procedure I have developed to make a Vacillating Vertical Pendulum.

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The entire process starts off with a section of 6061 aluminium. Normally I use 2.250″ stock however I was out so I was forced to start with a 2.500″.

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Since there are a total of 18 holes being drilled in each half I try and keep the starting thickness down to a minimum. The final thickness of each half will be .500″. Working with a .550″ thick section allows .050″ for rough, and finished, machining.

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First machining step involves facing the one side and then drilling, and tapping, a 6 mm hole .300″ deep. Look at me splitting metric and imperial.

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To make the rest of the machining easier, and to avoid damaging the finish, I use an arbor I made that has a 6 mm stud.

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Using the arbor I face the opposite side. No need to clean up the diameter yet.

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With the 2 blanks built it is time to move onto the milling machine and set it up for the drilling of the lightening holes.

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The milling machine gets dialed into the center of the blank.

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Next I use the DRO (Digital Read Out) to program in the placement of all the holes.

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All the holes get marked using a centering drill.

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The twelve outer holes get final drilled using a .250″ drill bit. The inner 6 holes are opened up to .3125″.

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The blanks start off at 110 grams (there is that metric again)

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The 18 holes shave off 22 grams of weight.

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Next it is back onto the lathe to clean up the inside face of the blanks.

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These are the blanks prepped and ready to get the final weight machined off.

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Here the diameter gets spun down to a final dimension of 2.200″.

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As previously mentioned I would typically start with 2.250″ stock however in this case you can see the amount I had to take off from the 2.500″ I actually started with.

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Using the arbor in the lathe chuck I face off enough material to bring the thickness down to a final .500″.

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In my quest to shave off more weight I set up to trim the outer face at a 14 degree angle.

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With the face trimmed up I chamfer the corners using a 30 degree angle.

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With the final machining complete I clean up the edges using 320 grit sandpaper. The 30 degree chamfer, performed in the previous step, allows for a sanding of a smooth corner.

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Here you can see the rough clean up on the left as opposed to the final machining on the right.

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Total weight has now come down to 41 grams.

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With all the machining completed it is now time to move onto the second phase of the process. Since the units are going to be anodized it is crucial that the surface finish is perfect before zapping them in an acidic bath. To make polishing easier I decided to build an arbor to help keep the machined faces from “getting away”.

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2 stage polishing is adequate for the anodizing process.

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The foreground face has been machined where as the background face has only been sanded using 320 grit and Scotchbrite.

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This picture makes it obvious I am building 2 Vacillating Vertical Pendulums.The second one is for a friend. The polished faces have now gone through a rigorous cleaning process. Aluminum filler rod has been wedged into the 6 mm holes and they are ready to get dunked in the ano bath.

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Here they all sit in a bath of sulphuric acid for 2 hours with approximately 2 amps of current flowing though the liquid.

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The anodizing process is complete after the 120 minutes, it is evident that the process worked by the change in color to a light grey.

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The unit that is being donated for the silent auction is being dyed a red bordeaux finished. Total time spent in the color bath is approximately 10 minutes. After that the units get boiled in water for 30 minutes to seal the color in.

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This picture is kind of just stuck in the middle of everything. The axle shaft is cut from a 6 mm stainless steel threaded rod. Here the bushing , that the axle slides through, is being cut from a section of .3125″ aluminum.

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These are the 2 dyed, and sealed, pendulums. Pretty!

 

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I like to add a silver lining around each hole using a chamfer bit on a hand drill.

 

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Since the Vacillating Vertical Pendulum requires a place to be stored I thought that a custom case would be in order. Here I started by machining down a section of 1.000″ 6062 aluminum to act as a storage perch.

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A radius sliced into the top will allow for some stability when resting the pendulum on its stringed axis.

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The base of the storage case was, once again, trimmed out from aluminum. A threaded 10 mm center hole will allow the center perch to attached.

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The base of the storage case received a coat of matte black powder and then got baked at 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

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Time to clean and assemble everything. The pendulums received a hand waxing with some Collinite’s #850.

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Here are all the components, before assembly, that make up the entire project. The glass cover was purchased and the base was machined to fit.

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The center storage perched was screwed into the base. Note the humidity control holes that was drilled into the base to allow for strict climate control inside the case.

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The storage case received a GG decal to finish things off.

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To ensure that the person who purchases the item knows that it is authentic a certificate, and specification document, was created.

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So it would appear that I have got myself into a groove of machining projects that can be completed in an evenings worth of time. They allow little commitment on my part yet yields decent amounts of satisfaction, in today’s world I think I have dialed in what we are all looking for. I typically live by the words “a well planned project is a project half done” however in this case a “project that is winged is a project that that wasn’t planned but turned out alright”.

I got myself into a yo-yo groove. A number of years ago I researched yo-yos and came to learn that the technology has advanced since I was a kid. Now the pro yo-yos are all ball bearing-ed, housing friction discs, and strung with your choice of left, or right hand, wound string. Really I just wanted a yo-yo like the yellow wooden one I had when I was lad. So I got my hands on a typical, non-pro, yo-yo. Took some dimensions, weighed some weight, and went to spinning on the lathe. Would you like to see?

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I do not have very many build pictures to post. All the units where built from 6061 aluminum. I made 2 different versions, an adult version using 2.250″ stock and a child’s version using 2″ stock. The milling machine digital readout was dialed in to hog out some holes to lighten the overall weight.

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These are the rough machined blanks. The centers are threaded to accept a stainless steel 6 mm threaded rod that is housed in a 5/16″ aluminum axle.

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These are the finished machined spinners. I set the blanks up on the lathe and then tapered down the sides until I achieved the weight that I wanted.

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Time to toss on some color. Some of the units got anodized and then dipped in some colorful dye.

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All the colors hung to dry after coming out of the dye tank.

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This one was built for a good friend of mine, Dave, who is always around to help me out when needed (except when he is in Disney World). He wanted his favorite sports team colors so this yo-yo went copper and blue.

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This 2 tone unit weighs in at 72 grams and sports an orange poly string.

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This was the child’s version I built and dyed florescent pink. I left it in the dye tank a bit too long so the “florescent” doesn’t pop as much as it should. The smaller 2″ diameter, along with the larger holes, brings the weight down to 47 grams.

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The original plan was to dye both sides pink however I ran into a slight issue with the anodizing. I ended up having a poor electrical connection while soaking the yo-yos in the acid bath and the 1 side of the pink yo-yo never anodized. Because it didn’t anodize I couldn’t get it to take on the dye. I decided to throw it back on the lathe and brush finish the failed side. I think it looks better this way with the two tone.

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This purple one was built just because. It is built to the same dimensional spec as the copper/blue one. I have logged some decent spin time with this one and I am pleased with the performance level. Good weight, good feel, good whip, good spin.

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This was my original prototype. In weighs in at a hefty 104 grams! Yes, it is not for the weak fingered but it works. It does, however, start to take it toll on the digits. I used the specs of this y-yo to machine my more successful anodized units from. The main difference is that I shaved down the thickness of the sides in order to achieve better weight.

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You can see how thick this one is. I initially got the spec from an original yo-yo.

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156

Hello cyber world, it’s me Gord, haven’t checked in for awhile so I thought I would poke me head in and say hey! Has much changed out there? Is the information still free flowing?

I am not much of one for excuses so I find it is best to just come clean. I haven’t updated the blog since April 1st. Garage projects, family, work, and life, continue to trickle along. I made a conscious decision to let the updates slide for a bit in order to allow me to focus on higher priority items. I have received many comments that I have not responded to. When I started the blog I set a goal of responding to every comment that ever was sent my way. I have let this slip therefore…I am publishing an official apology to the following people; Dustin, Tony, Darcy, james a, Larry, howder1951, forhire, mikesplace2, jason k, jason, and Luis. You have all sent me comments that I have failed to promptly respond to. After this post is published I will continue to get caught up and work through the responses. I beg forgiveness.

As far as actually projects that have taken place I still managed to keep the pictures snapping. I have very few of the actual build process but I have shots of the finished projects. So in staying with the picture theme I will let the photos, and captions, do the talking. The following is some of what I have worked on during the past 5 months. Here we go…

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I stumbled upon an ad for this barn find 1965 CB160. the guy wanted $100 for it. I was all finished my own CB160 build but figured a parts bike may come in handy down the road.

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As I stripped it down it turned out that the bike was actually not a 160 but instead it was a 125. Oh well, still had some usable parts.

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This is what I was left with as far as usable used parts. What is ironic is that the fuel tank knee pads of my Cafe CB160 both had slight tears and were the only sub-par part I never replaced during the build. The barn find bike pads were in very good shape and so they ended up being the only parts that found their way onto the Cafe racer. I figured I got my $100 worth just in the tank pads.

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This ended up being my garbage pile.

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I ended up having to perform some shop clean up. I had this old welding gas gauge that had been kicking around for years. As I cleaned up I tossed it in the garbage. 5 minutes later I saw it staring at me with a tear in it’s eye. I couldn’t turn my back so I retrieved it from the trash and gave it some special attention.

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First order of business was to strip it down and separate its anatomy.

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Next all the brass and chrome spent some time getting massaged on the buffing wheel.

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A couple scraps of steel were plasma cut to size.

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Used the milling machine to drop an end mill in and achieve a 2″ slot.

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1/4″ NPT fitting was welded in along with a vertical support.

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Some sandblasting and flat black powder coating cleaned things up.

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The plastic gauge face was polished up using the lathe and some plastic polishing compound.

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Next marrying of the two components took place.

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And finally I was left with a business card holder that gave a welding gauge a second chance on life. I ended up giving the card holder to a parts person friend of mine.

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Sometimes I blog about my outdoor projects, no it’s not metal work but it still provides a certain level of satisfaction. The city property right next to my property is where the community mailboxes sit. I take care of it as it were my own and make sure the snow stays clear the surrounding area is taken care of. Most people access the box from the road and not the sidewalk. The cheap sidewalk blocks drive me nuts and I figured it was about time to volunteer some community service.

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It took an entire weekend but with help from my neighbor we were able to lay down a 7 foot paving stone pad that allowed access from both the street side and the the sidewalk. The neighbors were appreciative and the paving stones look much better. By now the grass is filled in and things are back to normal.

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The next set of pictures involve a long drawn out project that has been on my list to complete for years. Unfortunately it isn’t actually finished yet but it is getting close. It all starts with an idea, some aluminum, and some stainless steel.

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I’ve had this idea to build a fully machined, double walled, vacuum filled “thermos”. I researched insulating properties and determines that a vacuum filled unit is more efficient then an argon gas filled one. Here the machining of the caps begins.

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Next was onto the top and bottom flanges.

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Holes were drilled in order to clamp the assembly together using stainless steel fasteners and 5/16″ 6061 aluminum rods.

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Sections were milled out to reduce weight and create a cool design.

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More holes milled to accept the connecting rods.

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The two stainless tubes were faced on the lathe.

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The assembly was clamped into the mill in order to take measurements for the connecting rods.

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And here is a poor picture of the unfinished thermos. The unit was assembled in order to be leak tested. I wanted to ensure liquid would not leak into the vacuum chamber. Turned out it was sealed perfectly.

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Everything was then disassembled and polished.

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Time to pull out the anodizing equipment. Here is the power supply I use for the process.

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All the aluminum parts got thoroughly cleaned.

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And into the acid bath for a 2 hour soaking.

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After anodizing everything received a dip into orange dye.

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And here is were the entire project went sideways. Something happened with the dye job. Things got blotchy and the dye was very uneven. I am still currently working on a repair/solution.

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Here is the final shot I am posting. These are the flanges, and lid, with all the o-ring seals that keep the liquid, and vacuum, contained.

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Moving onto shop organization. My metal inventory was getting a bit out of hand so a weekend was spent cleaning up the metal racking. Soooo nice now, what a relief.

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While anodizing my thermos there is time to kill as processes process. As I stared around the shop looking to pass the time I thought I would play on the lathe. I turned out this 6061 aluminum bottle opener.

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Since I still had more time to kill I found an old ammunition shell so I machined, and press fit, a bottle opener head into it.

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I was just starting to get good at this. I built another one but before I machined it I pressed in a .500″ solid brass rod into the center. The brass rings not only look cool but it also gives the opener some good weight.

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Why stop now? Lets go with an automotive theme shall we?

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It took 3 pictures to show this one off. I built this for a friend of mine.

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I am not a smoker however I figured those who partake would probably appreciate an emergency cigarette with a nice cold one.

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The smoke fits comfortably and protected inside the opener.

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Let’s do the next one out of steel shall we? Perhaps drilling some holes then pounding in some .250″ copper might be in order.

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A bit more milling and then a session on the buffing wheel turned out this version. I’m telling you the ideas are endless!!!

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Time to switch things up. This one is steel and works great.

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All you really need are 2 points and some leverage.

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Time to give the bottle openers a rest. This idea came from the opener with the hidden cigarette. I call it my 5 shooter smoke holder.

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I love the detail, super clean.

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What holds the smokes in you ask? Keep scrolling.

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There it is, a pocket size smoke holder made for a friend of mine.

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Okay…no more openers or smoke holders. This next one is a little project I have wanted to try for awhile.

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It is my version of a classic “yo-yo”. I am familiar with the pro units and their construction however I wanted to give the amateur something cool to play with.

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This “yo-yo” worked out great. I think there are more in my future.

So this sums up a bit of what has been going on in the garage for the past 5 months. I still have a list of bigger projects that I need to continue with. My 1935 CCM bicycle weighs heavy on my mind as well as my aluminum furnace. I figure that as long as I am building in the garage I am where I belong. Till next time…hopefully sooner then 5 months.