building a yoyo from the ground up? gonna need some help!


So, I’m pretty hell bent on buying a lathe and making yoyos, and I need help. I pretty much need to know the process from start to finish. I know a few things about it, but I want to find someone willing to tell me the whole thing so I know what I need to do this. Please don’t bash me for buying a lathe when I don’t know what I’m doing or something like that, I’m legitimately looking for help/information I need to get this thing started! Anyone got the know how that I don’t know how? ;D


I just googled “how to make a yoyo” and just got a bunch of results telling me to carve some wood. Loooool wood yoyos; this must be the 80s or something. I found this lathe buying guide,8538.0.html but couldn’t find a complete walkthrough for the actual process. I think there are classes for this stuff, but an actual guide would be interesting.


If you put the lathe together in the guide I believe it comes with a free toaster!


Well to be honest in my opinion you’re better off to draft a schematic and bring it to a machine shop if you want quality work. It’s pretty hard to learn how to operate a lathe on your own. I had the privilege of having a huge machine shop in my highschool that had 8 lathes as well as an uncle who has a small machine shop. I don’t think I would be able to have the skill I have on machines if it weren’t for instructors. It is dangerous to learn how to operate a lathe on your own if you have no prior experience on a lathe. Sure, there are great books but it’s pretty much ESSENTIAL to have somebody to show you the ropes. Every machine is a bit different so it would be hard to learn from videos and such. I assume you are buying a used lathe because new lathes are more expensive and in my opinion not as reliable as older lathes from before 1960. I think a brand new lathe woul come with a extensive manual.

Keep in mind there are a lot of other things you have to buy. Lathes need a collection of tools to keep the parts in working order. You need a pedestal grinder to sharpen and shape your cutting tool, which is also a skill that isn’t something you’ll be able to do effectively. You’ll probably want a set of drills for your tail stock too, as well as reamers(precision finishing drills) and taps to make inner threads. Then you also need oil, tapping fluid, lengths of metal stock, emery cloth, a spot to put all this, proper power hookups probably need ballasts and such, and countless other additions.

BOTTOM LINE!: please don’t do this if you have no machining experience. A yoyo is a pretty advanced project and you definitely won’t be starting there. Do you have any machining experience? Then I think you’d be able to do it eventually. Also, do you know any machinists(friend or family) or somebody who has a fair share of machining experience? That would help you tons.

Feel free to reply to me if you have further questions, or reply in this thread but I won’t get back to it as quickly.


You aren’t going to find someone who will just be able to teach you over a forum. What most machinists I’ve talked to recommend is to take a machining class from a local college or something like that. It takes far more work than you make it out to be. Just because you have a general idea of making a yoyo, doesn’t mean you can just pump out a throw and have it actually work. Not to mention you’ll have to be very precise if you intend on machining the yoyo yourself. If you’re going to have someone else machine it, it becomes a lot easier in terms of mechanical skills, but you’ll still need a good understanding of what makes a yoyo spin well. I haven’t personally made any yoyos myself, but I did ask the same question that you did, and it turned out to be a much larger project than I’d originally thought it would be. Hopefully some of the machinists on our forum will be able to answer your question more thoroughly. In any case, don’t go buying anything right now :smiley:




I have a partner who will be running the machinery who has 40+ years experience lol so yea I got that covered.I’m just looking for anyone who would be willing to kind of be available for questions along the way kind of thing for stuff having to do with producing an actual throw. Lol I wouldn’t do this if it were just me, hell, I would buy the lathe and probably have a better chance of carving a YoYo out of a block of aluminum off of the prongs on the plug lmao


Okay that makes half the work a lot easier. So you just need to make sure you have a good design and that he’ll be able to keep up the precision. Does he yoyo? If so, that will help a bit :smiley:
Again, I can’t give you any real advice on the actual design of a yoyo, but I’ve seen some people use some 3d programs that allow you to plan your idea out.
You could probably contact this guy:,70236.0.html
I don’t know if he will have to time to walk you through the whole thing, but he will definitely give you some advice. Also, this may be kind of far-fetched, but perhaps Landon Balk might be able to help you. It doesn’t hurt to try at least :stuck_out_tongue:


Dumb question. Who’s Landon?


He’s the owner of 3yo3 and he has a LOT of fun experience hand-turning yoyos.


I say if you have the money for a lathe, go for it!


Also keep in mind each cut that you have will make it more difficult to make. Start with simpler designs and tweak it to be more to your liking.


It is hard to make your own yoyo. The bearing seat is really tricky!

This one is waiting on silicone. It was made from titanium. :slight_smile:

I set it up to use 1 Drips side effects so I would have some wiggle room with the weight. :slight_smile: