Home Made YoYo - The Build


I’ve been carrying a throw in my pocket for the past few months now and decided I might as well make one from scratch in my shop. I’ve got a small machine shop in Southern California, primarily making pocket tools, firearm components and knives. Having extra strings, response pads and bearings its only natural I make the rest from spare aluminum I have laying around the shop.

I currently carry a Summit and love it, but its huge. I want to make a slightly undersize throw that I can keep in my pocket comfortably. Starting with a One Drop 10 Ball bearing and some extra knife components I worked my way from the center out in designing this thing. I’ve never made a yoyo so I’m not exactly sure whats good and whats not, but I took some specs off my favorite throws to get the critical details nailed down and went from there. All shapes and design details are tangent, concentric and overall just flow well with each other. No idea how it will play though!

Diameter - 50mm
Width - 40mm
Gap - 4.1mm
Weight - TBA
Axle - Heat Treated Stainless
Bearing - One Drop 10 Ball ©
Response Pads - CLYW Snow Tires

Last night I turned all the axle components and roughed out the shells. The bores are complete so the entire thing assembles and throws, but it is way too heavy to return. Will be roughing the shapes this evening and hopefully have a working unit shortly after. I’ll be sure to take photos along the way!

I can throw up a section view if anyone is interested. Would love to hear some feedback before I cut the rest of it.




Looks like it is full of potential!

I just start cutting and see if I can end up with a yoyo LOL. I imagine having a plan of attack would simplify the process. :wink:


Looks good! Nice to see more potential modders on these forums!


Finished up the outer profile last night.



I hope you end up with a great throw and that you are have fun.


Judging by the cup shot, it looks like it’ll be pretty heavy. Looks cool tho.


I’d rock it


Finished up the rest of it this evening. What a fun little project! Ended up making two of them.



Very cool, nicely done… especially for a first attempt.

How’s it play?

Why the inserts instead of just machining the bearing seat directly into the body?

What kind of lathe? (ok I’m probably the only person who cares about this one)



Wow, impressive! Your work looks very professional. Congratulation!

I am very curious on this too…


Nice work.


Do the play as good as they look?


Same. And this is one impressive job! How’s it play? Any vibe? And does the axle system fall out when the yoyo is unscrewed or anything?


Thanks guys! It plays better than I do that’s for sure! No vibe and sleeps forever. I used bronze phosphorus washers (OD reduced on the lathe to not rub the outer race) to simplify the machining process. All that really is necessary for the bearing pocket is a 1/2" counterbore which I have a ton of for knife making. The axle itself is actually a knife pivot. Jon Walker, I have a hunch you may be familiar? :wink: Counterbore for the axle heads was also done with a counterbore, but a 3/8". The axle currently falls out when taken apart however there is a little room for some grooves and o-rings in the pivot heads to help retain the pieces. Right now though there are no tools necessary for assembly/disassembly. Simply spin the shells as usual and the heads grip enough. No worry about stripping as the pivot is hardened stainless.

For lathes I have a Grizzly G0602, Logan Model 1955 11" and shown in the pics a Sherline. Mills a Grizzly G0619, Sherline and the big mama a Fadal EMC.

Pucks were sawed up with a horizontal bandsaw then faced to final thickness on the G0602. Drilled undersize thru the bore then reamed to .2500" on the same lathe. Counterbores were done on the G0619 mill holding the pucks by hand. 1/2" done to final depth, flipped then 3/8" to final depth. Rough shape and response pad pockets were done on the Fadal and all final blending/graining on the Sherline lathe.

I have a lot of photos of my shop and other projects on Instagram @zodiaceng

Most likely will make more of this same one and some other designs I’ve been thinking about. I’ll get some shots up of it next to my Summit for reference as well as try to get a video of it actually spinning. I don’t think I have enough tricks dialed for a video of them yet though!


Here’s a little more detail on how the axle system looks and is assembled.



That looks amazing!


Wow! That looks really great! :o


Really impressive! I was not expecting something so beautiful!


The fadal is cnc isn’t it? that’s cheating :slight_smile:

It might require some specialized tooling if you don’t have it handy, but machining the bearing seat/post/etc into the body directly, instead of as an insert, is generally going to be more accurate in the long term. Obviously it can be done the way you did it as well (and OneDrop uses inserts), but I’ve always preferred having less things to go wrong.

Very nice work for sure, very jealous of your workshop setup. With the equipment I have, I’m limited to just doing plastic/wood bodies (I can do weight rings and things, but machining a full yoyo in metal would take far too long).