How to make a yoyo as cheap as possible?

Wondering if this is even a possibility… (Probably not lol)

Say I go to like home depot and pick up a little wood, and a hardware store of some kind. I already have response pads, bearings, etc. How could I go about making an unresponsive, wooden yoyo for as little money as possible? What would I need and how much would it cost.

Just something I was thinking about a little earlier. I want a fun little project.

If you don’t have access to a lathe, you aren’t going to see much from this project. Shaping wood on a drill/drill-press is horrible and dangerous. If you try and use the sharpened screwdriver like someone recessing a Freehand Zero, you are going to have dangerous kickback issues as you try and cut. If you just use sandpaper to try and shape the wood, you are going to have a terrible time getting it even.

Home Depot really isn’t the place to get wood for a yo-yo either. Basic lumber is mostly all pine. That is way too light. Oak is a little better, but even with that you are going to have issues with weight. Heavier woods are more exotic and are often going to cost more—often more than a similar amount of aluminum or even delrin.

Making the yo-yo unresponsive isn’t the difficult part. Any response recessed into the body, such as silicone or response stickers, plus a clean bearing will give you an unresponsive yo-yo. The trick is making something that is enjoyable to play and doesn’t wobble all over the place.


Then how much would it approx. cost to get a yoyo machined?

I dunno. I know there’s tons of little companies making prototype yoyos and there’s alot of them on this forum. I just want to do it for a little fun project. It’d be fun to make my own custom throw.’

Edit- lol, I just looked this up. Just a wee bit expensive. haha
Still would like some more information on this topic though.

Keep in mind that you can kind of control your costs with materials, tools and parts, so once you know what you need, you can get it done. I’ve seen lathes costs under $500, but are they good enough? That I cannot answer, but I will say it was being sold by a place that specializes in skill toys and yoyos, so that might be an indicator that “hey, maybe you should use this to make yoyos”. I’m not sure if you can use these lathes to turn metal into yoyos. Again, I have no idea. I buy yoyos, I play with yoyos, I don’t make them. I don’t want to, I don’t want to learn how to either!

What you can’t factor in is the time and effort it takes to learn the skills you need to turn your own yoyo.

I suppose if you can figure out a way to make those sand-type molds and then die-cast them, it might drive costs down, but I hear there are other issues that can come from this method. You still have to come up with the master item to base the molds on and know how much the metal shrinks when cools. or maybe you can make plaster molds?

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Having a machine shop make a one-off piece is super expensive (as you have recently learned). Even prototypes are extremely expensive to get made. Their only justification in price is that later on there is going to be a production run to help turn a profit and recoup lost capital. If you want a one-off piece, your best bet would be to look into a modder who can make you a yo-yo, but that is going to be comparable in price to mid to high end yo-yos. I know for certain that Landon Balk has offered that service in the past and it’s also been something I’ve considered, but I’m still working on getting better at it.

Taig’s are what a large number of modders use. They are quality machines. They are fully capable of making a yo-yo or modifying an existing one.

This is easily the biggest factor. I’ve had my lathe for a year and a half and am still working on improving my technique.

Do you have a friend that’s into woodworking? If so, they may have a small lathe.

None of the reshapes I do are done on a lathe :wink: As for making a wooden yoyo:

Get a 3/4" thick plank of oak or maple (Pine, poplar,and plywood are too light). Maple is easier to shape, and my preference, but hard to find in southern states.

Drill press and hole saw of desired dameter (press is a must. A hand drill will not give you a hole that is exactly perpindicular to the face of the yoyo)

YYF grind machine/proto/northstar spacer-bearing seats (only 4.99)

1/2" Flat-bottom drill bit to seat spacers

5/16" Plug cutter to create a reponse groove

8/32 T-nuts to hammer into axle hole and allow the axle to be threaded

8/32 Set screw for axle

It is important, necessary, crucial that you drill the axle hole at dead, even steven, absolute center on both halves or you will have a wobbly mess.

To shape both halves you can use a router like I do. You will have to design/create a jig, but you’re on your own for that (trade secret :D)

Off topic, but I can never take you seriously because of your avatar. It is hilarious! :slight_smile:

That’s the power of the pottamus!!! ;D

I know the feeling. That avatar is kinda crazy. But, let me tell you, I’ve seen his work up close and it’s good stuff. He knows his stuff.

I’m gonna contact him in a couple of weeks and see about having weight rings made for some yoyos, and maybe some other mods. Nothing exciting, just some more typical kind of stuff.

You still have all of your fingers? :wink:

Trust me, my hands are well away from the rotating blade with the rig I use. I don’t reccomend holding the yoyo half in your bare hand and running it across. You hear tat kids!? Don’t!