Making a Fixed Axle Throw


I happened upon this thread today… is this video still out there anywhere, @once_upon_a_paul ? Thanks!


Try @once_upon_a_paul as he’ll get a notification. :slight_smile:


Has anyone ever tried to salvage an oak yoyo they made because it started splitting? I turned one today that turned out amazing and perfectly smooth, but then noticed it starting to split. I put a couple clamps on it to pause/limit the damage for now.

Any success in leaving it clamped for a long time or sealing it? Do any of you treat the wood as soon as it’s turned?

Yes, the condition of the wood was suspect. 10 years old, but suspect.:neutral_face:

(Spinworthy Glen) #24

White or red oak? I’ve only been using white oak recently and so far none have split. White oak is harder that red.

Generally what would cause it to split was if it was subjected to wheather or extreme temperarure/moisture changes or it was not a totally dry piece to begin with.

Finishing it immediately after turning should help stop the splitting.


I think it’s red. Oh, it was subject to plenty, haha. What do you finish it with? I think I’m going to leave it clamped for a while too, just in case.

(Spinworthy Glen) #26

Finishing it with a hard coat finish would only stop the splitting of it was a new piece that wasn’t completely dry. You could use carnauba wax or ca glue (Krazy Glue). This seals all the moisture in to prevent the warping/splitting that can occur when moisture is lost too fast or unevenly.

But if the wood you are using is a manky old piece that has seen sunshine and rain, heat and cold sitting in a log pile somewhere, it probably isn’t going to be the best choice of wood.

In fact wood like that can be very hazardous to turn unless you carefully inspect the wood before mounting it. I once didn’t inspect a piece of merbau very carefully and there was a fine hairline crack down the center of it. I turned my lathe on at 2350 rpm, and a chunk of it flew of when I was turning it, hitting me right on my faceshield in front of my eye. It was quite sobering.

So just be careful.

(Spinworthy Glen) #27

An oak dowel will work just fine. It should work as well as anything else.

I’ve used a wide variety of woods for axles such as walnut, spotted gum, purpleheart, Tasmanian oak, white oak, zebrawood, rock maple, birch and more and nothing I’ve used has performed poorly.

Walnut is a good material for an axle, but not necessarily the best. I think its popular because it doesn’t scorch too easily and is pretty readily available.

Actually, how do you find you merbau Harbinger with the spotted gum axle to perform in regard to response, @Myk_Myk? Seemed pretty good before I shipped it out to you.

(Spinworthy Glen) #28

It depends on which birch you are talking about. Cherry is very slightly harder than white birch, but yellow birch is much harder than cherry.

I’m not sure about kendamas, but I’m not a fan of using cherry for yoyos, it’s just too soft for my liking. It’s very easy to dent.

It really is a beautiful wood, though.

(Spinworthy Glen) #29

1/4" (6.35mm) is fine for most fixed axle yoyos.

I have found lately that I prefer 7mm (9/32") axles for a couple of reasons.

They are significantly stronger so they can hold up to greater abuse such as the yoyo might endure from a child constantly hitting the ground hard with it.

They also just kick up the response just a touch. It’s subtle, but noticable.

(Spinworthy Glen) #30

Sorry, @FiveIronBrian, I just realised I never answered your question about how to deal with your split yoyo.

Is the split openable with your hands far enough to squeeze a small amount of PVA glue into it? You could try that and then clamp it, that could do the trick.

It depends, however, on where the yoyo is split. Could you post a photo?