Wood Restoration Project - Mission Accepted

My Mother-in-Law gifted me a wood fixie she found at a yard sale. It’s clearly a Duncan, as can be seen in the first pic below. There has been some warping of the halves, and the gap width is not consistent. The gap is super tight at it’s narrowest, and this prevented play with a standard cotton string. I’d like to regift this yoyo to someone who works with wood, and who’d like to restore this yoyo to some semblance of its former glory. All I ask is that you post pictures to this thread of your progress, and of the final reveal. The yoyo will otherwise be yours to do with as you please. Please let me know if you accept this mission.


I wonder how old it is. Neat project. I’m no wood worker I’ve attempted to “make” a few yo-yos but I don’t have the proper tools so they took forever and turned out wonky. Looks like that mostly needs some sanding and to fix the gap and some paint from my hobbiest perspective.

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Mission accepted if still available!


Yes! Please send me your shipping info, and I’ll send this your way tomorrow.


@TheThrowingGnome if you didn’t know already these are one pieces like Pedro initially made, not three pieced glued like BC and Humingbirds


Excited to see how this turns out


I didn’t know that. I guess the only way to “restore” this thing to playable would be to make it a 3 piece???


Ed Davidson grinds the gaps out of Swedish Elfversons which are also one piece.


That would be the route I would go with what tools and knowledge I have. Cut it in half drill a hole for a new axle on each side and maybe add response holes while I’m at it then glue it back together at the gap width I want.

The grinding out a new gap option seems interesting but no idea how I would do it with what I have on hand snd keep it even.

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Pedro Flores made his first Yo-Yos with just simple wood working tools by hand, I can imagine him just whittling away with a pocket knife. The new Imperial AL gives a nod to the old demonstrators as they use to chamfer the gap to make some of the early string tricks easier. Butterflies weren’t produced until the late fifties, a quote from Bob Rule “Probably the advancement I see the most is the Butterfly invented by Wayne Lunberg. I called it a ‘bicycle with training wheels’ but had to accept it as it helped the players advance in skill so fast.”


I think it’d be cool to try and restore this thing with all hand tools.


A small chisel and some files would probably work wonders with a steady hand.


Mount a camera and go live for yoyo chat while you whittle.


yoyo restoration, this is cool. excited to see the results!

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Don’t forget the patience.

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And so it begins……


So the halves are different sizes, the gap is too small and irregular to even wind a type 8 cotton string on the axle. As of right now it’s basically unplayable. Pic below shows the gap of an old Duncan Midnight special next to it. Makes the gap of the Midnight special look huge!





Doubled up a piece of medium grit sandpaper, worked it into the gap and sanded for about an hour while I watched YouTube videos and had an adult beverage on my porch this evening. Gonna try and just work the gap for awhile first, since I’d love to keep the patina on the outside if possible.