By Dan Beard
Figs. 16, 17, 18, 19, and 22
show construction of slack-rope
dancing top; x and y.
Figs, 20 and 21, show parts of top with double
Fig. 22 is a top with a solid peg for spinning on the table.
As for homemade tops, those made of a spool are the favorites, and are
usually made to spin by a twist of the finger and thumb. To make one it is only
necessary to whittle a stick to a diameter a trifle greater than the hole in the
spool, and hammer it in so that a part of the stick will protrude at both ends.
Then whittle off one of the flanges of the spool, and bring the stick at that
end to a point for a peg. Cut off all but about an inch of the stick from the
other end, and your spool top is finished.
A boy that I had in my studio made a top with an old tin blacking-box and
some lead pipe, which he melted and poured into the mould. When it was cool he
had a flat leaden disk. But first he took a wooden spool, and cut off one flange
and whittled the end to a blunt point. Next he cut a hole in the blacking-box,
so that the spool could be forced in, and made to stick there.
I asked him what sort of top he was making, and he replied, "A
This proved to be the case, for he made a peg for the top with a notch in one
end, and he spun the top for me on a string for a slack rope. Figs. 16, 17, 18,
and 19 show the construction of this ingenious toy.
Afterward be made another somewhat similar top with a movable stick and fixed
peg, spun it, removed the stick, and inserted pieces of bent wire, which, when
the latter were whirled around, looked like glass goblets, vases, and various
The materials are cheap, and the labor light, in making this top. Try it!