There’s little cooler than making a toy for your kids (or friends’ kids). The sparkle in their eyes as they run off to play not only warms your heart — it also ensures another generation of people who know how to make things. Here’s an easy way to start: a yo-yo kit from Penn State Industries.
Just select a kit that matches your woodworking prowess. If you’re a wood newbie, you can choose the kit with all the parts you need to make custom a yo-yo. If you’re a little more experienced, though, they sell cutters you can chuck up in your drill press to turn out ready-to-assemble yo-yo blanks. And if you have a lathe, they offer a mandrel for turning your own kick-ass custom blanks.
The heart of Penn State Industries’ yo-yo kits is a ball bearing spindle. They offer blanks from many different materials — from plastics to exotic woods — or you can make your own with the yo-yo blank cutters, which fit in you drill press and turn 5/8″ stock into Yo-yo blanks with 10mm holes for mounting the ball bearing spindles. The aggressive carbide cutters produce a smooth yo-yo half ready to sand and finish. When your yo-yo is finished, Penn State Industries even sells drawstring pouches to protect it.
At $60 for one cutter profile or $100 for both, this might seem a little expensive. But if you have a bunch of rugrats for whom you buy Christmas presents, the cost of the cutters plus $6 for each spindle to give them a one-of-a-kind toy isn’t bad. Then you can justify making some sweet-looking yo-yos for yourself.
Yo-Yo Project and Accessories [Penn State Industries]