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Author Topic: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?  (Read 4486 times)

Jeremy McCreary

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #15 on: June 12, 2020, 02:08:37 AM »

...spent weeks at Philippe Dyon's workshop in the center of france
the pleasure to make wood tops has never died since then...
best memories
2nd trip to Philippe Dyon's workshop

Hope you're feeling better. Really enjoyed the video of Philippe's workshop. His wonderful designs are much more varied, especially in shape, than I'm used to seeing in wooden tops made on a lathe. Some are quite innovative.  I greatly value variety and outside-the-box designs in tops.

From one topmaker to another, please tell him I said so.
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Art is how we decorate space, music is how we decorate time ... and with spinning tops, we decorate both.
—after Jean-Michel Basquiat, 1960-1988

Everything in the world is strange and marvelous to well-open eyes.
—Jose Ortega y Gasset, 1883-1955

Dick Stohr

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #16 on: June 12, 2020, 10:09:30 AM »

My intro to spin tops took a long time. Growing up in Cincinnati OH during the 1940's the boys played marbles, mumbley peg, and yo-yo. The girls played jacks and paddle ball. I was good enough with the yo-yo to do the ten contest tricks but did not win because I could not loop. I put it away during high school and college because it was not cool. Ten years active duty in the Navy I did not come across a yo-yo except when I came home on leave my Mom had saved a yo-yo and asked for some tricks. Then it would disappear until my next trip home. Early 1990's I found YO-YO TIMES written by Stu Crump. From the newsletter I found Bonny Mathews, a PE teacher who ran a yo-yo club at an elementary school where I could relearn the old tricks and try the new stuff. In 1994 I went with the club to Burlington VT (IJA) and met Dale Oliver . He told me if I practiced a LOT I could make a living playing with skill toys doing the Spintastics Science of Spin program. So when I got home I told my wife I wanted to quit my day job and play yo-yos for a living. She said WHAT!!!!!!!!! but she had a job that gave us health insurance so I could go independent. The problem with this venture was I had to learn (for the first time) how to throw spin tops and diabolo plus some other things. So for 19 years I played with my toys and other peoples kids and got paid to do it. It took Dale, Don Olney, Steve Brown, and some others to teach me how to spin tops but it was worth it and FUN. But the best part of it was the people I met along the way, good people, good friends, thank you one and all.
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Texture

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #17 on: June 12, 2020, 05:28:10 PM »

1982 I confiscated a yoyo in my classroom
put it in a drawer and forgot about it, it was a coca-cola/Russell yoyo
1995 at a kite festival in Le Touquet , I saw a member of team "high performance"
doing yoyo tricks : I thought : this is for me !
back home I found the old yoyo in the drawer and started to play ..
it took me 6 months to do a double or nothing
2000 I attended the german masters in yoyo , was introduced to tops
by eric bergman and Jumper from TYM
2002 my friend yo-chi went to Worlds in Orlando, and was taught the basics by Unkle Steve himself..
back in Paris , we progressed fast,Lapin got the hang of it and we had the chance to do a few open stage shows
with yoyos and tops
later I bought a lathe and started woodturning , spent weeks at Philippe Dyon's workshop in the center of france
the pleasure to make wood tops has never died since then
in 2010 , Ludo and I started organizing the first "festival des toupies du monde"
2020 was the 10 th edition
in 2015 I convinced TA0 to start a non -profit structure
to help promote tops worldwide "the International Top Spinning Association" was born
jim
Amazing how things turn out in the end, isn't it?
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Texture

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #18 on: June 12, 2020, 05:31:15 PM »

He told me if I practiced a LOT I could make a living playing with skill toys doing the Spintastics Science of Spin program.
That sound like lots of fun!
It seems like a lot of people find tops through yoyos.
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Texture

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #19 on: June 12, 2020, 05:34:28 PM »

I love watching woodturning. I wish I had one but can't afford one right now.
If your looking for a low priced lathe, have you seen this one? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZG9VTT2/
 I'd say it's the cheapest one out there, and it's nice because it has variable speed.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 10:00:26 PM by ta0 »
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JODA9395

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #20 on: June 12, 2020, 08:13:51 PM »

I love watching woodturning. I wish I had one but can't afford one right now.
If your looking for a low priced lathe, have you seen this one? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZG9VTT2/
I'd say it's the cheapest one out there, and it's nice because it has variable speed.

That's a good price. The only issue is that I finished a temp job last month and I'm job searching. But if I get a wood lathe, I'd probably just make tops instead of buying them. Thanks. :)
« Last Edit: June 12, 2020, 10:01:13 PM by ta0 »
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JODA9395

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #21 on: June 12, 2020, 11:49:02 PM »

That was nice of your wife to be supportive in your hobbies and emotional well being. Better to do something you love than to spend the rest of your life doing something that brings you down. And like Texture said, yo-yos seem to play a big part in all this. :) Thanks for sharing.
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Dick Stohr

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2020, 10:27:28 AM »


[/quote]If your looking for a low priced lathe, have you seen this one? https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZG9VTT2/
 I'd say it's the cheapest one out there, and it's nice because it has variable speed.
[/quote]
I have been turning for over 10 years, have made some tops, and  I have a few things that should be of concern:
Yes this is a cheap lathe.
"MT1 spindle and tailstock taper", almost ALL of new lathes use a #2 Morse Taper, so accessories will be hard to find
"3.2 Amp motor", one of the reviews said 1/3 horse motor. all of the reviews 3 stars and below said the lathe "stalls a lot"
Of the 56 reviews 21% were 1 or 2 stars
The tool rest is not adjustable below the center of the workpiece
"Your mileage may vary"
If I were looking to replace my lathe I would look for something like this. (Check the details)
https://www.rikontools.com/product/70-1218vs
or this https://www.arizonasilhouette.com/product/KWL1018VS.html
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Jon Gates

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2020, 12:42:55 PM »

Most of my top story is woven into my yoyo and juggling story but I will stick to tops here.
1990 I met Bob Rule at the IJA festival. at that time I was only in to yoyoing. Bob taught me to wrap and spin tops.
Later that year I spent a Week with Dale Oliver and he taught me a little more but enticed me with stories of his son that could snap start a top and regain it for as long as he wanted to make it go.
91-92 I made my own tops on my lathe. and improved my skill with practice
1993 I got my first big top from Walter Watts and was introduced to regeneration play. Drove the downstair neighbor crazy while I learned to regen
1994 I performed a freestyle with that big top under the bigtop tent at the IJA fest the renegade juggling group had.
1996 met Koma Zuru at IJA fest and learned the ways of Japanese tops.
1999 I started working with Yoyojam giving feedback and recommendations from the early prototypes.
Somewhere in here I taught Chris Neff the basics of top spinning.
2000 I won the world spin top contest and YYJ made a signature top of my design for me.
Won several world and nat titles as well as taught students who also became champions.
2015 I was disappointed in availability of tops and re started making tops.
 Each bullet here has elaborate stories throughout. If you ever meet me in person, I will happily dive in and tell you all about it.
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JODA9395

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2020, 03:20:05 PM »

I like how you broke down your experience with tops in periods. You'd make a good historian. And to top it all off, you took matters into your own hands and made them.
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cecil

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #25 on: June 13, 2020, 03:24:03 PM »

Thanks for sharing.
When I was in the third grade we shot marbles - flew kites - played yo Yo’s.
When Duncan would come to the school I would always take second place.
My Dad came home with a wood top - he told me the kids made there own tops and would fight with them. They did bust tops in Oklahoma back then. So he throws this top to a spinner that lands in a coke cap, then picks it up and smiles. I tried it once and gave up. So when I am fifty I bought a Duncan top and told my Grandchildren to throw a spinner out of Love for Great Grandpa who passed away. They did and they Love Tops. When I go I will leave most of the tops to them.
https://youtu.be/X3WROClpoJw
https://youtu.be/MNCJfHjsTe0
My Grandson - and Great Grandaughter. Life is GREAT.
« Last Edit: June 13, 2020, 03:51:52 PM by cecil »
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ta0

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #26 on: June 13, 2020, 09:03:06 PM »

Great stories! Keep them coming!
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JODA9395

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #27 on: June 14, 2020, 09:39:50 AM »

That's great Cecil. It's good to have something to bond over with the grandkids. And it looks like it runs in the family. ;)
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Texture

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #28 on: June 14, 2020, 09:37:41 PM »

 8) It's nice to see that the tops keep spinning through the generations!
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Sabaspin

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Re: How did you get introduced to spinning tops?
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2020, 07:28:21 PM »

I’ve been wanting to post this story here for a while and when I saw this thread started, I decided it was time to sit down and write it.

In spring of 2014 I took a ten year wedding anniversary trip with my wife to Spain for two weeks. One of our stops was in Sevilla to visit some friends, Diana and Victor, who moved there a few years before. They had two sons. While there, I was trying to think of a gift to bring back to my Nine-year-old son and I didn’t just want to bring him back a T-shirt, so I asked Victor what would be a good idea, he replied a”peonza”, To which I replied “what is that?”. A Trompo he said. He went on to tell me about the Trompo Space and how all the kids were into it in Spain. I of course knew about Trompos as they are a very traditional toy in Puerto Rico, but I never really played with them much as a kid. I also had no idea about the existence of bearing plastic tops. So I looked around and bought him a bearing Trompo Space, black with an orange cap.

To teach him how to play with it, I started watching videos online to learn how to throw the top and came up on all sorts of trick videos from Cometa and other brands.

As you may suspect,my kid showed very little interest, but his father got hooked. All of a sudden I was throwing tops while cooking, watching TV, and just hanging out around the house. First I wanted to just get to do a boomerang, then regenerate, then the 24 Spintastic patch, etc... For the better part of two years I was probably spinning tops  every day.

I was a Cubbing leader so I started to teach groups of kids how to throw tops to try to get them out to play outside. All this time I was learning through videos as I still to this day haven’t had the opportunity to find another trick player to play in person. Six years later I still do play, but not as often, I’m a little rusty. For work reasons I don’t have as much time as before, but I always keep up with this forum and what is going on in the top world.

Soon after I started playing I found this forum and it really changed everything, not only was there a ton of information about throwing tops and it’s history, a sense of community, but more importantly I started to see all the amazing wooden tops of all sizes that were being made by the members/artists here that were kind enough to share their knowledge and process and that really caught my attention. I wanted some of those and it definitely was not easy getting your hands on them, especially being a newbie.  Naturally, being a city dweller, I had no idea  of what a lathe was and how to work it, but now I found myself wanting one. So for about a year I started reading and watching every video I could about woodturning and turning tops, until I finally bought a small Nova Lathe by the end of 2015.

A couple of months before I got the lathe, I was trying to find somebody to teach me or at least let me use a lathe with no success. Until one day I came across a woodworking shop/school whose owner, a furniture designer and all around woodworker,  agreed to give me a couple of classes.  As luck would have it, after two weeks of classes the profesor told me that Carmen de la Paz, a woodworker/turner from Puerto Rican descent was coming to the island on behalf of the AAW ( American Association of Woodturners) to give some classes and establish a woodturning chapter in Puerto Rico.  So by pure chance I ended up being a part of that great group of people that came together to form the Asociación de Torneros de Madera de Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico Woodturners Association) and ended up making what I consider life long friends.

Although I still play, make and collect tops, the woodturning aspect has become my real life passion. Through it I have had the opportunity to meat great artists, artisans, friends and learn about all the beautiful and exotic species of wood that grow wild in my island. As B. Dylan would say, by a “Simple Twist of Fate” of merely asking a friend in a faraway land for ideas on a gift for my son, an unsuspecting door to a whole world of possibilities and a new reality of what my life is right now opened up and slowly revealed itself. It has been awesome.

So I can truly say that Spin Tops and just as much this Forum, changed my life in a very positive way and I will always be grateful for that.

You can see some of my tops and other works on my Instagram page.      contorno_pr

Thanks and keep spinning,
Juanma
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