I was challenged by a buddy of mine to make a fidget spinner. There were no rules or restrictions this was just for fun. I sat on this for quite awhile trying to think of way to make a spinner that was relatively easy and low cost. Inspiration finally hit while watching a video on You tube of a guy making different things with Epoxy Putty. That's when I came up with the idea of using epoxy putty to make the fidget toy.
This is my video of the build process:
First I found some scrap hardwood flooring that I would use to make a template/jig for holding the bearings in place. It doesn't have to be wood, MDF or any other flat surface you can drill through will work as well. I measured out a 4 inch long by 2 inch wide piece and cut it using a small pull saw.
Next I divided the piece in half length-wise and found the center. From the center I measured out to the left and right side 1-1/8 inch. So now there were three dots on the wood this is where my bearings would go.
Using a center punch I punched each one of my marks. Then I drilled three 5/16 inch holes.
I would be using the bearings from some old roller blade wheels for the spinner. The roller blade wheels had some additional hardware that I was able to use as part of the jig. These pieces act as the axle for the bearings on the roller blade wheels. If you don't have this hardware you can use a dowel that is a 5/16 inch diammeter. I also found a round pencil that had a 5/16 inch diameter which I could of cut up in to three pieces and used for this as well.
So this is how the jig will work to keep the bearings in place. Unfortunately I didn't measure correctly or I didn't drill the holes correctly as you can see the spacing is not correct. The bearing on the right side is closer to the center bearing than the one of the left side. So I had to make another one.
This time I used a brad point drill bit to drill the holes and made sure my measurements where correct. You can see in the last picture that the end result is better not perfect but better. Ideally you want the spacing to be equal so that the spinner will be balanced and not wobble. If you have access to a drill press I recommend using it instead of doing this by hand.
I used a 1/2 inch drill bit to countersink the holes on the bottom of the jig so that the roller blade hardware will sit flush.
Since the outside diameter of the bearings is very smooth I made sure to sand the outside edge of all of them using 120 grit sand paper to help with the adhesion of the epoxy putty.
I used JB Weld's SteelStik epoxy putty. I didn't know how much I would need so I cut off about an inch long piece and then cut that in half. So I used a 1/2 inch wide piece for this application. I mixed it according to the instructions on the package. I made sure to wear gloves as this stuff will leave residue on your hands.
So my idea was to use the wood as a work surface to flatten and shape the epoxy putty but, it being epoxy putty, it started to stick to the wood. So instead I removed the two bearings and worked it in to shape freehand. I would go back to the jig to make sure the spacing was correct. It takes about 5 minutes for the putty to start to harden. Once it starts to harden I was able to shape it a little better again using the jig to make sure the spacing was correct.
Once the putty started to dry and stiffen up I used a razor to trim the excess on both the top and bottom. Here I also used another bit of the roller blade wheel hardware for the jig. The roller blade wheels also had a small spacer as a part of the wheel assembly. The small spacer slides over the axle hardware and keeps the bearing off the surface of the wood. You can see the spacers in the second picture.
Then I just repeated the process for the other side. I shaped it and then trimmed the excess. I let the epoxy putty dry for at least one hour per the package instructions before moving on to the next step.
Next came the sanding. There was a lot of sanding. I used 400 grit sandpaper because the putty was already pretty smooth and I wanted a uniform finish for painting. I tried to get it as smooth and uniform as possible. The nicer you can get it to look at this point the better the end result will look.
In order to prep the piece for paint I used some blue tape to make some masking off circles for the bearings. I put down some blue tape with the sticky side up. Then I place a bearing on the tape and use a razor to cut along the perimeter of the circle. Once its cut I peel off the blue tape and use it to mask off the bearings on the spinner.
Now that the masking was in place I painted the entire exposed surface with two coats of spray paint. I didn't add any clear coat but that would probably be a good idea considering how much these will get handled. I would suggest at least 2-3 coats of clear so that the paint will last longer. The last picture shows a before and after paint.
They seem to spin fairly well considering that the bearings are not that great. When it comes to bearings you definitely get what you pay for. The balance is ok but could be better. Overall not bad for a first attempt. I hope you enjoyed this Instructable.
Link to build video: