Hardwood Yoyo (1 Hour Build)




Introduction: Hardwood Yoyo (1 Hour Build)

About: I like to design and build wooden toys for my daughters. I also make furniture from time to time.

This is a perfect project if you have limit time to make something. It can be a great gift for someone and can be made in under an hour. It is also a great project for using up scrap materials.


For this project you will need:

Materials: Scrap hardwood (preferably between 6mm and 15mm thick)

Wooden dowel (I used 6mm as this matches the inner drill bit of my hole saw)




Pillar drill

6.4cm hole saw

Router/router table


Detail sander

Flush trim saw

Step 1: Making Your Wooden Circles

Attach a hole saw to your pillar drill and drill out 2 circles from your chosen piece of wood.

Alternative: If you do not have a pillar drill you can use a handheld drill with a hole saw attachmentor you can draw two circles onto your piece of wood and cut it out using a coping saw or a scroll saw.

Step 2: Rounding Over Your Edges

To make the Yoyo comfortable to hold, use a router with a round over bit to evenly round over the edge of your yoyo. If you do not have a router/router table or you do not feel comfortable doing this with such a small piece of wood, please see the next step for an alternative method.

Step 3: Alternative: Rounding Over Your Edges

Using a file, you can begin to shape the edges of your yoyo, taking care to ensure that you are rounding them evenly as this could affect how the yoyo works.

Step 4: SANDING!

Place both of your circles into a vice so that they are secured. Sand all the edges and faces of the yoyo until you have removed any blemishes and have evenly rounded over the edges.

I find doing this step by hand with normal sandpaper gives me more control over the shape of my yoyo.

Step 5: Gluing Up Your Yoyo

When gluing up your yoyo, it is important that you get the spacing in the middle as even as possible. This will help eliminate any wobble in your yoyo when you are using it.

Glue in your wooden dowel into one side of your yoyo. To ensure my spacing is even, i cut up some scrap 4mm plywood and used these as spacers.

Glue the final circle on top and press down tight to ensure the plywood spacers are sandwiched inside your hardwood circles.

Leave your yoyo to dry for 10 minutes.

Step 6: Trimming

Now that the glue is dry, use a flush trim saw to trim the extra wooden dowel that is sticking out.

Give the faces a light sanding to remove any extra wood left behind.

Step 7: Applying a Finish

Because this is a toy project, I have used a food/toy safe finish to protect my yoyo's.

When finishing toy projects I add a large amount of oil to a rag and then cover the entire toy and leave it to sit for a few minutes. This method floods the entire surface of the toy and helps the oil to flow into hard to reach places. After a few minutes I will take a clean rag and buff out the oil until it feels dry to touch.

I have found that this method gives a silky smooth finish and the oil dries much faster whilst still giving great protection.

Step 8: Adding Your String

Tie some string around the centre wooden dowel of your yoyo. Make sure you tie the knot tight.

For the finger hole, I tie a standard knot and then use this knot to loop through the string which creates an adjustable loop to fit all finger sizes.

Step 9: Test Your Skills!

Now it is time to relive your youth and test out your yoyo. Take the dog for a walk, go around the world, whatever you wish.

1 Hour Challenge

Participated in the
1 Hour Challenge

Be the First to Share


    • Puzzles Challenge

      Puzzles Challenge
    • CNC and 3D Printing Contest

      CNC and 3D Printing Contest
    • Rice & Grains Challenge

      Rice & Grains Challenge



    Question 3 years ago

    What kind of string do you use?


    3 years ago

    I made some the hard way on a lathe, your method is much easier and probably better and faster. They look good too. But I don't think they wake up from sleeping. You can buy yoyo string or you can make it. Yoyo string is just a twisted loop of string. To make your own take a length of string double what you need. Clamp one end and use a drill to increase the twist in the string. Grab the center of the string and bring the drill to the clamp, it will twist on itself. Put the yoyo through the loop so that it tightens on the dowel. For the finger loop tie a slip knot then put the string through the slip knot so its adjustable for size and tightness.


    3 years ago

    I made these years ago out of walnut. They are very nice and perform well until the string cuts through the wooden dowel. A better idea is to use a metal dowel that won't break due to the friction created during various "sleeping" (e.g., walk the dog, round the world, etc.) tricks.


    3 years ago

    A very nice project - I will try this in the summer holidays. Does the string slip in the middle (so that you can do longer tricks with the yoyo still spinning)?


    Reply 3 years ago

    Before making it I was unsure it would be able to spin without a ball bearing. To my surprise, I can get it to spin very well. Though once or twice I've had issues getting it to snap back up. All in all it works really well.