I've always been obsessed by fidgeting almost everywhere, with anything from pens, begleri, zippo lighters and such, so it's no surprise that when I've first seen the idea of creating a spinner toy, I had to have it. Yet for such a simple toy, some people are willing to pay crazy amounts of money (which I think is unreasonable and unnecessary).
Also, as I have no 3D printer, I had to create my own from what I had around in my garage. You might also have all the necessary stuff laying around in your garage as well. So let's get into it, shall we?
Step 1: Gathering All the Parts
Wood - any scrap wood that you find
Files and handsaw - self explanatory
Power drill - to create the center hole
Nut and bolt - to create the protruding grip on the ball bearing
Ball bearing - 608zz skateboard ball bearing - I'm using cheap ebay 1 AUD abec 7 ball bearing.
Step 2: Wood
The scrap wood that I found was a piece of laminated wood, I thought it had nice texture so I decided to use it.
Not the best idea dare I say. The laminate tends to chip off when drilling and filing, and overall is a real pain in the butt to work with.
The basic shape is a simple equilateral triangle, where each side has 9 cm (3,5 inch). In the middle I drilled hole with largest drill bit I had (I don't have step drill bit unfortunately), yet I continued to enlarge the hole with circular rasp, eventually giving the ball bearing very snug fit in the center of the triangle. Then I marked approximate locations for the weights, which I got from old broken gaming mouse (Verbatim Rapier V2). They did also fit snug enough to work without any glue.
In center of each side, I filed a dent with circular rasp, just to give it a bit better look.
Next step is to balance the spinner. This gives you much smoother spin and enables you to spin it for much longer time. This way I increased the spin time from bare 20 seconds to over 40! I inserted all the weights and ball bearing into their places, secured the bolt with a nut in the center of the ball bearing and held the spinner vertically. Usually one side of the triangle will always point to the ground, and if you grab the triangle and move it, it will again align itself back. This means that one side of the triangle is heavier than the other one, which is a problem. I solved this by slowly taking excess wood off the sides with a rasp, eventually giving me very nice balance, that whatever tip of the triangle I pointed to ground, it stayed that way without moving itself. Also pay extra attention to the holes you drill for the weights in the first place, just a milimeter off and you may shift the center of gravity off the center so much, that you won't be able to fix it later by filing off some wood.
Step 3: Final Step + Thoughts on Fidget Spinning
The last thing I did was fitting all the weights and the bearing, securing each one with a drop of superglue, just to be sure.
What I've learned after building a few of these is that the spin time is going to depend mostly on quality of the ball bearing and the balance. The 1AUD 608zz bearing yields about 40-50 seconds to spin, and when it first arrived, the inside was filled with some grease, which made it unable to spin fast. I sprayed it heavily with WD-40 which washed away all the grease and it spins freely, just be sure to get it inside of the bearing. Then I wanted to create more of them, and I hesitated and bought 10 pack of 608zz bearings for 3USD on ebay. I can say that those are the worst bearings you can possibly buy. Even after WD-40 cleaning, it wasn't able to spin for longer than 15-25 seconds. If you're planning to go to the completly opposite side of the budget range, I'd recommend good quality ceramic ball bearings, the serviceable type (that the side panel can be opened for cleaning etc.). They are a bit more expensive, yet a friend of mine was able to achieve up to 3-4 minutes spin time with those bearings, and very similiar body and weight design. I guess that's all for this project. I hope you might find this useful to satisfy your fidgeting! :-)
Participated in the
Trash to Treasure Contest 2017