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How to build a wooden yo-yo

SAFETY FIRST: Ask an adult to help with tools you haven't used before.

What You’ll Need:

  • 3⁄4″ thick hardwood or plywood board, large enough to cut out two 21⁄2″ disks
  • Safety goggles
  • Drill
  • 21⁄2″ hole saw with 1⁄4″ pilot bit
  • Sandpaper
  • Tung oil
  • 1⁄4″ x 2″ bolt with locking nut
  • Two 1⁄4″ washers
  • 1⁄4″ x 1⁄4″ x 1⁄2″ nylon spacer (from a hardware store)
  • Yo-yo string (available at some hobby stores and online; you can also buy a very cheap yo-yo and use the string from that


What You’ll Do:

1. Put on your goggles. Using the hole-saw bit, drill out the two wooden disks. (The pilot bit will make a hole in the center.)


2. Sand the wooden disks very smooth. Make sure that the edges are rounded. When the two disks are sanded to your satisfaction, apply the tongue oil.


3. Slide a washer over the bolt, and push the bolt through the pilot hole in the first disk.


4. Slide the spacer over the bolt, and place the yo-yo string over the spacer. Yo-yo string comes with a loop at one end.


5. Push the bolt through the second disk. Place the second washer over the bolt and screw on the locking nut. Do not screw the nut on too tight.


6. Tie a slipknot on the other end of the string, and your yo-yo is complete. The slipknot will tighten around your finger.


Enjoy your wooden yo-yo!

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20 Comments on How to build a wooden yo-yo

  1. Is the thread length to unthreaded on the bolt 50/50?

  2. How did you find a bolt that is threaded and unthreaded in the right spot?

  3. are you just making the 3/4 inch wood as the side disc?

  4. How thick is 21/2= 10.5 mm or cm? Or just find the halfway between 3/4.

  5. Could you just use any type of string and not just yo-yo string? If not, where would you find yo-yo string?

  6. Probably as long as the bearing is big enough and cheap enough that if it gets ruined its not a big setback on money. Or you could just buy something like a shutter, that’s what I have, that will already come with a bearing and probably sleep much longer and smoother plus it’s a butterfly yoyo not a looping yoyo like this one so you will be able to do better tricks.

    • Mother of a Yo-Yo player // June 14, 2018 at 12:59 pm // Reply

      Yo-Yo string is cheep and easy to find. You can get it on Amazon. Yo-yo string does not have a knot where the string attaches to the yo-yo, so it does not interfere with play.

  7. Could you replace the locking nut with a ball bearing to make it unresponsive?

  8. I yoyo alot with unresponsive yoyos. I usually use the speedaholic (3yoyodesign). yoyo strings come with loops for convenience.

  9. BrockMcSmartyPants // August 25, 2015 at 7:53 pm // Reply

    Why do you have to use a nylon spacer ?

  10. is waxed string best to use?

  11. where do I get tung oil

  12. yoyoing is my favorite thing. i can do kamikaze,cold fusion,and a lot of trick combos

  13. yo-yoing is my favorite thing to do. I can do tricks like mach 5 and brain twister

  14. Boys' Life // June 1, 2015 at 8:55 am // Reply

    Yikes, good catch on the tung oil. We’ve fixed the error. Thanks for everyone who let us know!

  15. I’m guessing it must hurt like crazy to get the “tongue” oil… Or maybe you really meant “tung” oil?

  16. Scouter Don // May 28, 2015 at 3:26 pm // Reply

    I believe the finish you are using on the yo-yo is tung oil, not tongue oil. Tung oil is squeezed from the nuts of the tung tree, much like sunflower oil is squeezed from sunflower seeds. I don’t know where you’d get tongue oil.

  17. why does it have to be yoyo string not just string?

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