WoodCentral's Book Reviews

by Michael Cullen

Linden Publishing: 2008
Paperback, 128 pp., $17.95
ISBN 978-1-93350217-5

     After a brief introduction of tools and materials, Michael Cullen shows how to prepare stock on the jointer, tablesaw and planer, and how to make a functional mandrel to ease construction of his projects. Then he presents the how-tos for sixteen tops, each with measured drawings, step by step instructions, and clear photos of what he is doing.
     The author makes a cube top to spin on one corner, a painted disk, a bead top with a centered turning shaft, a Jewish dreidel, and a tornado top, launched by hand with wound string. There is a hoop top, a ballerina top, and an old-timer's top with a yoke and string. "This top spins so fast that it hums when it hits the table," Cullen says. He shows a chatterwork top, a flip-over top, and Benham's top, a black and white patterned disk that produces colors when spun.
     A final chapter on finishing covers shellac, acrylic colors, and milk paints. Cullen has lots of suggestions for creativity, and tips on using each medium.

. . . Barb Siddiqui