Gyroscopes play a huge role in our everyday lives. In aircraft, shipping, and even in our smart phones and game controllers. Yet for the most part we rarely see them in action. They are usually hidden from view, deep inside the mechanism.

So when we do see them, we’re usually transfixed by their amazing gravity defying behaviour.

It may be a well known physics phenomenon, but the gyroscopic effect is just so completely counter-intuitive that nothing can really prepare you for the surprise of seeing a pound of spinning metal balance delicately on the tip of your finger.

In this project I will show you how to make your own precision gyroscope that not only performs superbly, but also makes a fairly impressive desktop ornament.

I will be using a wide range of metal working techniques, using both the lathe and mill drill, and I will also show where you can readily source the required materials.


If you’re just getting started on setting up your own home machine shop, you may not have some of the tools that would normally be used to make something like this. So I show you some helpful tips and dodges to still get the parts made, using much simpler techniques.

Much of the lathe cutting is done using an interesting ‘universal lathe tool’ that can cut both from the left and the right, and I also show you a unique way of using cyanoacrylate to hold awkward work pieces, as well as a cool ‘bump’ tool for roughly centering round stock on the chuck.

Gyroscopes really are amazing devices, and as a home machine shop project, they really don’t come much better than this.

If you have the proper tooling and want to tackle making your own gyroscope, I’ve provided the design files in both Imperial and Metric measurements.