For me it was during a high school physics class, and I recall the gyro was a massive great lump of brass and steel mounted on gimbals with a stand. It made an awesome hum as it spun, and confounded all of us as we tried to manipulate it, and predict it's movements.
I also recall seeing a TV show growing up (maybe Candid Camera?) where a trick suitcase loaded with a large gyro was placed in a crowd, and passers by were invited to pick it up and walk off. The look of puzzlement as the suitcase darted off in unexpected directions was priceless, and has stuck with me to this day.
The take-out message for me is that a gyro is pure entertainment. Combine this with the fact that it is made up of a collection of seriously interesting metal parts, and we have rich pickings for a new video!
This project is a fair bit more complex than the first Make video, but well within the ability and tool collection of the average home machinist. There's plenty of lathe turning and mill work, as well as the odd dodge to get around not having all of the fancy tools. There is also a free set of fully dimensioned drawings available for download from makezine.com.
I have to tell you that I had an absolute blast making and filming this. It was such an awesome experience, especially messing around with the finished gyro at the end. I knew it would be kinda fun, but wow, this is a seriously addictive toy!
Here's a link to part 1 of the project, and keep an eye out for part 2 in about 2 weeks:
Making A Benchtop Gyroscope - Part 1
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Thanks for dropping by,