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Topic: Gaffing tops
Message: Posted by: Ben Train (Nov 21, 2007 10:55PM)
Hey guys,

I need some info on put and take tops. Specifically, I need help gaffing a dreidel.

I'll be making a clay dreidel (dreidel, dreidel, dreidel, I made you out of clay...) and then putting weights inside.

I would also like to make a separate set that's shaved (from a store bought plastic one) and gaff it so that it wins if spun counter-clockwise, and loses clockwise.

Anyone who might want to help me with some info, I would appreciate a private message.

Thanks in advance,
Message: Posted by: silverking (Nov 22, 2007 11:22AM)
Ben, perhaps you've seen this web site....but if you haven't:

Gaffing a Dreidel with its four sides might be interesting compared to a typical gaffed top that has six sides!
Message: Posted by: Ben Train (Nov 22, 2007 11:33AM)
Thanks for the link!

I am woefully ignorant when it comes to tops and all things related, but thought since I have a month to experiment I would give it a try. This would be strictly for fun, with my family and friends. Cheat them out of a few jelly beans and chocolates, then do some sort of expose/fake expose show and return the stolen goods (minus whatever I've eaten).

I purchased some small ball bearings and will be making the clay tops tonight (and then having my 6 year old cousin paint it, so they can say they made it... how's that for clever ;)

Message: Posted by: T. Joseph O'Malley (Nov 23, 2007 07:18AM)
The 6 year old idea is quite clever. I'd say "good luck" but...

You could also do the equivalent of misspotting dice here too...paint the same writing on a couple opposing sides (or on all 4 if you're daring).
Message: Posted by: Ben Train (Nov 23, 2007 09:23AM)
Hey brother,

I didn't think of that! Since it is a four sided top, only 2 sides will be visible at a time. If I make one set that has three winners and a loser, and then another set that has three losers and a winner, and just switch em in and out, it could work.

The only problem is, that unlike some dice games, there is no shooter. Everyone takes turns spinning. Which means on every spin I have to switch the top in and out, and have a top that can't stand up to even a cursory inspection passing from hand to hand.

But, I will make up a set and play with the idea. Thanks for the suggestion!

Message: Posted by: T. Joseph O'Malley (Nov 23, 2007 12:11PM)
No probs. Just toss a couple of gelt my way.
Message: Posted by: Ben Train (Nov 23, 2007 12:23PM)
Chocolate ok?
Message: Posted by: T. Joseph O'Malley (Nov 23, 2007 12:59PM)
Oh yes.
Message: Posted by: Expertmagician (Nov 23, 2007 06:45PM)
Just don't use your gaft dreidel to cheat...you may end up feeling GELTty :)
Message: Posted by: Ben Train (Nov 23, 2007 10:50PM)

I'll pretend I didn't hear that...
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Nov 27, 2007 12:07PM)
First off, gaffed tops are generaly all shaped with the exception of some very rare examples. There are some larger brass tops that are juiced, but they require great skill to make them look right. Back in 2000/2001 I think, I released a limited edition of 30 demonstration sets and about two dozen or more custom sets, all wood boxed and either a red or blue velvet lining. They contained gaffed logs, tops, and some juiced items as well as state heads/tails quarters,spinner coins, daub and wax w/hangers and a card punch. I bought up small and large lots of various items and used the pick of the litter for these. Some sets had the red tops and logs and others had the white ones.

I can tell you this. Other than the juiced brass tops in the sets, I went to the shop and collected a handful of juiced blanks that were not finished with letters or smoothed on the lathe. Vandy has one, in his collection and I am still looking for one for Silverking that I promised a while back. The blanks being 100 times as rare as the finished product. Juice might be the way for what you want.

Shaped tops are not just cut to shape. The entire blank is a special shape and then cut and smoothed. As far as I know I bought all the white ones that the guy and his son made. I bought all the boxes from the fire too but not a whole lot of good peices in those and lots of melted stuff. Gamblingcollectibles has about the only supply of red ones left on the globe. For a collector, the very dark red, the casino red, the bright white and yellow white are all sought after. Black tops came from Germany in the 30s 40s but few made it here. These are probably impossible to do yourself outside a full machine shop set up just for those. Among collectors we determined there were as many as 14 colors and types of material used in the classic 3 peice set. There are 9 known different spindle materials from wood to celluloid to fiberglass, two types of grey plastic, and even a few lucite type have turned up. Wood handles are sloppily painted in blue grey, a couple greens, black and white. If you want to go that specific in collecting it will cost a small fortune to get examples of all of them as well as several years hunting.

Now we are left with clay as you suggested. Try making your lettering above a set of dots on the four sides. Drill the dot on the side you want down and match to an M5 with a small steel slug, then glue in to the same level and paint the glue. If you try to put weight inside the clay it won't spin right, and heat and cold expansion will cause the body to crack. If your steel slug is small enough it may spin evenly.

That is your best chance. Make sure not to eat the jelly beans so you can give them back after the expose'.
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Nov 27, 2007 12:40PM)

Nice example of a roluck. Nothing plays roulette like a saw blade wheel. Past posters walk away grumbling and cussing.....
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Nov 27, 2007 01:03PM)
Awesome stuff on that site. Those horse racing tops are mucho keen.
Message: Posted by: Vandy Grift (Nov 27, 2007 01:37PM)
The brass juiced top from King is "the tops".
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Nov 27, 2007 05:17PM)
On 2007-11-27 14:03, Vandy Grift wrote:
Awesome stuff on that site. Those horse racing tops are mucho keen.

Those usualy came with a green or white felt layout. A small one. The spindle unscrews and you could change the odds disc for high or low as you wanted to pay out. Most of the spindles are frozen solid now but liquid wrench sometimes loosens them. I ruined a couple with a vise and vise grips, so if it don't let go easy, its just to old.

Yes those gaffed blanks are a pinnacle item, for any collection. I sold all of the wooden lathe models on ebay. Some were from the way old days, and one was the model the brass ones were cut from. They looked like tops with no sides and a plug on the end of the spindle. just round wood shapes. The folks that got em were very happy though.
Message: Posted by: disneywld (Dec 1, 2007 12:08PM)
I went to King's site, but could not find the gaffed put and take tops. I would like to buy one for my gambling cons workshop.
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Dec 6, 2007 01:59PM)
A few of those tops are up for sale now.
Message: Posted by: KingStardog (Dec 6, 2007 07:03PM)
A few more little items are up now too. Search ebay stores for Al Capone.