Coosa—Scovie Precision Turning’s inaugural spin top

by | Limited Edition Scovie Tops

The Coosa is the first spin top for public sale from Scovie Precision Turning.

It all began with a lathe

Starting my own precision turning business was a goal of mine for many years before it came to fruition in 2019. Even after Scovie became a business on paper, it was a nearly a year before it acquired a CNC lathe. The first two lathes I purchased were manual lathes.

I didn’t let this prevent me from making spinning tops, though.

The difference between a manual lathe and a CNC lathe is not precision. It’s merely the level of work involved. So, the Coosa is just as perfectly balanced as any top made on a CNC lathe. And it can spin for several minutes as a result.

It’s a high-quality top with a pleasing, smooth finish.

The Coosa is Scovie’s first top, and probably the only top that will be made entirely on a manual lathe.

The Coosa is a labor of love, really.

Coosa spinning top specs

Material: Stainless steel

Weight: 1 ounce

Height: 1.75 inches

Diameter: 1.25 inches

Average spin time: 6+ minutes

The Coosa is turned from stainless steel. Its core is slender so that the bulk of its weight’s lies close to its tip. By making the center of gravity as close as possible to the surface it spins on, the stability of the top is maximized and – as a result – its spin time is, as well.

The tip that the Coosa top sits on while spinning is a small hardened ball bearing that is press-fit into the main portion of the top. I like to use ball bearings in many of my tops instead of a machined point for a few reasons:

  • Durability:  they withstand heavy use without wear, knicks, or imperfections.
  • Shape:  the point of contact between the ball bearing and the spinning surface is tiny, so the resulting friction is minimal.
  • Hardness:  a softer metal tips would dull down, similar to a knife; this is largely avoided with a ball bearing tip.

The stem of the Coosa gets a bit thicker at the top to allow the user to hold a firm grip. This is enhanced with a knurl of tiny vertical indentations machined into the top. A top can’t spin without a good, hard spin. A suitable knurl assists greatly with this.

The shiny finish on the Coosa makes it difficult to stop staring while it spins! There are grooves on the body that serve two purposes:

  • Utility:  the groove on the top surface of the body takes away a bit of weight near the center of the top, further increasing its spin time.
  • Looks:  light reflects of the side grooves while the top spins, turning it into a moving piece of art.

The origin of the Coosa name

This top is named after the Coosa River, whose watershed begins in Georgia and Tennessee before entering Alabama at Weiss Lake.

The Coosa River

The Coosa River begins at the confluence of the Etowah River and Oostanaula River. The river ends where it joins the Tallapoosa River just northeast of Alabama’s state capital, Montgomery.

The Coosa represents one of the state’s most developed rivers, including seven power dams throughout its course. Many communities are located along the Coosa, as well. These include Gadsden, Rainbow City, and Glencoe.

Coursing approximately 280 miles, the Coosa is powerful, beautiful, and tranquil – just like its namesake top.

Weiss Lake in northeast Alabama, formed by Coosa River

See the Coosa in action

The video below is a quick demonstration of the Coosa in action. See more videos at ScovieTurning on YouTube, including a full-length spin of 6+ glorious minutes. (Please Like and Subscribe to our channel while you’re there!)

Update on the Coosa spin top series

As of July 2020, the Coosa is sold out and retired. I am deeply appreciative of Scovie’s early customers who made Coosa sales a success!

Didn’t get a Coosa before they sold out? That’s no problem at all. The Cahaba is a great alternative. It is essentially an improved, slightly larger, longer-spinning version of the Coosa made on a CNC lathe. As of this posting, there are plenty of Cahaba tops left in stock!

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