Monday, September 30, 2013

Joseph "Joe" Mauk : The Reverend Top Spinner Who Inspired All of Us

Wazzup Pilipinas!

One of the guest who provided some inspirational talk and entertainment during the 37th PMAP Awards was Reverend Joseph "Joe" Mauk, a missionary of sorts in the Philippines who has challenged the Guinness World Records for spinning the biggest top.

Joe spun several kinds of tops, big and small, colorful and plain, during his talk, and what he emphasized was that all of his tops has significant roles to play and should be deemed all equally important in the eyes of the Lord.

Even the simplest top, so dull and full of scratches, was actually the model of the biggest top they have fabricated to be able to beat the world record for the biggest top spun on record.

On March 10, 2012, Joe Mauk was injured when a gear on a winch exploded while attempting to spin the biggest top in the world for the Guinness World Record. He was hospitalized and had 2 inches of skull removed that was crushed by the gear.


I did my own research about the reverend top spinner and here are some of the information that I was able to Google from the Internet.

Below are some videos of the top spinning attempts including the accident:

This is the first half of a low resolution version of the documentary of Joe Mauk making the biggest spinning top in the world.

This is the second half of a low resolution version of the documentary of Joe Mauk making the biggest spinning top in the world.

Joe Mauk was injured when a gear on a winch exploded while attempting to spin the biggest top in the world.

World Biggest Top created by Joe Mauk

Largest Spinning Top in the World
by Joe Mauk on Saturday, March 3, 2012 at 5:50pm ·

Hello FB friends,

The time is near.  On Sat. March 10, 2012 we will attempt to spin the biggest top in the world here at Rizal Re-Creation Center, Rizal, Laguna, Philippines.  All of you are welcome to come and witness the attempt.  I was accepted by Guinness Book of World Records in January 2011 to make this attempt.  They subsequently informed me I needed to break the record set in Japan in 1986 by Kawasaki Steel of a steel top 2 M high and 2.6 M diameter (thread on this forum).  Our top we are attempting to spin on Sat is 3.3 M high by 3.6 M diameter.

This has been in planning for more than a year and in construction since December.  We have acquired a 1.5 tonne steel ballast weight to drop from a tower to spin the top, we still have to set up the tower! -it is in process.  A lot of other details need to come into place but we appear to be on target for Saturday.

We appreciate your prayers and encouragement as we proceed with this challenge, adjustments are being made daily and we trust they will come to the right fulfillment Saturday! - taken from forum

Hello Top Spinning Friends,

I am Joe Mauk,a missionary of sorts in the Philippines. Some of you have seen my videos and stuff and may have heard some rumors of this upcoming record attempt. I will start trying to post some info, updates, pics etc. here. Thank you for accepting me as a member. I want to explain first that I am not fixated on having a world record top. As a spinner and collector I am, of course, interested in larger sizes and in 1984 had a 60-lb top made that was launched by dropping a 230-lb weight out of a coconut tree. Some videos are around on this.

In early 2011 I was thinking it was time to try to go bigger and applied to Guinness to see if what I was thinking might be the biggest so far recorded. I was thinking of around a 5-ft wide by 7-ft high top and had an idea how to make it. Guinness informed me of the record set in Japan in 1986 of a 2 meter high by 2.6 meter wide top. Hmmm, back to the drawing board. Trevor Hill, a good friend of mine from Western Australia and a jack-of all-trades, had an idea how we might get it together. He was house-sitting for us while we were in the U.S. last August and he made a 2-ft by 2-ft 6-inch prototype that worked beautifully. So we decided to go for broke and attempt the record. We just measured the one we propose to spin on Saturday and it is 3.8 meters high by 3.6 meters diameter. (12 ft 6 in high by 11 ft 9 in diameter)

That brings us to where we are now, an attempt to be made on Saturday morning here, March 10, 2012. We are having a professional video documentary made of the whole process but should be able to post FB and youtube videos soon after (assuming it spins!).

Will see if I can post some pics. Also another friend and top spinner from Australia emailed me a cartoon he made up about the attempt. He is obviously recalling that in 1986 I tried to pick up the 60-lb top in a dish-like mechanism, had no control, hit me in the right cheek and knocked me down, had friction burns on cheek and jaw and ended up having a root canal to remove a nerve in a tooth that was destroyed by the impact. We are taking extensive safety measures for this one! We are anticipating it will weigh close to 900 lbs. Have found a weight to drop to spin it, an old bulldozer ballast weighing 3,400 lbs. That weight would snap a coconut tree so we are building a tower to drop the weight, hope to raise it today. Sourced a rebuilt 5-ton anchor winch from a marine supply yesterday. And so on we go.


Byron Watts served as one of the official witnesses required by Guinness.  The other official witness was the town mayor.  There was also a local nationwide television arrangement. There was international broadcast inquiries other than international requests for streaming video coverage!

"A friend was waxing eloquent about what faith I must have to attempt this, I replied, either faith or insanity!" - Joe Mauk

Every outstanding achievement comes at the price of sacrifice! When Joe got into an accident during the top spinning when a metal debris flew to his direction and fractured his skull leaving a hole that was eventually covered by just skin and that there was no more bone or skull underneath. There was a skull fracture, but a small one.

"There was a cracked gear in the winch that was to lift the weight .... the falling of which was planned to start the top spinning. Due to that defective gear, the winch sort of exploded. The weight was about 3000 pounds! Three pieces of metal shot out. One went into the crowd without damage. One imbedded itself in the top, and the third struck my friend Joe Mauk in the head. (Joe is is the one who put together this whole spectacular attempt.) He is basically fine now after a few hours of surgery to remove a 2" dia. cracked section of his skull, some pieces of his hat, and other debris! Hopefully they left in that cracked part of his being that loves to tackle the impossible! Later surgery will plug up the hole! ................God bless all the crazy people of the world who push the boundaries of what can be done! "- Don Olney

Joe's post after surgery,

"I am feeling fine, had a great cup of coffee this morning, which immediately raised both my temperature and blood pressure!- still all in the normal range. As to what hit me, the impact was colossal, unbelievable to describe, surprising I wasn't knocked out, the only impact I've had similar but smaller was being hit in the face by a crank handle in Australia back in 1977, so I thought the winch crank handle must have hit me. Now we have discovered that one of the gear boxes for the winch/tower assembly exploded when the cable snagged and the weight jerked with excessive force. One significant piece hit me and one piece hit the top itself and so it also has a scar! Thankfully no one else was touched, I am so tremendously thankful for that."
The following was posted as a comment on Joe's FB page by a fellow pastor -- Don MacKay

"The Reverend was nestled all snug in his bed,
For pieces of winch gear were stuck in his head,
And Ma with her Sunglasses, I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long Sunday's nap.

For out at Rizal there arose such a clatter,
Folks sprang all around to see what was the matter.
Away to the Hospital they flew like a flash,
With police escort ahead Cause He had such a gash.

But what to all's wondering eyes did appear,
The World's Biggest Top, Spinning 19 Minutes Here;
With many bright days still to spin for his Lord ,
Joe Mauk must delay his eternal reward. : )"
What I liked about Joe's talk was it gives all recognition not to himself but to the Lord up above for taking care of him. Though his triumph had a little bit of sacrifice (head injury), it was probably a means to humble the guy in his search for success.

and now he can go around preaching (or more appropriately should be called evangelizing) about the miracle that God allowed to happen in Joe's life.

It was so amazing that the PMAP 50th Annual Conference would introduce me to this character. I admit I was a bit teary-eyed hearing him and fascinated by what he can do with his tops, and of course with his inspiring words that will now be a part of every attendees life who were present during the 37th PMAP Awards night.

May Joe continue to become an inspiration for the other people who have not heard about his story yet.

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  1. It is amazing how Joseph Mauk inspires us. He's passion in making big spinning tops is creative in its own way. He has a peculiar sense of being creative but he managed to astonish us with his works.

  2. It is amazing how Joseph Mauk inspires us. He's passion in making big spinning tops is creative in its own way. He has a peculiar sense of being creative but he managed to astonish us with his works.

  3. Ang pastor na MAGNANAKAW

    1. Tanong nyo Tom randall world harvest joe cofffey at ang latest ccf— milyones mga ninakaw sa kanila at may pweba pati mga dating emplyado walang separation pay na nkukuha kahit dapat meron


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