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Anonymous

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i've been given a challenge by a few of the guys at work to make a wooden ball, the only catch is i cant use a lathe. I've never given this any thought before, but now that its came up i'm a bit lost as to the best way to do it.
i know i could cheat and just use a lathe, but i'd like to do it without one.
so if any of you guys have ever done it or have some suggestions as to how best to do it..............please give me your info.

thanks.
 

ByronBlack

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My first guess it to make a cube, and then knock the corners of with a bandsaw, and round it off using a combination of chisels and rasps. Should be able to get a pretty decent ball if you take your time and follow an equal profile as you go
 

Gill

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Hi Kenny

You could spin a block over a roundover bit in a router table on a circle cutting jig to create a semi-sphere. Repeat the process, then cut both semi-spheres from the rest of the wooden block with a bandsaw and glue them together.

Gill
 

Philly

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Kenny
I read about a jig you can make to make balls using a belt sander.
Invert the belt sander and fit a four sided box around the belt to keep the wood over it. Switch on the sander, pop the blank onto the belt and wait for it to make a perfect ball.
Never tried it but worth a go!
HTH
Philly
 

Mcluma

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Philly":2jxcaotn said:
Kenny
I read about a jig you can make to make balls using a belt sander.
Invert the belt sander and fit a four sided box around the belt to keep the wood over it. Switch on the sander, pop the blank onto the belt and wait for it to make a perfect ball.
Never tried it but worth a go!
HTH
Philly
I have made 4 balls in this way,(as i do not have a lathe) and it works like a charm. :p

McLuma
 

9fingers

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Hi McLuma,

I'm surprised that this method works as I'd have expected the wood to sand differentially according to the grain tending to give egg shaped results.

I'll file this method away for the day I need some wooden balls

Happy New Year to all our readers.

Bob
 

JFC

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You don't say how big the ball has to be . If small you could use the router table and a round over bit , make a jig up to do the second round over or leave enough timber to clean up by hand . To be honest i wouldn't try this method myself as i prefer to keep my fingers rather than showing off my balls to the lads at work :lol:
 
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Anonymous

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thanks for the replies guys, i guess i'm being a bit dim here.................but i'm not understanding the belt sander idea.
i'd appreciate if maybe someone could try explaining it in laymen's terms :oops:.
 

PowerTool

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Never tried it personally,but I understand it to be the same idea as rolling plasticine into a ball - make the wood into a vaguely round shape,use a box to stop it wandering too much,and the belt sander just rolls it round and round until it becomes..err...round.

Andrew
 

RogerS

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Kenny

This comes from 'Router Methods of Work' edited by Jim Richey..The best tips from 25 years of Fine Woodworking.

Vertical rectangular frame - width slightly larger than the ball dia. Shelf located near the top on which the router is mounted vertically. Inside the bottom 'square' of the vertical frame is located the wood to make the ball and this is mounted on a second frame so that it pivots in the vertical axis. The second frame pivots inside the vertical outer frame but in the horizontal axis.

He glues up a rough sphere by laminating graudtaed discs of plywood or solid wood..making the larger discs as rings if weight is an issue. Drill hole through North and South poles so that it can be mounted inside the second frame. Use washers as shims to centre the blank in the frame.

Make sure blank and second frame all rotate freely. Rotate to find high spot under router bit and set bit slightly lower. Start the router and rotate the sphere in all directions, gradually lowering the bit until the sphere is produced.

Hope that helps

Roger
 
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