Balls of this size can be cut using most woodturning tools, it depends how round you want the ball to be and of course how many you have to make.
If you look on the Craft Supplies web site, they have a sphere cutting rig that adapts to fit most lathes and was designed for cutting skittle and croquet balls, with a bit of practice this rig turns out very good (round) shapes. Just type the word sphere into the quick search box.
I have read of this techinique before but never tried it. Here is someone else's description of making smaller spheres. It ain't turning but may be of interest.
"Faced with having to reproduce a number of 1/2-inch diameter
wooden balls (to replace missing ornamentation on an old
fireplace), I discovered a virtually painless procedure using a
large belt sander. Build a box frame, open on the bottom, and
clamp it to the stationary part of the sander so it sits just off the
belt. For 1/2-inch diameter balls, cut 1/2-inch cubes and toss them in
the box frame. Put a cover on the box (Plexiglass is best) and turn on
the sander. The sanding belt will throw the cubes around in the frame
like dice on a game table, knocking off their corners and edges until
they are perfect spheres."
A good idea so I tried it but I don't think my sander is powerful enough. After twenty minutes I had a nice 25mm square cube with rounded corners. After 40 minutes I had a nice 25mm square cube with slightly more rounded corners. After 1 hour I had a nice 25mm cube with even more slightly rounded corners and that's when I gave up as I wasn't sure how long it was going to take to get a cube to turn into a ball with my sander. Quick search online and found this place: http://www.mutr.co.uk/prodDetail.aspx?prodID=136 Some good stuff including wooden balls :wink:
Hi Dr Thrax
Yes that was a new site for me as well.
A very useful and thought provoking link.
It never fails to amaze me, just what is lurking about out there waiting to be discovered.
Anyway thanks again for the link.
I agree with you there John, it is amazing what you can find and not always under a heading which has anything to do with what you are searching for. I placed an order with MUTR for some plastic gear wheels and ordering was simple, secure and quick delivery, recommended.