Making a wooden 8-ball on a lathe


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Interesting project and good video. He creates some great things, definitely worth checking out his channel.


Funny, I would have used the CNC router to shape the sphere and avoided all that lathework. I made a Holdridge type ball turning jig for my metal lathe for balls up to 5" out of a square foot of 1" aluminum.


That’s some fantastic work, and a great video. When I retire I hope to be able to afford a shop full of tools, because that looks satisfying and fun.


And I love how he explains the various methods he tried and failed at before arriving at a good solution.


What you can’t ask it questions? I am disappoint.
Seriously that is pretty awesome work.


My suggestion is not to wait. This year I sort of hit a tipping point, where I can pretty confidently make any sort of tool or fixture I need, and it is an incredible feeling. I really wish I had been here a decade ago.
The best way to create accurate spheres on a lathe is illustrated here, as mentioned by @Urbanacus:

The way to create spheres from stone is much louder and chaotic:


Actually, mine is a variant on this design, scaled up slightly for 5" dia, but not as beefy since I don’t turn steel.

Many years ago I used it to make these cosmetic container prototypes, it was like turning contact lenses.


The practice of a competent machinist requires you to really think differently about a lot of things. I am being mentored by a retired tool and die maker, and he will frequently come up with solutions for tooling setups that I would never have thought of. The whole process is a huge intellectual challenge.


I’m jealous, I had to teach myself in the pre Youtube era, when people were actually hired to make models like this by hand for ads and such, before there was raytraced renderings and ubiquitous CNC & 3D modeling.


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