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Making balls

Today I’ve been making balls. I needed a batch of 75 mm diameter and used the Hercules tool inĀ my heavy duty ball cuttingĀ jig. The tip is set at a forward angle on its shaft, so the tip scrapes, giving an adequate finish (the tip is getting blunt now, it’s done a lot of work in the past few days). It happily ploughs through the wood still.

Sanding can easily distort the final shape of the ball, so I tried mounting the Hunter tip horizontally on a cutter bar to give more of a shearing cut. This duplicates the effect of lowering the handle of the Hercules tool. However, the bevel is then almost vertical and there is not much clearance under the edge. This means that although it gives a better finish in this position, only a very small cut can be taken – the bevel stops the edge penetrating freely – and this makes the process too slow.

So I put the tip back on the proper tool and put the whole assembly in the jig. I had to do a little more sanding, keeping it as even as possible, but the job went much quicker, and the long handle is handy for swinging the jig round.

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