Making Wooden Balls / Spheres On the Lathe With a Drill

Making Wooden Balls / Spheres On the Lathe With a Drill
Ever wondered how to make wooden balls? Well, In this video, we do some wood turning where I show you how to make wood spheres using a wood lathe, a drill and a hole saw.

Trim Router / Palm Router Design Base Jig:
Mini Router Table for a Trim Router:
Making a Trim Router Edge Guide Jig (Palm Router Edge Guide):


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Making Wooden Balls / Spheres On the Lathe With a Drill

12 thoughts on “Making Wooden Balls / Spheres On the Lathe With a Drill”

  1. It's advantages to have the lathe slower then the drill in rpms. The larger differential, the better. If the lathe and the drill are similar rpms, you can assume that at a certain depth the surface speed of the wood and hole-saw teeth will be the same and thus will not cut. In your setup, the teeth on the left of the saw will be traveling up direction at X surface speed. If we assume your wood blank is the same diameter (if it's not, it will be after you cut a bit) and is spinning at same rpm, then outer wood fibers would traveling at the same surface speed but down in the opposite direction. With respect to the wood fibers, the saw teeth would be traveling twice the speed and would cut. Conversely on the right side of the hole-saw, the teeth would traveling down in the same direction as the wood fibers at the same speed. With respect to the wood fibers, the teeth would be traveling 0 mph and would NOT cut. This will make the saw cut on the left but only gear cog on the right. A slightly faster lathe will outrun the hole-saw and would be like running the saw backwards in a stationary wood. Slightly slower lathe will allow the saw to outrun the wood but will be slow cutting. It is more efficient and yields a smoother finish to run a very slow lathe and a fast hole-saw.

  2. Ok, I really hate doing this, but this idea won't work. There is a reason there was burning in the wood especially after increasing lathe speed. The right side of the cut was rotating down with the direction of the hole saw and was going faster than the hole saw. Thus it was as if the hole saw was trying to cut in an anticlockwise direction. A slower lathe speed and a finer tooth hole saw should improve performance.

  3. Instead of sanding, smooth with a shear scrape with a bowl gouge, or if you are brave, a skew!

  4. Saw something similar a few years back at a wood craft show. The fellow there reversed his drill when he had the ball about where he wanted it and also reduced the feed pressure on the drill.

  5. For a lower profile you could use magnets to hold it down too. Cool stuff, thx for sharing!

  6. Hi Colin, great video. Could you add something to it? How about cutting off one end of the ball, and pivoting your drill and hole saw and try to make a sphere that sits on top of the post? I wonder how that would turn out?

  7. It is a unique opportunity to learn along “with” an accomplished woodworker who is not afraid to learn with us on camera. Bravo!

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