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Tips On Turning Some 3/4" Diameter Sphere's

Discussion in 'Woodturning Discussion Forum' started by John Simmons, Aug 13, 2020.

  1. John Simmons

    John Simmons

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    I need to turn some 3/4" diameter sphere's out of pine for a rocket project. Any tips?

    I was wondering if I should make a turning tool out of a piece of flat bar, drill a 3/4" hole through it, then chamfer the hole, and cut the hole in half. Seems like I could turn the sphere, get it close and then finish it with the custom tool. That might make finishing them to the same size easier?

    Thanks in advance for any tips or suggestions.

    John
     

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    Last edited: Aug 13, 2020
  2. Richard Coers

    Richard Coers

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  3. John Simmons

    John Simmons

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  4. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    From the photos you attached, it looks more like half-round nose cones with a rebate to fit snugly in the rocket body tube. If that’s the case, I’d think much easier to make than full spheres.
     
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  5. John Simmons

    John Simmons

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    Sorry if I wasn't clear... the 3/4" spheres go down on the end of the formed fins..

    Red Columbine Dwg Sheets 2 of 7 Rev 00 Round Spheres.jpg
     
  6. Lou Jacobs

    Lou Jacobs

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    Ahhh! Forgive me. Yes, that’s a bit trickier (at least for me!).
     
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  7. Brandon Sloan

    Brandon Sloan

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    This is just what I would do if I was too stubborn to buy them. Which is often the case. I would make a bead cutter to mount in my tailstock drill chuck. I haven’t given any thought to how I would make it, but odds are I would invest 100’s of hours and 100’s of dollars to figure it out. After I figured it out, I would bask in the glory for a few minutes and then kick myself in the ass for not just buying them from a craft store.
     
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  8. John Simmons

    John Simmons

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    Ugh... sorry I asked.... Nevermind
     
  9. Dean Center

    Dean Center

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    You can do it, John. Since you need them to be nearly identical, I would use a piece of plywood, plexiglas, masonite, or your drilled half hole, as a template and not as the turning tool. I would guess that 3/4" is too big for a beading type tool to work well. You can also grind off the sharp corner of a 3/4" wrench to use as your diameter measuring tool, for rough turning speed and reproducibility.

    There are lots of methods and videos on sphere making. Pick one. It'll take a while to get the hang of turning spheres, somewhere between 3 and 30, but eventually you'll have the knack and be able to make many of them.
     
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  10. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    For spheres that small I would turn them like beads with a 1/2” skew or 3/8 spindle gouge.
    Use a template to after the first 3 you will be turning them in 2-3 minutes.
    Turn ten and pick the best 5.

    chuck a blank 5” Long in your chuck or glue one end into something you can grip with your chuck.
    Turn the cylinder 3/4” mark off the spheres leaving 3/8” in between. Part in a little.
    Mark the center and turn the beads leave the center line
    Round the free end and cut the headstock side down to 1/8” Sand lightly and saw off the ball and hand sand the sawn face round.
     
  11. Greg Norman

    Greg Norman

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    You’re basically making bead forming tool. I think if you use a good quality steel it would work fine. I looked at a couple of sites and didn’t see anything larger than 5/8” available. ED9505B9-350B-4B43-BBB1-29F6473C0FD8.jpg
     
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  12. Mike Johnson

    Mike Johnson

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    My wife wanted some wooden beads for some of her sewing projects, the quickest way to get a uniform sized bead is to use a bead cutter. With a piece of flat stock on a drill press you can drill out a number of beads quickly depending on the species of wood you are using. The tool works like a regular lathe bead cutting tool which requires a little practice in slowing the progress of your cut when you get close to contacting the entire cutting surface of the tool.

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Bead-Ball-...842691?hash=item2d13362083:g:qOYAAOSwFxpe8sch
     
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  13. Clifton C

    Clifton C

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  14. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    that is a nice little tool.
    It is the way I have been laying out spheres for 20+ years

    I has been my experience that the method does not work well for me for spheres under 1” diameter
    Around 2002 I had to turn about 40 balls for someone’s game board it was much easier just to do them by eye with a center line.

    Here is a video where I use the layout method by hand that the layout rule produces.
    B&B Demo 2010 AAW symposium -

    View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fmCvOP2Mpmw
     
  15. Glenn Lefley

    Glenn Lefley

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    Ignore the negative help, embrace the helpful posts. Never be sorry for asking!
     
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  16. John Simmons

    John Simmons

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    Awesome ... thanks for posting this.
     
  17. Don Wattenhofer

    Don Wattenhofer

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    Point # 1 they are for a rocket so purchased beads would be to heavy and if you tried to make them out of pine = light wood with a bead forming tool would not work well as in at least 80% tear out.
     
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  18. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    I didn’t try this but I saw this being done with a hole saw. https://9gag.com/gag/aVY76R2

    im not exactly sure how I would attach the wood to a jig to get it to rotate. But it would be fun figuring it out.
     
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  19. John Simmons

    John Simmons

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    Well... I think I spent more time wondering how I was going to do this.... than actually turning the parts. Hockenbery's video helped a bunch in regard to laying out the dowel for a symmetric sphere.

    I just used a roughing tool, skew chisel and a parting tool... and sand paper.

    Thanks again everybody for your help!
     

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    Last edited: Aug 15, 2020
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  20. hockenbery

    hockenbery AAW Advisor Staff Member

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    Nice job.
    Told you it wouldn’t take long after the first few.

    the wondering prepared your mind.
    “Chance favors the prepared mind” - L Pasteur
     
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  21. Dennis Weiner

    Dennis Weiner

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    When are you launching?
     
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  22. John Simmons

    John Simmons

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    We'll see. Colorado is burning... no launches permitted during burn bans.
     
  23. Greg Norman

    Greg Norman

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    I don’t see where I typed anything about the weight of any beads. I understood the question to be about making a tool. If done correctly there is practically zero tear out in yellow pine.
     
  24. Mark Jundanian

    Mark Jundanian

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    That's very cool (except for the part about pouring water all over everything)!
     
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