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how to cut wood balls in half?

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  • how to cut wood balls in half?

    Looking for suggestions how to cut wood balls 1-1/2 to 2" in diameter accurately in half.

    last time I tried to feed something like that into the bandsaw the teeth grabbed it, spun it and it took off like a banshee.

    I imagine it would take some kind of jig...

    Any suggestions?
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

  • #2
    Hmmpf. I actually posted an answer to this very same question 4 years ago on BT3Central...http://www.bt3central.com/showthread...den+balls+half

    Not that I was much help...
    Loring in Katy, TX USA
    If your only tool is a hammer, you tend to treat all problems as if they were nails.
    BT3 FAQ - https://www.sawdustzone.org/forum/di...sked-questions

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    • #3
      Drill hole in object on drill press, glue a temp post into ball, transfer post to a jig for resawing on the bandsaw. This assumes, that you only need one side.

      Perhaps encasing the round object in a tightly fitted wood box, then sawing the box in two if you need both sides.
      I think in straight lines, but dream in curves

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      • #4
        Originally posted by chopnhack View Post

        Perhaps encasing the round object in a tightly fitted wood box, then sawing the box in two if you need both sides.
        For a serious answer...

        +1. Chop has the right idea. I've cut balls, and bowling pins this way. I make a box that positions the item to be cut in line with the line of cut. The backside of the box (which rides against the fence), can be used to fasten the item if need be.

        Another method is a four sided box that the ball sits in, that is made as wide as to provide a center cut. IOW, as it rides against the fence, the left edges are where the saw cut would be. The actual bottom can be wider (the part that rides on the saw table...side #5). Side #6 isn't there (where the saw blade cuts).

        .

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        • #5
          Couldn't you just take an adjustable handscrew clamp and pinch it in between the 2 ends and then make the cut on the bandsaw as long as you make sure the cut doesn't close behind the blade, maybe insert a sliver of wood behind it after making the initial cut into the wood like a splitter would do on a tablesaw.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by tommyt654 View Post
            Couldn't you just take an adjustable handscrew clamp and pinch it in between the 2 ends and then make the cut on the bandsaw as long as you make sure the cut doesn't close behind the blade, maybe insert a sliver of wood behind it after making the initial cut into the wood like a splitter would do on a tablesaw.
            It probably would close up by the time you got to the exit.

            .

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            • #7
              Maybe use some hot glue to secure the ball to some sacrificial stock. I'd probably drill a hole that will capture the bottom of the ball in that sacrificial board, and use the hot glue to hole the ball in the hole. The hot glue can be removed later. If it seems stubborn, use some alcohol and it comes right off.

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              • #8
                Counterbore a matching hole in some thick cheap sacrificial stock, say a chunk of pine 2x4, just so the equator of the ball barely touches the inside of the sacrificial stock. Once touching, hot glue that sucker in, then saw away. The hot glue / sacrificial stock should keep the ball in place throughout the cut. Then just peel the hot glue off when done.
                Please like and subscribe to my YouTube channel. Please check out and subscribe to my Workshop Blog.

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                • #9
                  I think you could do it with something like a 45 degree miter sled. the "V" shape would hold the ball centered. You would need to add a top piece with a hold-down to keep the ball from moving. The hold-down piece could actually be a smaller version of the 45 degree sled turned upside down. If you clamp it tight to the back of the main sled & add a hold down, I think this would allow you to cut the ball. Put self adhesive sandpaper on the the faces of all parts that contact the ball. The trick is to get the ball clamped in place tight enough that is doesn't spin.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cabinetman View Post
                    For a serious answer... .
                    I wasn't joking. Those are two good ways of tackling that issue that sprung to mind first. Perhaps they weren't detailed enough, but Loring is an engineer, he only needs a clue to figure the rest out.
                    I think in straight lines, but dream in curves

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by chopnhack View Post
                      I wasn't joking. Those are two good ways of tackling that issue that sprung to mind first. Perhaps they weren't detailed enough, but Loring is an engineer, he only needs a clue to figure the rest out.
                      I wasn't referring to your idea, but rather to the thread Loring linked to where he just joked.

                      .

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                      • #12
                        oh, sorry. I posted that at 1:30 AM and my brain is still fumed by the alcohol from spraying today LOL
                        I think in straight lines, but dream in curves

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                        • #13
                          Make a box that holds the ball "tight." Put a fiinishing nail throught the box and into the ball on two opposing sides of the box to keep the ball from spinning. You may also have to put two nails in the bottom to keep it from spinning around the axis of the first two nails. (They must be offset from center of box.) Cut the box in half.
                          Richard

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                          • #14
                            On the lathe. Make a jam chuck from a sacrificial piece of wood, put in the ball, secure with a cup center in the tail stock, and use a thin parting tool.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by gerti View Post
                              On the lathe. Make a jam chuck from a sacrificial piece of wood, put in the ball, secure with a cup center in the tail stock, and use a thin parting tool.
                              That was my first thought but the ball is only 1 1/2" in diameter. Is there a parting tool small enough to do this without distorting the ball?
                              Richard

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