After quite some time of wanting one of these nifty creatures I finally sent out many emails to some old friends, attempting to round up a bowling ball for the project. Like most things, I could not find one when I was looking one. Would you believe it, could not even locate one on craigslist? Not even in other states. Seriously!!?? I personally couldn’t believe that one.
Anyway, here we are. A few of the many emails paid off. Within a day of sending an email to one of my friends he emailed me back stating, “You are not going to believe this. I actually found one in a wooded area this past week while out walking through the woods.” I played with his mind for a moment. I responded, “Oh really, that is weird. I knew somehow that you had found one.”
He returned with, “How did you know?” to which I responded, “I had a dream that you had come across a bowling ball while out in the woods. I didn’t really know why but that you had. That is why I emailed you. I am needing one for a project.”
Gave him a little time to soak on it…..”just messing with you!” sigh on the other end…LOL!!
Anyway, as ironic as that story was, I couldn’t even use that particular ball because he discovered upon cleaning it up that it had a rather significant crack.
One of my other emails had in the meanwhile rounded up another pal that did have one just sitting around, collecting dust in his closet.
“How much do you want for it?” “Oh, you can have it.”
Ok, so now I had this 12 pound bowling ball in hand and could not figure out how I was going to cut the section off of this sphere.
I thought -
-horizontal metal cutting bandsaw
-reciprocating sawzall with a long blade
-building a square box, inserting ball and then filling with expanding foam spray to hold ball securely while I cut it
-And even a few more.
What I ended up doing was just using my woodworking bandsaw. It worked great. Very carefully and methodically I advanced the ball on my 14” Rikon woodworking bandsaw which was fitted with a 3/8”, 14tpi blade to cut off the section. It worked fine. Advanced slowly and easily, cut it really well and with great ease…No issues at all.
After sanding flat…just drilled and tapped holes for my vise.
Made this ‘thinga-ma-jig’ of a base to enable me to obtain maximum positioning. The rubber pieces provide just the right amount of friction needed to hold the ball when its off-center.
Nice vise to have for working on small, intricate detail work such as wire inlay and embellishments in a piece. I really like the way it turned out.
Solid for the caliber of work that it will be used for and the mass of the ball absorbs all of that energy from the minute taps of an embellishing hammer. I couldn’t be more pleased.
-- Chris Harrell - custom callmaker "Quacky Calls" Eastern NC. http://www.quackycalls.com