Half Ball-in-Half Cage

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Project by Phil32 posted 10-02-2018 09:16 PM 654 views 1 time favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Many whittlers have tried the whimsical challenge of carving a ball-in-cage. On the left is a typical example. Recently I wanted to carve another, but the piece of butternut had a large area of bark that reduced the blank nearly to a triangle. So I decided to try a half ball in a triangular cage. The result is on the right. This required carving slots in the cage that kept the half ball captured. The other photos are other views of these and similar pieces.


-- Phil Allin - Ventura, CA

10 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile


5126 posts in 2414 days

#1 posted 10-02-2018 10:32 PM

All very impressive!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View ClaudeF's profile


773 posts in 1855 days

#2 posted 10-02-2018 11:30 PM

Good one, Phil – That required some good thinking!



View Rick S.'s profile

Rick S.

10574 posts in 3181 days

#3 posted 10-02-2018 11:43 PM

Very Nice & Well Done Phil!

-- (Rick S.)... "Don't Worry About What People Think! They Don't Do It Very Often Anyway!"

View Eric's profile


25 posts in 21 days

#4 posted 10-02-2018 11:51 PM

Well done

-- Eric, Upstate South Carolina

View AshburnCustomShop's profile


6 posts in 26 days

#5 posted 10-03-2018 01:08 AM

That just might be the coolest thing I ever saw. Love that!

View HokieKen's profile


6296 posts in 1286 days

#6 posted 10-03-2018 12:32 PM

Exceptional work Phil!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View recycle1943's profile


2319 posts in 1770 days

#7 posted 10-03-2018 12:50 PM

great carving and I LOVE the worm holes, they add character to an awesome piece of work. they help make it look old -

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Phil32's profile


100 posts in 51 days

#8 posted 10-03-2018 02:52 PM

Thanks for the compliments. The wormholes are one indication of why butternut is getting hard to find.

These whimsies require a level of precision we don’t associate with whittling. In the regular ball-in-cage the ball has to be sized so it doesn’t fall out between the bars. But it should be round and capable of rotating, sliding up & down, etc. (Some people don’t realize the ball is carved from the wood inside the cage!)
With the half ball only the edges are in contact with the bars. The clearance to the third bar is critical. If too loose the half ball can be “cocked” and fall out. It can be slid up & down, and rotated in place, but not in the 90 degree plane. I like the ball clearance to be tight enough to stick in place rather than fall to the bottom.

-- Phil Allin - Ventura, CA

View JRsgarage's profile


305 posts in 657 days

#9 posted 10-03-2018 03:49 PM

very cool.

-- Two is One, One is None

View majuvla's profile


13051 posts in 3015 days

#10 posted 10-04-2018 04:40 AM

Nice work! I love those puzzle stuff projects.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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