Wooden work positioner for carving

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Project by mpounders posted 02-15-2011 10:13 PM 9269 views 20 times favorited 12 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Using a positioner allows you to carve with both hands, and gives greater control and more power for certain types of carving. Working in the round and roughing out a large carving is easier and faster!
Glue a couple of scrap pieces of half-inch plywood together or use two pieces of three-quarter inch plywood. Transfer the shapes for the top and bottom to the plywood and cut out with either a band saw or jigsaw. Clamp or tape the pieces together and drill the three bolt holes. Use a Forstner bit on the bottom of the base to create recessed holes for the bolt heads. The ball is a 2 ½” wooden knob from a hobby store. Drill a hole in the ball so that the pipe fits loosely and epoxy the pipe in the hole. A 3” floor flange with a reducing bushing is used to mount your work piece to the pipe. Use a sanding drum to taper out the holes in both base assemblies to give a greater range of movement and allow shorter bolts to be used to hold it together. Use a wing-nut on one bolt for quick adjustments. Sand and round the rough edges. Larger work can be directly mounted with screws or make an adapter as shown for smaller work.

2 pieces ¾” plywood 8”x6” (or 4 pieces of ½” plywood)
3” iron floor flange with a ½” to ¼” reducer
6” piece ¼” ID threaded pipe (or similar size bolt that will thread Into the reducer”
2 ½” wooden ball (from hobby/craft store)
3 ¼”x3” bolts and nuts with one ¼” wing-nut

Misc: Drill and bits, epoxy glue, screws, bolts, or clamps to mount to desired surface.

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

12 comments so far

View Rob W's profile

Rob W

434 posts in 3739 days

#1 posted 02-15-2011 11:14 PM

Great Idea. I have a bunch of croquet balls that haven’t been used in years that would be perfect for this.

-- Rob — I've cut it off twice and it's still too short!,

View mpounders's profile


902 posts in 3098 days

#2 posted 02-15-2011 11:18 PM

That would work! I have seen some large ones made with old bowling balls, but I don’t work with stuff that big!

-- Mike P., Arkansas,

View polecat's profile


78 posts in 2872 days

#3 posted 02-15-2011 11:31 PM

There you go again. lol
In my favorite. So cool, Thanks

-- polecat, south alabama

View mafe's profile


11741 posts in 3292 days

#4 posted 02-15-2011 11:39 PM

Really nice, this one goes to my favorites too.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect. Democraticwoodworking.

View jeffl's profile


288 posts in 3514 days

#5 posted 02-15-2011 11:47 PM

I like it! Good idea.

-- Jeff,

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3190 days

#6 posted 02-16-2011 12:40 AM

Nice idea. Thanks.

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View TJ65's profile


1381 posts in 3253 days

#7 posted 02-16-2011 04:36 AM

great idea. I was wondering about what you would use. This is a great idea that i too will favorite it -when, (i wont say if, coz undoubtably i will) I need it, it is only time with me and woodworking I am tending to try just about everything!

-- Theresa,

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile


18394 posts in 3879 days

#8 posted 02-16-2011 05:09 AM

Nice vise!!

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View lightweightladylefty's profile


3266 posts in 3915 days

#9 posted 02-16-2011 05:36 AM


Very clever idea! Thanks for posting.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View rdlaurance's profile


367 posts in 3550 days

#10 posted 02-16-2011 09:43 AM

Thank for posting this Mike. It is certainly an item that I will be making next summer when my time is not so taxed. Now just need to keep a lookout for a decently sized round ball.

-- Rick, south Sweden

View Druid's profile


1911 posts in 2998 days

#11 posted 04-07-2011 09:19 PM

Good idea. It should also be possible to substitute a trailer hitch ball if there’s one kicking around in the garage. Gotta make one.

-- John, British Columbia, Canada

View Bertha's profile


13551 posts in 2896 days

#12 posted 04-07-2011 09:45 PM

Very clever and saved you some big bucks. I might just give one of these a try, as I’m not a big carver, but this control is indispensable.

-- My dad and I built a 65 chev pick up.I killed trannys in that thing for some reason-Hog

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