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Ball Splitting Jig

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Project by Jerome posted 08-06-2013 04:14 PM 1941 views 1 time favorited 11 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Ball Splitting Jig
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This is my first attempt at making a jig to split wooden balls in half. In the past I used a clamp and held the wooden ball at the base of my Miter saw and lowered the blade to cut the ball. Every time the split pieces would be launched all over the shop and I would then collect the ones that were cut clean. Out of 100 balls, I would get roughly 75 “passable” halves.

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With my new band saw and some advice from a few here on LJ, I created a jig to safely cut the small balls in half. The jig was crafted from a pine 2×4 cut in half. I also used a small block at the end to allow for even clamping. I used my neighbor’s drill press to cut the holes out using a forstner bit. It worked ok about half of the way. Because I did not use any hot glue to secure the edge of the ball, some were destroyed by the band saw blade while others were shredded and looked like a cheese puff. Additionally, the balls that caught in the saw blade spun and removed some of the wood from the side of the jig. The other issue was that the holes were created too close together to allow the band saw to cut through one ball without touching the other.

I will make a new one made out of a harder wood, maybe purpleheart. And allow for enough room for the saw to pass through one ball without touching the other. I will also make the next one shorter to allow for five balls instead of 12. The flaw with this design though is that when one of the balls is split in half, the clamps loosen a bit.

-- Jerome, Marietta, GA





11 comments so far

View drbyte's profile

drbyte

564 posts in 2729 days


#1 posted 08-06-2013 05:26 PM

Why?

-- Dennis, WV

View Jerome's profile

Jerome

83 posts in 796 days


#2 posted 08-06-2013 05:38 PM

I use the split balls for the small fraternity shield that I sell. No one makes split balls in this size, so I have to make my own

smallshield

-- Jerome, Marietta, GA

View doubleDD's profile (online now)

doubleDD

2525 posts in 710 days


#3 posted 08-06-2013 06:12 PM

Very interesting. Will have to keep this in mind. I needed to split a couple of round objects for a project and this would work. Thanks for the tip.

-- --Dave, Downers Grove, Il. When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams

View drbyte's profile

drbyte

564 posts in 2729 days


#4 posted 08-06-2013 07:46 PM

Nice jig and god work on the frat shield!

-- Dennis, WV

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112169 posts in 2244 days


#5 posted 08-06-2013 10:25 PM

Good thinking well done

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View robscastle's profile (online now)

robscastle

1748 posts in 871 days


#6 posted 08-07-2013 10:41 PM

OMG sound like a wooden version of paint ball in your shop, nice to see a satisfactory and safe result.

I was going to add a balls joke but after my “where trees come” from post I had better not.

-- Regards Robert

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5113 posts in 2379 days


#7 posted 08-18-2013 05:30 PM

Could you put something ‘rubbery’ in the pockets that hold the balls so they wouldn’t spin?

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View CalgaryGeoff's profile

CalgaryGeoff

937 posts in 1148 days


#8 posted 08-22-2013 10:06 AM

The name got my attention and the jig works well. Trial and success, keep at it.

-- If you believe you can or can not do a thing, you are correct.

View REO's profile

REO

615 posts in 740 days


#9 posted 08-22-2013 11:52 AM

how about using a vacuum cleaner? you would need to set it up so that the inside diameter of the pipe was just a bit smaller than the ball so that it wouldn’t pas through. this would also give you the best possible grip for surface area and the most support while cutting. fasten the fitting to your miter in the appropriate location and hook up the vac. chuck up a ball cut and remove the remainder, chuck up another ball repeat. I have cut some real odd ball stuff chucking up with a vac for better grip use a resilient outside and a hard stop ring inside that the ball bottoms against.

View Jerome's profile

Jerome

83 posts in 796 days


#10 posted 08-23-2013 12:58 PM

Thanks REO for the ideas. I will give it a shot

-- Jerome, Marietta, GA

View Jerome's profile

Jerome

83 posts in 796 days


#11 posted 08-23-2013 01:00 PM

@ Mark, you bring up a nice suggestion. I could find some inexpensive rubber washers to fit inside the holes.

-- Jerome, Marietta, GA

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