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Rubber ball drilling jig

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Project by Elizabeth posted 10-05-2013 11:59 PM 2073 views 2 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

As discussed in a recent thread, I needed to find a way to safely drill holes in rubber balls to put on the end of a child’s drumsticks. After receiving lots of suggestions from my fellow Jocks, I ended up a) freezing the balls and b) making a rubber ball sandwich. The freezing (chest freezer for a few days) didn’t actually get them very cold/solid particularly, but it kept the outside of the ball from getting damaged by being held in the jig. There was no difference in drilling the frozen vs unfrozen ball.

Here’s the jig – two scrap pieces from a bed project a couple years back, two leftover bolts from a swing set, and a bunch of drilled holes. I didn’t even need the wingnuts I found to put on the end of the bolts – they aligned everything without needing to be fixed in place and it made disassembly easier too. The larger holes were drilled with a forstner bit. I recommend slightly rounding the edges of the holes that hold the ball, as they damaged the unfrozen ball slightly.

Final steps were to superglue the dowel end into the hole and apply two coats of Plasti-Dip which was in stock at Harbor Freight.

One of the bolts is slightly loose in the jig because I didn’t get the larger hole quite centered and had to do another one, so the press fit didn’t quite work out. If it bugs me I can always epoxy the bolt head into place.





14 comments so far

View gfadvm's profile

gfadvm

11234 posts in 1378 days


#1 posted 10-06-2013 12:08 AM

Those sticks look better than factory from here.

-- " I'll try to be nicer, if you'll try to be smarter" gfadvm

View Monte Pittman's profile

Monte Pittman

14585 posts in 1026 days


#2 posted 10-06-2013 01:34 AM

Very cool. Love the jig.

-- Mother Nature created it, I just assemble it.

View MarkTheFiddler's profile

MarkTheFiddler

1807 posts in 876 days


#3 posted 10-06-2013 01:42 AM

Very clever! Thanks for the share.

-- Thanks for all the lessons!

View JL7's profile

JL7

7272 posts in 1653 days


#4 posted 10-06-2013 02:05 AM

Great solution!

-- Jeff - I have not failed. I've just found 10,002 ways that won't work.

View kiefer's profile

kiefer

3186 posts in 1355 days


#5 posted 10-06-2013 02:34 AM

I would have given the kids the ball and stick and said go play .LOL
Great solution and thanks for passing it on ,may need it down the road .

-- Kiefer 松

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3509 posts in 1200 days


#6 posted 10-06-2013 02:35 AM

Glad you were able to find a way to drill the rubber balls Elizabeth.

-- Randy - If I'm not on LJ's then I'm making Saw Dust. Please feel free to visit my store location at http://www.facebook.com/randy.blackstock.custom.wood.designs

View WayneC's profile

WayneC

12292 posts in 2785 days


#7 posted 10-06-2013 03:44 AM

Well done.

-- We must guard our enthusiasm as we would our life - James Krenov

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

3790 posts in 2055 days


#8 posted 10-06-2013 05:32 AM

I like the rubber ball idea! I had some 1” threaded polyethelene balls (salvaged from something I don’t recall) that I used but they were not robust enough for kids.

But, why not wood since you covered them with Plastidip?

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Jamie Speirs's profile

Jamie Speirs

4146 posts in 1544 days


#9 posted 10-06-2013 09:13 AM

Very inventive, good jig.

Jamie

-- Who is the happiest of men? He who values the merits of others, and in their pleasure takes joy, even as though 'twere his own. --Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

View hoss12992's profile

hoss12992

2831 posts in 581 days


#10 posted 10-06-2013 01:16 PM

This is really cool. Great jig. Thanks for sharing

-- The Old Rednek Workshop https://www.facebook.com/theoldrednekworkshoptn

View Ken90712's profile

Ken90712

15091 posts in 1876 days


#11 posted 10-06-2013 02:26 PM

Great jig love it.

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View Diggerjacks's profile

Diggerjacks

1765 posts in 1826 days


#12 posted 10-06-2013 05:52 PM

Hello Elizabeth

A very ingenius jig simple and effective

In my favorite for a future project

Thanks for sharing

-- Diggerjack-France ---The only limit is the limit of the mind and the mind has no limit

View stefang's profile

stefang

13274 posts in 2022 days


#13 posted 10-06-2013 05:54 PM

Well done jig and a great result too.

-- Mike, an American living in Norway.

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

810 posts in 1831 days


#14 posted 10-08-2013 03:12 PM

Thanks for the comments all!

Oldnovice, to answer your question – the rubber ball bounces better, and when he is old enough to reliably not try to eat them I can skip the plastidip stage entirely and then he can have the patterns that show on the actual rubber balls. Some of them are pretty cool looking.

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