LumberJocks

All Replies on How to drill holes in rubber balls?

  • Advertise with us
View Elizabeth's profile

How to drill holes in rubber balls?

by Elizabeth
posted 09-29-2013 06:28 PM


32 replies so far

View joek30296's profile

joek30296

34 posts in 1525 days


#1 posted 09-29-2013 06:34 PM

You might try freezing them and drill before they thaw out. I remember years ago seeing my boss drill some sheet rubber. He dropped some dry ice into acteone and them dropped the rubber in and drilled after being in the mixture for a few minutes.

-- "There are two theories to arguing with a woman....neither of them work"

View firefighterontheside's profile

firefighterontheside

4390 posts in 515 days


#2 posted 09-29-2013 06:45 PM

I would say the freezing thing is worth a try. I’m curious.

-- Bill M. I love my job as a firefighter, but nothing gives me the satisfaction of running my hand over a project that I have built and just finished sanding.

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3410 posts in 1171 days


#3 posted 09-29-2013 07:09 PM

clamp them in a wooden clamp or between two blocks of wood using bar clamps and using the drill press, would be my guess.

-- 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 PaulLL's profile

PaulLL

148 posts in 635 days


#4 posted 09-29-2013 07:16 PM

I had same thought as Blackie, clamp them in wood handscrews, or between 2 blocks then you can clamp to drill press or bench top. If you don’t have a drill press, measure the depth you want to drill to on the ball, and mark that depth on your drill bit, put a piece of masking tape around the bit there so that you can easily see where to stop. Hope this makes sense, good luck!

View Tim's profile

Tim

1271 posts in 620 days


#5 posted 09-29-2013 07:34 PM

Freezing seems like it would help with tearing and make a smoother hole, but may not be a good idea if you don’t have a drill press. It will make it harder to drill, making clamping more important. An awl or other pointed object to make an indent should help discourage the bit from wandering if you don’t have a drill press.

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

803 posts in 1802 days


#6 posted 09-29-2013 07:37 PM

I will try freezing; thanks. I do have a drill press and will probably try to make some kind of jig for repeatability.

I thought about just clamping it, Blackie, but was concerned about the fact that the clamps would be compressing the rubber and increasing the pressure on the sides of the drill bit. Unless if I somehow clamped it on top and bottom and then drilled through the clamping surface; that’s a thought for the jig design I guess!

View Blackie_'s profile

Blackie_

3410 posts in 1171 days


#7 posted 09-29-2013 08:42 PM

Another thought, make an L shaped jig large enough to hold the ball sorta like a fence using 1/2 ply, drill a hole through it at the location to pierce the rubber ball with the tip of a wooden screw, screw the ball up against the fence to hold the rubber ball firm to the fence, clamp the fence to the table and see if that would work, only down side it would leave a small hole where the screw entered.

-- 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 patron's profile

patron

13035 posts in 1999 days


#8 posted 09-29-2013 08:48 PM

an alternate thought
if they are solid rubber
is to heat a smaller metal rod
(enough to melt not burn)
and melt it in
then squeegee the stick in
it should hold it tight

and round the end of the stick slightly
so it doesn’t rip the rubber going in
maybe some random notches on the stick end
so it has more to hold it on

-- david - only thru kindness can this world be whole . If we don't succeed we run the risk of failure. Dan Quayle

View Stephenw's profile

Stephenw

273 posts in 1044 days


#9 posted 09-29-2013 09:12 PM

I would drill a deep hole in a block of wood, slightly smaller in diameter than the rubber ball. Drill a smaller hole all the way through the block. Force the ball into the hole with a clamp. Remove the clamp. Place the block of wood in the drill press vise and drill the hole in the ball. A brad point would probably work best for drilling in rubber. Use a dowel through the smaller hole to remove the ball from the larger hole.

This is an idea. I haven’t tried it.

-- http://www.garagebulletin.com/

View REO's profile

REO

614 posts in 732 days


#10 posted 09-29-2013 10:15 PM

Elisabeth you will most likely have trouble with the drill self feeding. Your idea about clamping on top and drilling through the clamp is a good one! set the depth stop on the drill as well so the drill doesn’t get sucked totally through the ball.

You can make a shaped clamp by drilling a pocket hole with the correct size forstner bit. drill so that the top surface of the ball hits at the same time as the edge of the hole. It needn’t be the same diameter as the overall diameter of the ball. If you screw two pieces of stock together and drill a pilot hole through then use the forstner to make the indentations in each half to the proper depth you can position the bottom piece on the table and clamp that first. Then clamp the ball in place with the second peice useing screws where they were used to hold the pieces in place to initially drill the pilot hole. Set the drill stop and have a go. The spur bit would probably be your best bet for the actual hole in the ball.

View NormG's profile

NormG

4185 posts in 1662 days


#11 posted 09-29-2013 10:24 PM

I have made several tongue drums for kids and have had to make the drums sticks for them. I used a Forster bit to drill hole in a 2×4, just enough for about a third of the balls to set in, set the depth of your drill bit (I use point twist) so the it will go slightly better than half way through the ball. Hold between thumb and first finger, drill slowly, when you set the the proper depth, let the drill bit sit a few seconds at the bottom and then remove. Should have a nice clean hole. I use 5/16” oak dowels.

Have fun

-- Norman

View TopamaxSurvivor's profile

TopamaxSurvivor

14754 posts in 2334 days


#12 posted 09-30-2013 03:01 AM

A quick easy way to make a holder for the balls is to paste wax one, make a hole larger than it in a couple of blocks of wood, use epoxy to form around it. Cut the blacks apart when the epoxy is cured. You’ll have a perfect holder for your jig.

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

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2837 posts in 1902 days


#13 posted 09-30-2013 07:26 PM

A regular twist drill won’t work. A hole saw might, if you take small “stabbing” shots at it. Make the hole first; then fit the stick to it after, trimming as needed for a good tight fit.

View MrRon's profile

MrRon

2837 posts in 1902 days


#14 posted 09-30-2013 07:31 PM

Depending on the size of the ball, you could find a round glass Christmas ornament; coat the inside of the glass ball with a release agent or cooking oil; pour in silicon caulk; push in the stick; let set; break glass. Just an idea to file away.

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5374 posts in 2244 days


#15 posted 09-30-2013 07:35 PM

why not buy a set of drumsticks nothing will be better for the job even used they should be cheap enough .If you must do it yourself then start out with a centre drill then a standard drill with luck it should work.Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112105 posts in 2235 days


#16 posted 09-30-2013 07:42 PM

If you use a jig like one of these you should be able to drill them with out a problem. If you have a problem start with smaller drill bits and work your way up to the size you need.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

803 posts in 1802 days


#17 posted 10-01-2013 05:10 AM

Scotsman wrote: “why not buy a set of drumsticks nothing will be better for the job even used they should be cheap enough”

It’s because my son is obsessed with drumming things – we bought him a set for $8 a month ago and he barely lets go of them – and the rubber balls protect things from getting dented. They are rubber balls epoxied onto dowels and dipped in tool-dip. But the dowels are getting grimy, chewed and worn at the bottoms and sometimes he wanders off with both and then comes back with only one and we have to hunt down the other one, so it’d be nice to have some spares without spending $8 per pair for them. A dowel is 57 cents for 4 sticks worth, we got a big bag of hi-bouncing balls for $2; the plasti-dip is the most expensive component!

Thanks for all the jig ideas everyone, and especially the pictures. I have some experimenting to do!

View joek30296's profile

joek30296

34 posts in 1525 days


#18 posted 10-01-2013 05:39 PM

When you get it figured out, please let us know what worked. Everyone is curious as to how you did it.

-- "There are two theories to arguing with a woman....neither of them work"

View Parsimonia's profile

Parsimonia

51 posts in 610 days


#19 posted 10-01-2013 05:47 PM

How about a hot pencil soldering iron? It kind of depends on if the rubber will melt.

-- More Ideas than Time.

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

2070 posts in 1220 days


#20 posted 10-01-2013 05:58 PM

Drill in Reverse the drill bit and it will work without the drill bit wanting to pulling through.

One other option is what I did and turned the drumsticks and put it in the dipping plastic to harden.

Arlin

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

539 posts in 694 days


#21 posted 10-01-2013 06:18 PM

In my experience rubber is difficult to drill. I tried a couple of times with some rubber in a vice and the drill, as has been said, self feeds. And the vice distorts the rubber such that if you do get the hole to drill, the hole is distorted and ragged…

That being said, I successfully drilled some rubber stoppers once, by wedging them into the taper of my lathe, then drilling from the tailstock. The twist drills worked!

So I recommend that you use a jig like A1Jim shows and StephenW alludes to. I think if you get the ball wedged into a circle shaped jig so it cannot move, that you’ll find even a twist drill will drill a clean hole.

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

803 posts in 1802 days


#22 posted 10-03-2013 03:51 AM

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 inside surfaces of the jig:

The bottom:

Sandwiching:

Drilling (a reenactment):

Sticks superglued and drying:

I’ve got some Plastic-dip from HF and once they’re dry I’m going to dip the balls and the first inch or so of stick to make the join a bit firmer.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112105 posts in 2235 days


#23 posted 10-03-2013 03:57 AM

Nice work Elizabeth.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

803 posts in 1802 days


#24 posted 10-03-2013 04:02 AM

Thanks Jim. Now I have to get the superglue off my fingers…I overestimated how much would be needed on the first stick and some spurted out onto my hand. I managed not to stick my fingers to each other or anything else though!

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112105 posts in 2235 days


#25 posted 10-03-2013 04:12 AM

I hate it when that happens.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View tomd's profile

tomd

1758 posts in 2429 days


#26 posted 10-03-2013 04:34 AM

A little nail polish remover should do it.

-- Tom D

View Elizabeth's profile

Elizabeth

803 posts in 1802 days


#27 posted 10-03-2013 04:45 AM

Hah…one of many “girly” things I’ve never owned. Maybe there will be some in the cupboards at work tomorrow.

View a1Jim's profile

a1Jim

112105 posts in 2235 days


#28 posted 10-03-2013 04:52 AM

Finger nail polish remover is Acetone and yes it does work on removing super glue. I’ve only used it when the super glue is wet.

-- http://artisticwoodstudio.com Custom furniture

View tefinn's profile

tefinn

1211 posts in 1095 days


#29 posted 10-03-2013 05:18 AM

That’s a great jig. Have to remember it if I ever do another tounge drum. To make my mallets I used some pre drilled wood balls from the craft store and plastic-dipped them after gluing to the dowels. They work but really don’t have the same sound as rubber ones.

-- Tom Finnigan - Measures? We don't need no stinking measures! - Hmm, maybe thats why my project pieces don't fit.

View Underdog's profile

Underdog

539 posts in 694 days


#30 posted 10-03-2013 02:59 PM

Great jig! Thanks for showing us the solution.

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

2452 posts in 2401 days


#31 posted 10-03-2013 03:25 PM

I would use cork/stopper borers.
We use thes in the lab to put holes in rubber corks to then insert glass tubing or thermometers and such in.

Could be easy to make as well by just sharpening brass tubing.

They then nest inside eachother as a set for different sizes.

-- "If we did all the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astonish ourselves." Edison

View Arlin Eastman's profile

Arlin Eastman

2070 posts in 1220 days


#32 posted 10-06-2013 01:52 AM

I could not remember the name, but I am glad you found the Plasti Coat. You can use it for alot of woodworking things and turnings I found.

Arlin

-- It is always the right time, to do the right thing.

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

HomeRefurbers.com

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics

GardenTenders.com :: gardening showcase