Hi Friends. The Chinese Ball war isn’t over yet, but I did manage to win a battle today. I was able to successfully turn all four inner balls in the first main (primary) hole. The first two holes are turned in end grain. The book suggests turning those first. I suppose to save a lot of time in case one of these aren’t successful and the ball is wasted.
On the negative side, I did a little damage to the rim around one of the small (secondary) holes. I think I can fix that. Otherwise I managed to compress the wood around the primary hole with the tool holder, which is radiused and used as a stop to keep the cutter at the right depth while work is underway. I will try to use a lighter touch next time. Meanwhile I sprayed it with some water to swell the compressed wood back to normal. That seemed to work ok.
Here are some photos of the work progression and the tools used for each step: First photo is the tapered hole used for entry by the cutting tools. The hole is first drill with a 9mm drill to a depth of 22mm and then widened and tapered using the tool shown in photo 2 at the far right. Now we have an entry hole for the undercutting tools.
Here is the #1 cutting tool in photo 1 and at full depth cutting in photo2 below.
Below are tools #2, #3, and #4 before insertion just to show you the difference lengths for each inner ball. On this last pic you can see where I compressed the ball with the tool holder and also the messed up rim around the secondary hole.
And lastly a shot showing all four inner balls successfully turned by your overwrought blogger. I forgot to mention earlier that this ball is Maple.
This was a very positive experience, but I still have a long way to go before all 12 holes are finished. I just hope that it goes equally well on the next 11!
Thanks for reading. I’m sorry this blog is taking so long, but family business has caused delays plus I was nursing a bum knee for a few days. Everything seems to get out of control when you get old! So long for now.
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.