Just a little progress update
I had to drive my wife to the eye doctor today and we went grocery shopping later so I didn’t get much time in the shop today. I did manage to slip out for awhile this evening to turn the opposite end grain hole.
Here’s a photo of the 2nd hole (ok, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all). It actually came out better than the first one. I went a little easier and did my best to keep a little distance between the ball and the tool holder this time.
On the last hole I found out that having the tool rest very close to the ball opening prevents the cutter from dipping and ruining the cut. I did still compress or remove a slight amount of surface around this 2nd hole but not even nearly as much as last time and with no big damage.
The second photo shows the first hole plugged. The plug does help strengthen the ball when it’s placed in the ball chuck. Eventually the plugs will support the loose pieces when more holes have been completed so the whole thing won’t just disintegrate due to movement during turning.
The plugs are just a conical piece of wood the same shape as the hole, however they are the devil to turn accurately and even when sized properly you still have to use carpet tape to hold them in place. That is why I am hoping to use Yuri’s paraffin/sawdust mix formed in the hole before final turning or maybe use Isopor, which I understand also works well.
Ball prognosis by Dr. woodturner
This ball will not become a beautiful completed project, though it will become completed if I’m lucky. It will be a learning ball with all that the word implies. No matter, I will be one of the happiest woodworkers in the world, at least for a day or two until reality sets in and I realize that the next one has to be much better.
My game plan now is to just make each hole in this ball better as I go and hopefully completing it as a better educated ball turner. Then I can begin to dream that one day a chinese Ivory ball maker will say to me “Amazing, I didn’t know these could be made out of wood!”
Now I am going to have a nice glass of wine with my sweetheart before dinner. Thanks for reading this. Here’s a list of all the blogs for this project to date:
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.