WHAT I NEED
Some of you might have seen my blog on making chinese balls. One of the requirements to making these balls is to make a plug for each one of the first 11 main holes to reinforce each one as they are turned. These plugs can be made of any material that can be formed to the correct shape and are rigid and strong enough. However, I prefer wood for this purpose, but I am open to other ideas as long as they aren’t too messy or complicated.
These plugs are a conical tapered shape approx. 3/4” wide at the top and up to about 3/8” at the bottom and 7/8” in length. I can easily turn these plugs, but the diameter sizes vary slightly at both the top and the bottom, so I have to try the plug in the hole and then remount it, often a few times to get just the right fit as shown in the photos below. I do get a very good fit this way.
THE PROBLEM WITH MY PRESENT METHOD
I find this process pretty time consuming, so I am looking for a more efficient way to do this. One thought that comes to mind is first rough turning the plugs to a standard size then finishing them in a giant pencil sharpener or some other way that would be quicker than remounting, re-turning and re-testing. I wouldn’t mind eliminating the turning altogether. I even thought about a split plug with wedge in the middle, which is maybe worth trying.
I know I am being a little lazy by asking for help on this, but my main focus right now is just getting on with my ball project, and since I plan to make a number of these balls, and I don’t want to use the rest of my somewhat limited time left on earth to do it.
I am therefore hoping someone might have a practical and relatively easy solution for my problem and/or enjoy the problem solving challenge. Any ideas are welcome and will be much appreciated.
-- Mike, an American living in Norway.