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Wooden Soccer Ball (a Truncated Icosahedron)

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Forum topic by Col Baker posted 09-19-2012 07:02 AM 5229 views 5 times favorited 10 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Col Baker

17 posts in 950 days


09-19-2012 07:02 AM

One of the most recognizable icons is the classic soccer ball. Consisting of 20 hexagons and 12 pentagons of differing dark/light timber. To construct one from timber seems simple on the face of it but it took quite a lot of cad analysis to work out all the angles of the dangles to determine correct fitment. A first ball was a disaster as it is by nature a hand construct and the name of the game is accuracy. It is a satisfying geometric exercise but maybe just a dust collector when finished but certainly a talking point and quite decorative.

Sizing:- The hexagons have angled edges at 20.9 degrees and the pentagons at 16.4 degrees, both having an edge length of 48mm (1.9”) which will give you a finished standard soccer ball 8 1/2” dia when finish machined.
Use 3/4” thick timber (no thinner) as the edges reduce down to about 5/16” after machining to a sphere.

Manufacture:- print out the shapes on paper cut out and glue to the timber face. (Put glue on timber not the paper as it will swell otherwise). Rough cut the pieces out just clear of the lines and then start by linishing very carefully back to the lines at the angles mentioned before. BE ACCURATE! Only prepare a couple at a time and start assembly using ordinary white glue. Allow to set between pieces although two or three can be done at once with care. DO NOT MAKE SUB ASSEMBLIES!. Trust me they will not mate. Just build one piece at a time and you will have to trim pieces as you go to ensure a gap free fit. Tedious but satisfying.

Machining:- Machine up two circles of scrap timber with m/c centers in them, to just fit the hexagon size – sand of the paper face on two opp sides of the ball and then glue the circles in place. Mount in a lathe and turn to a sphere checking with a simple plywood template, sand as smooth as possible. Remove ball, cut off circle pieces and hand finish sand the Remaining faces. Machine up a suitable base dished stand to sit it on.

Finish:- Use a good quality spray clear varnish.

There you have it.

-- Col B.


10 replies so far

View GrandpaLen's profile

GrandpaLen

1586 posts in 1026 days


#1 posted 09-19-2012 03:26 PM

Col Baker,

A true journey of tenacity.

Very commendable and quite nicely finished. – Len

-- Mother Nature should be proud of what you've done with her tree. - Len ...just north of a stone's throw from the oHIo, river that is, in So. Indiana.

View Col Baker's profile

Col Baker

17 posts in 950 days


#2 posted 09-22-2012 10:53 AM

Thanks Len, I am just a hobbyist and it’s nice when a plan comes together isn’t it ?

-- Col B.

View waleedwaheed2013's profile

waleedwaheed2013

138 posts in 639 days


#3 posted 03-29-2013 12:08 PM

Hi Dear ,

Can you send me more details for Score football, by ACD drawing, I written That (Hi Dustmite97 – I have made several soccer balls after much calculations and cad layout – the angled edges of the pieces need to be 16.407 degrees for the Pentagons and 20.921 degrees for the Hexagons. These angles work well and are justified by accurate Cad layout and the fitting of the pieces. The standard soccer ball of 8 1/2 inch dia (218mm) using an edge length for the both pieces of 48mm. You require 20 Hexagons and 12 Pentagons. The trick is accuracy in manufacture and assemble one piece at a time as trying to make groups of items will not fit exactly. Even if you are truly accurate, trust me, you will have to do some slight trimming as you go for accurate fitting to avoid any gaps. First one I made was a disaster but you soon learn. Machining the final ball is tricky but I have an easy solution. I can send you the a pdf copy or cad layout, photos and tips on manufacture if you like. My email address is coldraw@tpg.com.au )
So Would you please send me more details like photos, drawing or Video Clip. Please repaly me on waleed
waheed@yahoo.com

Thanks and best regards

Mr. Waleed

-- Waleed Waheed

View waleedwaheed2013's profile

waleedwaheed2013

138 posts in 639 days


#4 posted 03-29-2013 12:09 PM

Hi Dear ,

Can you send me more details for Score football, by ACD drawing, I written That (Hi Dustmite97 – I have made several soccer balls after much calculations and cad layout – the angled edges of the pieces need to be 16.407 degrees for the Pentagons and 20.921 degrees for the Hexagons. These angles work well and are justified by accurate Cad layout and the fitting of the pieces. The standard soccer ball of 8 1/2 inch dia (218mm) using an edge length for the both pieces of 48mm. You require 20 Hexagons and 12 Pentagons. The trick is accuracy in manufacture and assemble one piece at a time as trying to make groups of items will not fit exactly. Even if you are truly accurate, trust me, you will have to do some slight trimming as you go for accurate fitting to avoid any gaps. First one I made was a disaster but you soon learn. Machining the final ball is tricky but I have an easy solution. I can send you the a pdf copy or cad layout, photos and tips on manufacture if you like. My email address is col_draw@tpg.com.au )
So Would you please send me more details like photos, drawing or Video Clip.

Please replay me on yahoo.com

Thanks and best regards

Mr. Waleed

-- Waleed Waheed

View AaronMad's profile

AaronMad

3 posts in 543 days


#5 posted 07-20-2013 09:32 AM

Col I have cut out all of the shapes (20 hexagons and 12 pentagons) and I have cut the side angles on my disk sander to the correct angles, but how do I glue them together? I cannot find information about gluing the pieces together, could you help me out please?? Thankyou!

View birdsandboards's profile

birdsandboards

7 posts in 521 days


#6 posted 07-26-2013 02:14 PM

That is incredible!!! It never ceases to amaze me what folks can do with a lathe.

View Col Baker's profile

Col Baker

17 posts in 950 days


#7 posted 06-05-2014 11:37 AM

Hi again after a long time. Email address has changed – candj@dodo.com.au

If you are still interested, let me know if you still require the cad dwg (pdf) and I can also give you some tips.

Recently made a split ball fully machined on the inside as well. THAT WAS A REAL CHALLENGE and it worked although hard to get a good finish on the inside.

Be good – great to converse with people who like a challenge.

Regards,

Col Baker.

-- Col B.

View tigerrags's profile

tigerrags

1 post in 171 days


#8 posted 07-10-2014 04:50 PM

I tried to email you and it was rejected. Can you provide information on how to glue up the ball prior to putting it on the lathe? Awesome project!

Have a great day.

View viktorija's profile

viktorija

2 posts in 110 days


#9 posted 09-15-2014 07:53 AM

Hello,

Seeing such brilliant projects in LumberJocks encouraged me to consider my own steps towards wooden truncated icosahedron. But could anybody please tell me, how does it work with proportions? As I understand, whatever size ball I would like to make, the angles of polygones won’t change. But how about the size of each polygone? For example, if I wanted to make the ball 1,5 times bigger than soccer ball, does that mean that each side of the hexagone or pentagone has to be 1,5 times longer?

View Kym's profile

Kym

1 post in 45 days


#10 posted 11-13-2014 05:53 AM

Hi Col, I have recently joined and tried to email you but it bounced back. I was wondering if you could share your PDF on how to make the wooden soccer ball. I saw one in a craft shop in Tasmania recently and it blew me away and I have to make one just to say I did it.
Look forward to making contact with you.

Kym

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