Half Ball-in-Half Cage

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Project by Phil32 posted 10-02-2018 09:16 PM 1987 views 3 times favorited 10 comments Add to Favorites Watch

Many whittlers have tried the whimsical challenge of carving a ball-in-cage. On the left is a typical example. Recently I wanted to carve another, but the piece of butternut had a large area of bark that reduced the blank nearly to a triangle. So I decided to try a half ball in a triangular cage. The result is on the right. This required carving slots in the cage that kept the half ball captured. The other photos are other views of these and similar pieces.


-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

10 comments so far

View ralbuck's profile


6553 posts in 3069 days

#1 posted 10-02-2018 10:32 PM

All very impressive!

-- Wood rescue is good for the environment and me! just rjR

View ClaudeF's profile


1157 posts in 2509 days

#2 posted 10-02-2018 11:30 PM

Good one, Phil – That required some good thinking!



View Richard's profile


11309 posts in 3835 days

#3 posted 10-02-2018 11:43 PM

Very Nice & Well Done Phil!

-- Richard (Ontario, CANADA)

View Eric's profile


231 posts in 675 days

#4 posted 10-02-2018 11:51 PM

Well done

-- Eric, Upstate South Carolina

View AshburnCustomShop's profile


9 posts in 681 days

#5 posted 10-03-2018 01:08 AM

That just might be the coolest thing I ever saw. Love that!

View HokieKen's profile


14499 posts in 1941 days

#6 posted 10-03-2018 12:32 PM

Exceptional work Phil!

-- Kenny, SW VA, Go Hokies!!!

View recycle1943's profile


4589 posts in 2424 days

#7 posted 10-03-2018 12:50 PM

great carving and I LOVE the worm holes, they add character to an awesome piece of work. they help make it look old -

-- Dick, Malvern Ohio - my biggest fear is that when I die, my wife sells my toys for what I told her I paid for them

View Phil32's profile


1073 posts in 706 days

#8 posted 10-03-2018 02:52 PM

Thanks for the compliments. The wormholes are one indication of why butternut is getting hard to find.

These whimsies require a level of precision we don’t associate with whittling. In the regular ball-in-cage the ball has to be sized so it doesn’t fall out between the bars. But it should be round and capable of rotating, sliding up & down, etc. (Some people don’t realize the ball is carved from the wood inside the cage!)
With the half ball only the edges are in contact with the bars. The clearance to the third bar is critical. If too loose the half ball can be “cocked” and fall out. It can be slid up & down, and rotated in place, but not in the 90 degree plane. I like the ball clearance to be tight enough to stick in place rather than fall to the bottom.

-- Phil Allin - There are mountain climbers and people who talk about climbing mountains. The climbers have "selfies" at the summit!

View JRsgarage's profile


383 posts in 1312 days

#9 posted 10-03-2018 03:49 PM

very cool.

-- “Facts don't care about your feelings.” ..., Ben Shapiro

View Ivan's profile


16069 posts in 3670 days

#10 posted 10-04-2018 04:40 AM

Nice work! I love those puzzle stuff projects.

-- Ivan, Croatia, Wooddicted

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