Soccer Ball (truncated icosahedron)

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Project by lanwater posted 12-14-2011 11:27 PM 26795 views 92 times favorited 63 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Soccer Ball (truncated icosahedron)
Soccer Ball (truncated icosahedron) No picture No picture No picture No picture No picture
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A project from Aviad87 inspired me He also posted a detailed picture blog that made it some much easier to make one. Thanks Aviad87.
Also thanks to Rance for verifying the angles:

I used 1/2 inch thick plywood from HomeDepot; really cheap stuff.
I also used 2”1/8 for the sides of the hexagons (20 of them) and pentagons (12 of them).
The real soccer ball is around 1” 7/8

I Set the balde to 36 degrees and rip the ply for the pentagones and then to 30 degrees and rip the hexagones

I then proceeded to glue them up. The ply was a little warpped.

I ended up with 2 sausages

I ripped those 2 sausages into 1/2 thick pieces.
Since I do not have an 80 tooth plywood balde and the ply was of a lower quality I ended up with hairy pieces. Slower feed did not help.

I then made 2 templates out of 1/4 thick MDF from an old furniture back: 1 hexagone and 1 pentagone.

I also Made a small jig to help in cutting the dihedral angle (sideways angles).
Please note that my template are not very accurate. But I aligned the good side that had correct angles on the jig for the cuting of those angles:
20.9 degrees for the hexagone sides and 18.7 for the pentagones. Aviad87 has slightly different angles on his blog and I follow what Rance pulled out and which I saw as well here:

Once all the pieces were cut, it was time to glue up.

I softened all the sides with an orbital sander and sanded all the glue squize out using adhesive back sand paper on a flat stick.
I finish with 1 coat of zinser sanding sealer (2 pound cut shellac).
I am not finishing any further at this time. Maybe one day I will go back (if I keep it), sand further and appliy some poly.

I find out that binder clips work best for the clamping. Unfortunately I did not have many of them.

It was a fun project overall.

As always comments good or bad are welcome. Thanks for looking!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

63 comments so far

View MShort's profile


1798 posts in 4699 days

#1 posted 12-14-2011 11:30 PM

That is coool !!!! Thanks for all of the photos for the process.

-- Mike, Missouri --- “A positive life can not happen with a negative mind.” ---

View degoose's profile


7285 posts in 4636 days

#2 posted 12-14-2011 11:34 PM

I will stick to cutting boards… thanks…

-- Be safe.

View BritBoxmaker's profile


4611 posts in 4317 days

#3 posted 12-14-2011 11:46 PM

Clever, attractive, a tribute to your accuracy and patience but I’m with Larry on this one. Except with me its boxes. Good post.

-- Martyn -- Boxologist, Pattern Juggler and Candyman of the visually challenging.

View aviad mishaeli's profile

aviad mishaeli

120 posts in 3689 days

#4 posted 12-14-2011 11:48 PM

hy lanwater , grate job !!! glad to inspire

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4215 days

#5 posted 12-15-2011 12:09 AM

MShort: Thanks. Aviad87 has a more extensive blog on that.

Larry: I am with you on that. That ply was so bad that my hands are still itching. Some reaction to whatever they used to make those ply. I have never had any reaction to wood before.

Martyn: Thanks for the comment. From you it means a lot to me. Every time I see one of your boxes I am in awe.

Aviad: Thanks man! your work is fasinating and complex.

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View JoeyG's profile


1275 posts in 3906 days

#6 posted 12-15-2011 12:31 AM

I was thinking trying one of these every since I saw Aviad87 blog on how to do them. Now with a second look through your eyes, I was thinking of how cool they would look if someone laminated their on woods. Like purpleheart and maple or padauk and wenge. I am not a sports fan but I know some team out there uses colors we could get from natural woods. Or even something dyed before laminating.

Just a thought. I may return to this after Christmas is done and I get a chance to play in the shop again. Maybe a good project for my kids to help with.


-- JoeyG ~~~

View fernandoindia's profile


1081 posts in 4224 days

#7 posted 12-15-2011 01:13 AM

Hi Ian. Great cuts and accurate.

Good challenge, and well done.

-- Back home. Fernando

View SPalm's profile


5338 posts in 5163 days

#8 posted 12-15-2011 01:24 AM

Wow. That is so cool. You did it!
I just love it.


-- -- I'm no rocket surgeon

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4215 days

#9 posted 12-15-2011 01:35 AM

Joey: I had the very same thought but I do not have much wood at this time. I also thought it would be a bit more work to laminate the wood. I am very sure it would look way cool.

Fernando: Thanks!

Steve: The hardest part is the sanding. I should have sanded when the 2 glue up parts where still free. It would have been easier. Thanks!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View shipwright's profile


8760 posts in 4079 days

#10 posted 12-15-2011 01:43 AM

Nice one Ian. I’ve done one project with the simpler dodecahedron so I’m aware of the accuracy required and I’m impressed but not surprised that you’ve aced this one.
It’s good to exercise the old brain now and then.

Well done.

-- Paul M ..............the early bird may get the worm but it’s the second mouse that gets the cheese!

View BigTiny's profile


1721 posts in 4169 days

#11 posted 12-15-2011 01:54 AM

I think I need to go to my optometrist. That thing is making me dizzy just thinking about the work involved.

Great job! Congratulations.


-- The nicer the nice, the higher the price!

View mafe's profile


13403 posts in 4370 days

#12 posted 12-15-2011 02:06 AM

Really nice Ian, I love it.
It is a pleasure to see the details of how you made it, som brain gym and patience seemed to pull it off.
This one will get a line on my to try list.
Aviad cool second picture.
Best thoughts,

-- MAD F, the fanatical rhykenologist and vintage architect.

View ZeroThreeQuarter's profile


120 posts in 4338 days

#13 posted 12-15-2011 02:35 AM

really cool! and quite generous to share the setup on this! nice work!

-- Your mind, much like a parachute, works best when open.

View lanwater's profile


3113 posts in 4215 days

#14 posted 12-15-2011 02:47 AM

Paul M: Thanks! Definitely a good exercise.

Paul (bigTiny): Thanks!

Mafe: Thank you. Not that involved actualy. Aviad had all the thinking cut out for me. That second picture from Aviad is indeed cool. I was thinking magnets and then I spotter that spider string..

ZerothreeQuater: Thank you!

-- Abbas, Castro Valley, CA

View SawTooth1953's profile


349 posts in 4587 days

#15 posted 12-15-2011 03:24 AM

I like it…

-- Spence in Skokie, IL

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