power ball ...............

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Project by wood_maestro posted 02-02-2013 01:03 AM 3918 views 1 time favorited 5 comments Add to Favorites Watch

If you hate sanding like me, this project may help you a bit. I started turning about a year ago, and I still get a lot of tear outs when I am turning bowls. So i started looking for commercially available sanding tools. What I found was too expensive specially the sand papers that are used for them. Also the manufacturers have limited grit sizes, usually up to 220 grit. So this morning one of those light bulbs went on in my head, when I saw a tennis ball in work shop(this does not happen often). What I came up with was power ball sander. First pictures shows schematic of how you could assemble one of these. Just one small hole, large enough for bolt threads to go through in my case 1/4 inch in diameter. Then drill another hole larger hole opposite the first hole. This one is to help pass the bolt head and a washer through for assembly.
After assembling the ball and and the bolt, I used double sided tape to cover the tennis ball with Velcro. And I was done!!!! genius ha?
I know it looks crude, but I used it on my cordless drill and I was able to sand inside of a bowl that I just finished real fast. I will make another one that is going to be much better looking soon and I will post new pictures. Thanks for looking I hope this could help those turners that are struggling with sanding bowls. comments and questions are more than welcomed

-- wood maestro....... Be Well, Do good work, and Stay in touch

5 comments so far

View Dallas's profile


3599 posts in 3029 days

#1 posted 02-02-2013 01:16 AM

I love it when a plan comes together!

No matter how it looks, as long as it works for you, that’s all that counts.

I have some really ugly jigs that work, but I wouldn’t want to show them off!

-- Improvise.... Adapt...... Overcome!

View luv2learn's profile


2979 posts in 2845 days

#2 posted 02-02-2013 01:58 AM

Good thinking. I have spent a lot of time lately sanding bowls. Can’t wait to see version 2.0!

-- Lee - Northern idaho~"If the women don't find you handsome, at least they ought to find you handy"~ Red Green

View becikeja's profile


1022 posts in 3355 days

#3 posted 02-02-2013 02:24 PM

I love creativity with make shift tools. Whatever it takes to get the job done right. I would be curious to see your results over time.

-- Don't outsmart your common sense

View Brett StClair's profile

Brett StClair

68 posts in 3904 days

#4 posted 02-06-2013 05:10 PM

Very clever. I may have to make one of these one day.

I few thoughts if I may…

1. Would you need to cover the whole thing in velcro or perhaps just a single band around the middle would hold the “leaves” of the sandpaper?
2. You could also use a racquetball. It may or may not give you some advantage in permanently attaching the velcro because of the smooth surface of the ball versus the fuzzy surface of a tennis ball.
3. How about using a flexible adhesive like some sort of contact cement vs double sided tape to attach the velcro. For that matter, would a temporary contact adhesive like that used on a disc sander be enough alone to hold the sand paper to the ball?
4. I seem to recall commercial versions of this where the sandpaper “leaves” overlap each other vs trying to get the leaf sides to match up evenly. You’d just have to be carefull to overlap them all the same direction such that the drill or lathe spin direction didnt peel the leaves off the ball.

-- "Make things as simple as possible... but not any simpler." - Albert Einstein

View dustbunny's profile


1149 posts in 3837 days

#5 posted 02-09-2013 05:31 PM

Here is a pattern to cut the sandpaper so you have “leaves”.

Abrasive cutting pattern for a 2” Foam Ball Sander. Use the black lines for a pattern with overlapping leaves. Use the straight black lines and curved red lines for non-overlapping leaves.

You can size the pattern on your printer to fit the ball size you are using.
I have used this pattern and it works fine !

-- Imagination rules the world. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte ~

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