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Blog series by stefang updated 03-19-2012 06:17 PM 10 parts 160150 reads 216 comments total

Part 1: Project Description and Making Special Tools

01-28-2012 09:58 PM by stefang | 35 comments »

WHAT IS A CHINESE BALL?Here’s a photo of the kind I am attempting to make. There are four balls encased in the outer ball which is about 2-7/16” in diameter. Please note that it is turned from a solid piece of wood on the lathe.““ I first became aware of Chinese balls while visiting Hong Kong as a young sailor in 1957. I saw some in a shop made from solid ivory. I could see they were made from solid pieces with no gluing. I should have bought one, but they were too ...

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Part 2: Some Tool Details and My Ball Cutting Jig

01-31-2012 07:12 PM by stefang | 17 comments »

This is what I am attempting to make““ CUTTING TOOLS DETAILI took a few photos to show you some of the smaller details of the cutters. Unfortunately after all the praise heaped on me for making such fine tools, I will now be exposed as less skillful than you might have thought. The details reveal some pretty sloppy cutting and also centering of slots. However, they do work well. TipThe slots are centered on the tool with a center line. Drill points are marked on the centerli...

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Part 3: The Big Chuck Challenge

02-07-2012 08:14 PM by stefang | 24 comments »

Here is what I’m trying to make. Essential to this type of work is a chuck to hold the blank ball for drilling the 22 holes at different locations and to hold it in various positions for the turning of the 4 internal balls. BUILDING THE CHUCK BODYThe outside dimensions of the chuck are flexible as long as there is enough ‘meat’ around it to hold a faceplate or to accommodate whatever other way you might want to hold the chuck onto the lathe with, and also for the scre...

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Part 4: Making a Wooden Ball - part 1

02-15-2012 07:45 PM by stefang | 18 comments »

Here is what I’m trying to make I tried my ball cutting jig today to see if it would work. If you remember, I built the jig from the plan in the book ‘Woodturning Wizadry’ by David Springett. Work piece mounted on the lathe. 12cm (4”) long. work piece marked up 62mm (about 2-7/16”) and with a center line. The centerline stays on until the ball is entirely sanded, polished and after marking up for drilling of the various holes. cut to the width...

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Part 5: Making a Wooden Ball - part 2

02-27-2012 04:41 PM by stefang | 16 comments »

This is what I’m trying to make: I hope you haven’t given up on me with this blog. My wife and I spent about a week moving my 92 year old MIL to an old folks home and then a few days recovering from the heavy lifting. We got her new place furnished nicely and my wife sewed some draperies. She seems real pleased with the change after living alone for the last 44 years. Now she has folks of her own generation to socialize with on a daily basis and she has all her everyday nee...

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Part 6: Drilling the 22 constellation holes in the ball

02-28-2012 07:40 PM by stefang | 28 comments »

Here is what I am trying to make: Here is where we left off at the end of the last blog with the ball marked up to locate the 22 constellation holes (the small ones) and the 12 primary holes Today was used to drill the constellation holes. These holes are done first as the are needed to remove waste that the curved undercutting tools can’t reach. They also provide some space for the cuttings to go as the inner balls are turned. A few words about the importance of doing careful ...

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Part 7: A Small But Significant Victory

03-14-2012 06:33 PM by stefang | 16 comments »

Hi Friends. The Chinese Ball war isn’t over yet, but I did manage to win a battle today. I was able to successfully turn all four inner balls in the first main (primary) hole. The first two holes are turned in end grain. The book suggests turning those first. I suppose to save a lot of time in case one of these aren’t successful and the ball is wasted. On the negative side, I did a little damage to the rim around one of the small (secondary) holes. I think I can fix that. Other...

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Part 8: Learned Something New Today?

03-16-2012 05:03 PM by stefang | 20 comments »

Today was a total success! I proved that my wooden plugs just weren’t good enough! Now to be fair I have gotten some good advice on how to make my plugs from Yuri, but apropos to JimA1’s latest blog on advice, I choose to ignore it and I have been duly rewarded with a new learning point, Aka disaster. I was determined to continue today and I felt a little uncertain about Yuris method and the time it would take for me to experiment with it, so I continued with the wooden plugs....

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Part 9: Having a Ball (or at least making one)

03-18-2012 05:03 PM by stefang | 25 comments »

You might guess that I wouldn’t have a new ball ready so fast after the last fiasco. Well, I did get out to the shop long enough to turn a new one today. I used a new method to turn this ball, and I think it is the best one I’ve done so far. Nothing original about the way I did it, but new for me. It could be that many of you out there aren’t interested in turning Chinese balls, but I would think most turners would like to try their hand at doing a ball sometime, so I tho...

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Part 10: Started the new ball today with some changes

03-19-2012 06:17 PM by stefang | 17 comments »

Here is what I’m trying to make. I drilled the small holes in the ball today and turned the first large one. The small holes are different this timeI decided to not do the little collar around the holes until after I’m finished with all the other turning. I don’t know how well this will work out, but it’s worth a try. Previously the collars got messed up by the tool holders while turning the inner layers of the large hole, doing a lot of damage. This new proc...

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