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Forum topic by 3285jeff posted 09-19-2019 04:44 PM 2925 views 1 time favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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3285jeff

207 posts in 2723 days


09-19-2019 04:44 PM

I have been thinking about investing in a sphere cutting jig…the one by chefware kits or carters jig..can anyone tell me which is the better of the two and which one is the easiest to set up…I know carter is way more expensive than the chefware jig…any info would help…


16 replies so far

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5939 posts in 4668 days


#1 posted 09-20-2019 01:19 AM

I have been thinking the same thing … I’ll be watching for any responses.

FWIW, I have the Chefware Kits threading jig (which can be adapted to do spheres) and it is very good.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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Wildwood

2943 posts in 3140 days


#2 posted 09-20-2019 12:11 PM

My take on any of these jig is they will certainly shorten the learning cure of turning a sphere. You will still need start out with turning tools whether conventional or carbide. Those cuppy things Carter sell can be made of wood to fit on head & tail stock they are also nice to have. If going to turn lot of spheres Vermec on of the best but if on a budget get the EZ-Sphere jig even if only turn sphere occasionally. Trust me may or may not waste lot of wood even with a jig starting out but once you get jig dialed in will become a wiz!

Vermec Sphere jig one of the best out there using carbide cutter. See video below.
https://www.woodworkersemporium.com/vermec-medium-sphere-jig-14-20-swing/

Carter very similar more expensive:
https://www.carterproducts.com/turning-tools/perfect-sphere?dir=asc&order=name

Cannot beat the price. Think there is a guy on E-Bay selling them little cheaper but not sure about shipping.
https://www.chefwarekits.com/EZ-Sphere-COMBO-Jig-Cut-a-perfect-sphere-and-or-create-wooden-threads-with-an-add-on-p147995805

This jig similar to David Springett jig made many years ago.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ch-gopJ42jU&feature=youtu.be

No jig

http://www.aswoodturns.com/2013/06/turn-a-perfect-wood-sphere/

My first sphere jig was modified hole saw plumbers use, grinding off the
teeth, screwing it on wood turned handle per instructions in book by Ray Hopper (Multi Center Woodturning). Not very successful. Second one from book by David Springett’s book Adventures in Woodturning made almost wood with exception of 3/8” carbon steel scraper. Which worked pretty good is turned a semi bead first. David eventually made one out of steel with 1/4” HSS cutter. Cannot find it on the internet anymore.
My first sphere turned without a jig ended up a dog toy pictured above. Not sure why didn’t get much joy from my homemade jigs sent lot of wood to firewood pile! Your experience might be better than mine.

-- Bill

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DaddyFickIt

3 posts in 375 days


#3 posted 02-15-2020 10:15 PM

At the risk of beating a dead horse on the sphere jig topic, I thought I would see if anyone has any first-hand experience with the Vermec jig that they would be willing to share.

I’ve pretty much decided to buy the Vermec, but I hate to spend this much money on a product that I’ve never been able to touch. My analysis is below:

I saw the Carter jig at the woodworking show recently. The components seem to be all aluminum and the pivot joint seems to be a polymer bushing. It’s a serviceable design and well-made, but it seemed a little loose to me. I also thought the pivot joint could have been beefier. The people in the booth told me that it is made like that intentionally to so it can flex in the event of a catch.

The Vermec looks like a tank, which appeals to me. The pivot arm supposedly rides on a ball bearing joint and the materials appear to all be made from steel. The threaded rod that advances the cutting head looks to be a simple and robust design. A very cool feature of the Vermec product is a pointer that rises out of the base to assist in finding the equator during set-up.

A notable difference between the designs seems to be the maximum diameter that each product is capable of producing. It appears that the Carter has a much larger capacity across the the range of lathe sizes. I have a Laguna 12/16 lathe. The Vermec claims to be able to produce a 6” diameter sphere on my machine, which is plenty big for my needs.

The Vermec for my machine is $360 and the Carter is $350, so price is not a driving factor. I like to buy American whenever possible, but at the end of the day, I will go with the best tool.

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5939 posts in 4668 days


#4 posted 02-15-2020 11:44 PM

Just curious … why would you not consider the ChefwareKits jig (under $250) over either the Carter or the Vermec?

I don’t own one, but I have seen it demonstrated at symposiums and it looks pretty solid to me. And it is made by a U.S. veteran-owned company.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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Wildwood

2943 posts in 3140 days


#5 posted 02-16-2020 01:41 PM

Think both Carter & Vermec jigs little better than Chefware’s jig but paying lot more. Vermec better built than other two and edges out the Carter jig. Boat load of reviews on line!
https://www.woodworkersemporium.com/brands/Vermec.html

There is a You-Tube video on this jig:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/WOODTURNING-LATHE-LARGE-ADJUSTABLE-BALL-TURNING-TOOL-JIG-/293415403853

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iQkKJHhz-Dg

Like the price Cheaper than Chefware and easier to replace the cutter or put different grinds on it! Can find M2 or higher grade HSS cutter here. No would not buy one prefer no jig, wasting wood trying to get it right with off the tool finish!

-- Bill

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TheDane

5939 posts in 4668 days


#6 posted 02-16-2020 03:09 PM

I think it comes down to this … if you can justify it, buy the best tool you can afford to do what you want to do. If I were a production turner and needed to do a lot of spheres, I would probably go for the Vermec. But I am a hobbyist, and have only an occasional need for a sphere.

The jig Wildwood sent the link to is about US$130 landed from the U.K. I thought about it, but decided instead to use the method Al Hockenberry described in this article.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

View Lazyman's profile

Lazyman

6619 posts in 2393 days


#7 posted 02-16-2020 03:43 PM

Personally, I don’t really like the idea of using a cutting jig. It seems a little like cheating. If I needed to crank out dozens of them of a specific size it might make sense though. I just do my spheres by eye with no cutting jig. Not that hard really. My first one got sort of small while learning but after doing one, the rest are fairly easy. They may not turn out to be perfect spheres but they are for decoration and so perfection is not necessary and you usually cannot tell anyway. You can get pretty dang close to perfect by using “David Reed Smith’s shadow technique where he shines a bright light straight down against some sort of circle as a guide. I started by using the As Wood Turns video approach and added the David Reed Smith guide when I discovered it later. DRS also has a template that I have not tried yet.

-- Nathan, TX -- Hire the lazy man. He may not do as much work but that's because he will find a better way.

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Gittyup

212 posts in 2962 days


#8 posted 02-16-2020 08:52 PM

I just recently bought the chefwarekit sphere jig. It’s very well made and super easy to use. Just a small nub is left that you can easy turn off using a jam chuck or a vacuum chuck.

-- tel

View Wildwood's profile

Wildwood

2943 posts in 3140 days


#9 posted 02-17-2020 07:54 PM

Gerry thanks for posting that article by Al Hockenberry. Been using that procedure for years cannot remember where I learned about it!

-- Bill

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DaddyFickIt

3 posts in 375 days


#10 posted 02-27-2020 02:22 AM

I’d like to thanks those who shared their opinions and knowledge. I ended up going with the Vermec jig. It was $402 with shipping to Indiana. An expensive tool, but worth it to me for what I want to accomplish.

I bought it from Woodworkers Emporium. I corresponded with them prior to placing my order to make sure I supplied the correct information and ordered the proper size. They were prompt and very helpful.

i just got finished playing with it for the first time and I’m very impressed. It’s built like a tank, easy setup and easy to use. I unboxed it, set it up, adjusted it to my lathe and cut my first sphere in just over an hour. Rock solid mounting, very smooth rotation, essentially no vibration.

I did consider the ChefWareKits jig during my research, but I crossed it off the list for two main reasons. One is that it can’t do interiors and i see myself wanting that capability in the future. The other is that it mounts in your banjo rather than have it’s own mount for the lathe. Maybe not a big deal for some, but I want to have my tool rest available so I have the ability to remove material on the waste part as I cut the sphere. I could get a second banjo, but then I would be up around the price of the Vermec and Carter jigs.

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LeeRoyMan

1531 posts in 732 days


#11 posted 02-27-2020 02:33 AM

I bought it from Woodworkers Emporium. I corresponded with them prior to placing my order to make sure I supplied the correct information and ordered the proper size. They were prompt and very helpful.

- DaddyFickIt


Did you speak with Gerry and/or Christian? Both nice people, known them over 30+ years

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DaddyFickIt

3 posts in 375 days


#12 posted 02-27-2020 03:58 AM

Talked and emailed with Christian. Very helpful and a good guy.

View LeeRoyMan's profile

LeeRoyMan

1531 posts in 732 days


#13 posted 02-27-2020 04:10 AM

Once you get used to the accent. :)
He’s very smart, and a good craftsman as well. He used to teach carving, and has a lot of lathe experience.
Glad to see he was able to help.
When I met him and his wife they were in a little hole in the wall shop. He taught chair carving and they sold Brass Hardware. (1986 I believe)

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mbg

24 posts in 4383 days


#14 posted 03-12-2020 02:25 PM

I recently saw Rubber Chucky can out with a device to make spheres. Any thoughts?

View TheDane's profile

TheDane

5939 posts in 4668 days


#15 posted 03-12-2020 02:57 PM

I recently saw Rubber Chucky can out with a device to make spheres. Any thoughts?

- mbg

Rubber Chucky’s products are 1st rate … but they don’t have a sphere turning ‘device’ per se. They have several options for between-centers cups that can be used to turn spheres by hand.

-- Gerry -- "I don't plan to ever really grow up ... I'm just going to learn how to act in public!"

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