Woodturning is said to be the safest form of woodworking, that said it can still be dangerous and care should be taken at all times

The methods and procedures I show here are what I do at the moment and feel safe doing, I am not suggesting that you should do things the same way, that is up to you, if you don’t feel safe doing it one way find another way of doing it.

Above all take care and remember if this is your hobby it is supposed to be fun so enjoy it.

These are fun items to make and children of all ages love them.

Below are my instructions for making them for another set of instructions go HERE This is a PDF file by Eugen Schlaak, this is where I learnt from.


Materials and tools

 A hardwood Ball 35mm diameter, A piece of hardwood dowel 6mm x 2 ” long, these can be made but I buy then from good craft/model shops.

You will need a suitable chuck and jaws to hold the ball and a piece of leather to use between the ball and jaws this is to prevent the jaws leaving marks on the ball. A Jacob's chuck, A 7/8” or 22mm Forstner bit, a 6mm Drill bit, super glue, a piece of card 5/8” wide and a skew or other tool to part off the finished item. Also I use a cone drive in the tail stock to help center the dowel when gluing it in place, if you don't have one of these you can make on out of wood to fit your usual tail center


Mount the ball in your chuck jaws using the leather strip, or similar, as a buffer.   If you have brought the balls there is usually a small rough patch where it was parted off I put this at the front so that it is removed when the ball is drilled.


Put the forstner bit in the jacobs chuck in the tail stock and mark 5/8” down from the front of the bit, I use a piece of masking tape as this is easier to see when drilling.


Now drill a 5/8” deep hole in the ball, I usually have the lathe running at about 500/600 rpm for drilling.


Now you need to drill a 6mm hole about a 1/4” deep to take the dowel in the base of the 5/8” deep hole.   You could put a mark on the drill 7/8” in from the front of it but I find it easier to mark the tail stock quill with 2 lines a 1/4” apart.   I then adjust the tail stock so that the front of the casting of the tail stock lines up with the first mark and then push the tail stock up till the drill touches the inside of the ball.   Then lock the tail stock and advance the drill until the second mark is showing then move the tail stock out of the way.


Your ball should now look like the picture below.   If you want to sand the inside now is the time as you will not be able to get to it again.


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