View Full Version : ball turners (again maybe)

06-20-2010, 07:37 PM
i got a crude ball turner at a estate sale and tried to use it a few times but i cannot get enuf travel on it to actually make a ball or even much more than a part of one. tried with chuck, face plate between centers, etc.

im not a total dumb a$$ i don';t think, and have tried a couple different ways to make it work. its really a crude, rude looking thing and was not made for my lathes, either of them. crap i say. i;ll make a new one.

i have seen a bunch of these great looking units on this site over the past couple years and it would be great to see some photo's of some of the different styles that have been produced.

would some of you guys be willing to put pix;s of yours on this thread so there is a "collection" of ideas in one place ?

or is this a request i should not ask of the group ?

brian Rupnow
06-20-2010, 08:09 PM
Do a search under my name---I did a big post on ball turners a year or two ago.

06-20-2010, 08:43 PM
Do a search under my name---I did a big post on ball turners a year or two ago.


06-20-2010, 09:41 PM
David, what's it look like? Pictures?? Is there a chance you haven't got it set up as the maker intended?

06-20-2010, 10:11 PM
here is the one I made, hold as a boring bar, or in tailstock


06-20-2010, 10:31 PM
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06-29-2010, 12:24 PM
Does anybody think that the tool bit holding screws are an overkill at 5/16? You can probably tell that I seem to be short of 5/16 caps, so I was wondering if 1/4-20 would be sufficient.

I realize, given the height and design of this thing, that there might be a chatter tendency, so if you think 5/16 is the way to go, then it's off to town.

06-29-2010, 12:40 PM
Is the headstock interfering with the swing before you get all the way around? That's a common design problem with ball turners, so if that's your problem it may just be the way it is, a bad design.

06-29-2010, 02:23 PM
Actually, I haven't gotten that far yet. Still in the construction phase.

06-29-2010, 02:46 PM
Atty - I'm not sure which design you've settled on. However, I highly doubt that going with 1/4" over 5/16" will make any difference in the performance of your ball turner. I'd use what I had on hand, if it was me.

The benefit of a ball turner is that you can use an ordinary(ish) tool bit to cut curved surfaces. The other way to do it (minus a tracer,etc) is with a form tool. These certainly require some thought regarding the size, how they're ground and how they're held, etc because of chatter concerns. You have more leeway with a ball turner.

06-29-2010, 03:29 PM
Thanks. That's what I needed to hear. It's too hot for a trip to the cap screw store.