View Full Version : Aluminum Hexasphericon

12-05-2003, 12:20 PM
Here's something I tried that was in one of the links I looked at as a result of a recent post.

I started with two identical discs of aluminum. I bored a 1 1/8" hole in each to fit a short piece of aluminum tubing, which was used as a key. I next put the part on its side in the four-jaw chuck and turned it into a cylinder with two pointed ends. The piece looked like a hexagon when viewed from the side.

By rotating the two pieces 60* on the tubing, it forms the hexasphericon. A little clean-up was necessary on the edges, but it turned out pretty well. There are more photos here:


12-05-2003, 12:30 PM
Impressive. As many know I appreciate such fun stuff.

12-07-2003, 02:55 AM
I seen a similar one in Model Engineer Workshop or Model Engineer done in clear acrylic. Theirs was a rounded cube I believe
Try one in acrylic - it will look spiffy on your desk! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

12-07-2003, 03:50 AM
I think it was probably a solid version of this:

which looks like this:

It looks like two cones put together and is a square when viewed from the side before it is split and the parts shifted 90*. I thought about making one, but would have had to make a fixture to hold it. The hexasphericon can be held on the cylindrical part while the second tapered end is machined.

The simpler sphericon (even the one shown in wood) rolls quite well downhill, moving from side to side as it goes. The hexasphericon doesn't roll well at all because it has to change direction too much from the cylindrical surface to the conical surface.


[This message has been edited by winchman (edited 12-07-2003).]

G.A. Ewen
12-07-2003, 09:10 AM
Amazing! I, for one, would like to see the procedure for making a thing like that show up in HMS or MW.

Come-on make another one, take photos of each stage, send it to Neil. I'll bet it makes the cover page.

12-07-2003, 06:26 PM
Another one is in the works, with pictures being taken along the way.


12-07-2003, 07:17 PM
And the point is?

j king
12-07-2003, 07:37 PM
cass.I believe he is going to show the steps in producing one.
Rodger, cool looking.

12-07-2003, 08:25 PM
Just off the lathe is the second one:

The pictures showing the steps are here:


12-07-2003, 08:29 PM
No, they did theirs from a cylinder of acrylic - not a cube. Sorry about that. It certainly is spiffy. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

They also used v-cups to hold the work between centers.

[This message has been edited by Thrud (edited 12-07-2003).]

12-08-2003, 02:51 AM
The V-cups would make it easier to finish the cylindrical part. There's always some mismatch when the piece is reversed in the three-jaw.

The "normal" procedure for making these was to machine the piece and saw it in half lengthwise. That would make the finished part slightly off because of the kerf and cleanup. Holding the part becomes a problem, too.

Aligning the part in the four-jaw is critical. Any error here shows up as a mismatch when the pieces are rotated 60*. The degree wheel I put on the lathe really makes that easier, since I can rotate the part exactly 180* between measurements.

Making the hexasphericon lighter by enlarging the hollow area makes it roll better. You make it sidestep to the right or left by changing the way the pieces are shifted.

Too bad they're totally useless, but I certainly learned some things making them.


12-10-2003, 07:43 PM
For a whole bunch of this kind of related shapes, go to my site at http://www.mathias.org/steve/sphericons/

Bubbles, penta-s, hexa-s, paper, links, etc. The big wood one did make it into the Member's Gallery section of American Woodturner magazine, Winter 2002.