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  • "Bowling Ball" Vises

    One of the projects that I am finally getting around to is to make a "bowling ball" vise using a bowling ball for the universal joint.

    I would like to see examples of what others have done.

    What vises and attachments have you mounted on the balls?

    Any special mounts for the ball base?

    Any balls work better than others?

    Thanks for any info.

    TMT

  • #2
    I think one of those little 8" rubber tires from HF works pretty good for a base. Easy to rotate the ball to new position.

    BTW.........when you asked about what balls work best.......are you concerned about color, weight, composition, manufacturer or trademark???

    Personnally..........I like black, 12 pound, rubber, Brunswick, Black Beauty.......But that's just me.........LOL
    RPease

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    • #3
      there was an article in H.S.M. long ago on making an engravers ball and vise, try the index?

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      • #4
        Originally posted by RPease
        I think one of those little 8" rubber tires from HF works pretty good for a base. Easy to rotate the ball to new position.

        BTW.........when you asked about what balls work best.......are you concerned about color, weight, composition, manufacturer or trademark???

        Personnally..........I like black, 12 pound, rubber, Brunswick, Black Beauty.......But that's just me.........LOL
        LOL...well I have a black ball sitting here as a candidate.

        I also have seen a number of other balls of different finishes.

        I have read about the tire base..and that is why I am asking for options before committing.

        TMT

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        • #5
          Originally posted by quasi
          there was an article in H.S.M. long ago on making an engravers ball and vise, try the index?

          Thanks for the lead.

          Did anyone build it?

          TMT

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          • #6
            eBay seller "bowling_blowouts" has NOS vintage hard rubber balls on Buy It Now, for $34.95 and free shipping.

            I bought one last year with the intention of making a ball vise, but have not yet started the project.

            You might want to check the Monster Ball Vise web site for some ideas:

            http://www.monsterballvise.com/
            Cheers,

            Frank Ford
            HomeShopTech

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            • #7
              I think the author of the article is Birk Pederson.

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              • #8
                Try a search on the Engraver's Cafe site here.
                Mark
                What you say & what people hear is not always the same thing.
                www.remark.me.uk

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                • #9

                  Harbor fright vise and tire with out the tube, It works better with the tube with inflation to control the tire against the ball.

                  It is the swivel hobby vise, has a post out the bottom of the vise works well for a 5 minute project. It is a slip fit
                  2-3/4" Articulated Vacuum Vise
                  Jaw width: 2-3/4''; Throat depth: 1-5/16''; Max. jaw opening: 2-1/2''
                  ITEM 3311-6VGA
                  $14.99
                  2 3/4" Articulated Vacuum vise
                  Glen
                  Been there, probably broke it, doing that!
                  I am not a lawyer, and never played one on TV!
                  All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or the suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

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                  • #10
                    i keep saying i want to build one of these, so a very timely post!

                    i'd definitely like to see more photos of any that people here have built. POST 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM!!!!!

                    andy b.
                    The danger is not that computers will come to think like men - but that men will come to think like computers. - some guy on another forum not dedicated to machining

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                    • #11
                      You can often find bowling balls at garage sales in the $5.00 range...sometimes they'll even throw in the case for that price range.
                      David Kaiser
                      “You can have peace. Or you can have freedom. Don't ever count on having both at once.”
                      ― Robert A. Heinlein

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                      • #12
                        Might want to look at engravers vise for some ideas.

                        Made from plans in James Meek's book "The Art of Engraving"



                        Some accessories made by copying designs shown in catalogs.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by gary hart
                          Might want to look at engravers vise for some ideas.

                          Made from plans in James Meek's book "The Art of Engraving"



                          Some accessories made by copying designs shown in catalogs.
                          Thanks for posting this...I am interested in what goes on top of the ball as much as how to do the ball mechanism itself.

                          TMT

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                          • #14
                            is that picture of the bowling ball a 'standard' size bowling ball? It kinda looks large to me.. or maybe its just that the vice is small.
                            Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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                            • #15
                              TMT, if you make the common bowling ball vice mount keep in mind if you want to anchor it for heavy duty projects you can cut a hole about 10% smaller then the ball in your workbench, lay a piece of suede leather over the hole and then drop the ball in. This also works with the rubber tire if the tire is big enough to allow the ball to sink in a little. The leather makes the ball much stickier especially if you use powedered rosen on the leather first. I have an engravers ball vice and used the leather trick when working on long actions as an engraver. It worked pretty well.
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