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Ball turner help

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  • Ball turner help

    One of my winter projects is to make a ball/radius turner.I am going to use the Holescreek plans.In going through and planning this expedition I have a part I cannot figure how to machine.Making the rotating body looks fairly straight forward until I go to cut the slot and then I see I have to clamp a round part in the vise and that means clamping on two radiused surfaces and I know that isn't good.
    What are the collective ideas on how to clamp this part?

  • #2
    V-blocks are your friend....


    • #3
      I would advise against that style unless you already have the collet chuck and collets. Otherwise, you need a very small chuck to hold the stock. That style needs clearance under a standard chuck. They're pretty much worthless for turning balls on a standard setup. The larger the radius, the more stock extension that's needed because the tool won't clear a standard chuck.

      Just my opinion (and experience). YMMV.

      Added: By the way, don't use a vice to hold the stock for the slot. Just clamp it down to the mill table.
      Last edited by CCWKen; 01-09-2012, 09:23 PM.


      • #4
        "V-blocks are your friend...."
        "Just clamp it down to the mill table."

        Forest.....trees.....all that right in front of you stuff

        I do have a collet(that's such a sad word by itself) and draw bar but what your saying makes sense.What style would you use?


        • #5
          Originally posted by BigMike782
          What style would you use?
          I prefer the front mounted, tool post style. It simple, easy to make and lets you advance the cut (DOC) easily. I've attached an image of one type but there are hundreds out there. I picked the one below because it includes a "pin" for pre-setting the radius. For more ideas, just type "ball turning attachment" into Google Images. Or search this forum.


          • #6
            I've slowly been collecting material for a ball turner myself.. though I can't
            tell you the last time I even needed to turn a radius. Maybe its one of
            those things I won't know how I lived without?

            What do you think the largest practical size is? It looks like the limiting
            factor is how far the frame can swing "around back" and still clear the chuck
            and workpiece OD. I suppose more stickout solves the chuck issue.

            I think I'd also make the type CCWKen posted. Except add a side plate of
            some type to be able to mount the toolbit at or past the pivot to be
            able to turn convex surfaces without excessive tool stickout.



            • #7
              I use one of these - quick, simple, cheap,

              Can make ball 3mm-105mm (1/8-4")

              With it you can make a balls of anything

              I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not so sure , but I'm not a complete idiot - some bits are still missing