Sphere Turning Jig


#1

Hi everyone, I am looking for some advice and would welcome your comments.
I want to turn a number of spheres of the same size and wonder if its worth buying (or making) a jig. The ones I have seen are all quite expensive and I am not sure they will work as well as the adverts suggest.

Interestingly Axminster dont supply one which may mean that they dont think its worth selling.

I am learning lots of techniques with my wood turning and could probably do a reasonable job by using a card template. As always though I am looking for an easier way to do things if it works.

Looking forward to any help or advice you can come up with.

Steve


#2

Hi Steve.

I think your plan to use a homemade template will suffice, and unless the spheres are very close together nobody will notice if they vary, very slightly.
I only started turning about five years ago and tried my hand at spheres as part of my self tuition, they worked fine and I even went on to turn replica birds eggs ‘actual size’.

Good luck
Barry


#3

Hi Steve.
There are plenty of UTube clips showing the making of spheres without a jig (and some using a jig), so I suggest that you have a browse to get some idea of the process - and then start on some cheap timber to see how you get on.
Remember that the clips are put up by people who have done plenty of practice (so make it look easy) and you cannot expect perfection immediately.
Jigs are too expensive for a single project - unless you can persuade your club to buy one for loan to members.
Happy turning. Phil.


#4

I saw a YouTube clip recently of somebody using a holesaw in a drill, at right angles to a piece of wood in a lathe. This seemed to work OK.

Bob


#5

I have seen turners rough turn the outside diameter of the sphere you want and then use a hole saw of the correct outside diameter with the teeth ground off, and the resulting straight edge ground like a scraper/chisel to finalize the outside surface.
You have to make a couple of concave holders to fit into the chuck on your headstock and the live centre in your tailstock to hold the sphere while you rough-turn and scrape/finalize the parts where the piece was held to turn the rough shape.
I’m not sure if there are any YouTube videos on this process but it was neat to see it work, and the spheres were perfectly round.
Hope this helps;
Cricket, from Canada


#6

Hi Cricket, that sounds great. I have been asked to make a few penguins in wood for a market trader which could lead to an order of about 100 different sized penguins. I have worked out a design that uses spheres hence my questions.

Where are you based in Canada. My sister lives near Kingston and I know that area well.

Regards

Steve


#7

Hi Barry and thanks for the advice. I am definitely going to try this out. I am making a few puffins which I will assemble using spheres. A friend of mine sells clothes with a puffin as the logo and may want quite a few. Wood craft is very much a hobby for me but I dont mind doing a little production work for a friend.

Thanks for that and I will be having a test run soon.

Thanks and best regards, Steve


#8

Hi Bob and thanks for the advice. I am definitely going to try this out. I am making a few puffins which I will assemble using spheres. A friend of mine sells clothes with a puffin as the logo and may want quite a few. Wood craft is very much a hobby for me but I dont mind doing a little production work for a friend.

Thanks for that and I will be having a test run soon.

Thanks and best regards, Steve


#9

Hi Phil and thanks for the advice. I am making a few puffins which I will assemble using spheres. A friend of mine sells clothes with a puffin as the logo and may want quite a few. Wood craft is very much a hobby for me but I dont mind doing a little production work for a friend. My work is progressing quite nicely and after 2 years of turning I am quite proud of some of my pieces.

Thanks for that and I will be having a test run soon.

Thanks and best regards, Steve


#10

Steve.

If its Puffin’s that you’re after, try ovoids to start the body, my eggs turned out (no pun intended!) well, and a puffin has a longer body than a sphere, perhaps try a ball for the head!

Best of luck
Barry


#11

I watched a YouTube video recently, about making chess pieces in India…to replicate the pieces in a lathe they had made a cut-out from what looked like a tool steel - perhaps the blade of a plane - to replicate half the design of the chess piece…this had been attached (welded) to a steel rod for a handle, and the cut-out was then used to ‘turn’ the chess piece on the lathe in one go…perfect replications every time…

I guess if you were making a lot of items that needed to be the same, this method could come in handy, provided you have the ability to cut, shape and perhaps re-harden, and sharpen the tool steel blade for the purpose and weld a handle on…