View Full Version : Ball in a cube.

09-02-2017, 08:43 AM
A few weeks back I say a web site that described how to turn a ball inside a cube. So, when I had a little bit of time I decided well why not try it, the worst that can happen is that I finish up with a 3 1/2" lump of fire wood?

The 1st thing was one of the more difficult bits was getting an exact, OK nearly exact, cube and off I went. Mounted on the lathe and off I went and started. I won't go into the details, too long. So this is it on the lathe

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4407/36132096173_1c258090fa_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/X3Srnp)IMG_1471 (https://flic.kr/p/X3Srnp) by John (https://www.flickr.com/photos/45489029@N07/), on Flickr

And I finished up with this

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4399/36800856731_977bed6c31_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/Y4Y1zR)IMG_1476 (https://flic.kr/p/Y4Y1zR) by John (https://www.flickr.com/photos/45489029@N07/), on Flickr

https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4352/36940406475_b779ea4759_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/YhieRV)IMG_1475 (https://flic.kr/p/YhieRV) by John (https://www.flickr.com/photos/45489029@N07/), on Flickr

The wood is spalted wild cherry and was given to me by a French friend in the village. I was a bit wary because spalting, the start of the wood rotting and the lines are fungus, can make the wood quite unstable. But this peice was stable enough, luckly enough..

09-02-2017, 10:27 AM
That is amazing! As a former shop teacher - woodworking was part of my curriculum as an agriculture teacher - I can appreciate the detail, skill and patience it took to make that. My shop was next to the industrial arts teacher and he was an artist when it came to wood. He taught me so much when I was just a young whipper snapper and had no idea what a lathe was. :D

I am curious now how exactly you did it. I have had students do the cube in a cube but I am having a bit of difficulty envisioning how you worked on rounding the ball while inside the cube as it would spin.


09-02-2017, 11:11 AM
That is amazing!

I have something my Dad made in his wood "shop" (garage) in every room in our house, some rooms have more.

09-02-2017, 12:21 PM
John - beautifully done, as usual - congrats! Probably a similar feeling I had having routing out my first set of finger and dovetail joints and all of the pieces fit together as expected! :) Dave

09-02-2017, 01:15 PM
Thank you all.

Lisa, I did a bit of a WIP on a U.K. woodwork forum. Not complete as I only remembered part way through,


but the idea came from another web site, but as I really didn't want the bottle I stuck with the ball. I think it's much more tactile? I also opted out of making the difficult chuck jaws as I already had the button jaws for my scroll chuck


Beautifully done too

It's always nive when it works out isn't it Dave. I have a jig for dovetails, but it's very rarely used as I don't do much joinery. I don't have enough patience for it.

We too have bits of wood in every room in the house, including the loo and bathroom. But before we moved over here it was radio controlled model gliders, but they were banned from the loo and the bathroom was too damp:o:o Sharing the bedroom with a 3 metre glider wasn't a really good idea in hind sight? I say radio controlled? They were radio OK, but not always controlled :[:[

09-02-2017, 01:16 PM
WOW, WOW and thrice WOW!

09-02-2017, 01:25 PM
Hey there John...that's pretty awesome. You do great lathe work!:)

Not sure I mentioned it before...but I'm an ok lather turner myself (but if you were a level 10...I'd still be a level 1 or 2)!;) Probably the most ambitious project I've ever done was a chess set I made in high school. I like things big...so it was a big chess board & pieces. All the chess pieces were turned on the lathe.

- The board measured 3 feet x 3 feet (91cm x 91cm)...and was made from black walnut & maple.
- The king & queen were about 8 inches tall (20.3cm)...and about 2.5 inches in diameter (6.35cm). And were again made from black walnut (black pieces) and maple (white pieces).

Unfortunately it somehow got "lost to the wind" over time...I have no idea where it got to & where it is now.:(

- Nick

09-02-2017, 02:24 PM
Phenomenal, John. Greatly impressed.


09-02-2017, 03:01 PM
Crikey Sue, I've wooed ladies before but this is the first time I've WOWed one ;) ;)

I've made 3 chess sets Nick, a long while back now and they are lovely to make. Mine were about 2" high and traditional Staunton pattern. I also did the board in holly and black walnut, the same as the peices. Black walnut smells like chocolate when cut or turned doesn't it. Well done and when I mitade them I would have been with you at about level 2. I ain't anywhere near 10 yet. I don't go enough for that, but I love what I do do. I was turning a spalted platan, French plane tree, this afternoon and I got a bit careless and it flew off the lathe. Just goes to show that I shouldn't take liberties or the wood lets me know!!! It wasn't a big bowl, about 6 1/2" and light weight and it will go back on tomorrow as it's a commission for a friend.

So, today isn't the first time I have had something fly past and it won't be the last, I just stand a bit to one side and watch it go past :Cool::Cool:

09-02-2017, 03:30 PM
Alright John. I thought we had an understanding. Those of you with talent will keep things like this a secret. Otherwise, those of us without talent for such things will be exposed as fakers. More than five decades convincing everyone but my wife I'm a genius and you undid it with that picture.:Mischievous::Cool:

09-02-2017, 04:36 PM
SD, when I first started flying model gliders I had as much idea how to fly as a chick with no feathers, but I learned to fly my models and i also lerned that anyone who says that they are a born flyer is a born lier.

It's the same where ever you go and if you find something that you love doing then you perservier until you can. I have now been turning for over 20 years and as I said above I had a lump of wood fly off today because of a stupid infringement. That bowl is not too damaged that it won't show, just a small dent in the base, but I have had lots of bits that have started as big bits of firewood and finished up as little bits of firewood and lots of shavings :'(:'(

I've been called an artist more times than I can remember but it's been because of the glass of beer in my mit! More like an expert in my case?

definition of an expert --- an ex is a has been and a spurt is a drip under pressure :Mischievous::Mischievous::Mischievous:

For a boat load of people on here there subject is the software that we use and I for one would have sunk a few years back without that skill of yours. My skill with computers, as some know, was with the hardware side on mainframes when I worked for that tiny US company for 18 years, IBM, some of you may of heard of it? I have always said that if I can hit it with a hammer then I can fix it. Now I work with wood and love it to bits, literally sometimes :Confused::Confused:

09-02-2017, 04:46 PM
I have always said that if I can hit it with a hammer then I can fix it.
I'm saving that one for the next time someone (a.k.a SWMBO) says I cannot fix something. Always said that hitting something with a hammer, or other heavy object if no hammer was available, was a valid repair method. ;)

09-02-2017, 04:52 PM
My absoloute favourite is my 14 lb watchmakres hammer. Fully calibrated and I can fix anything with that:Cool::Cool:

09-02-2017, 05:41 PM
ROTFL. I feel the sudden urge to "fix" something. Don't have that good a tool handy but I'm sure I can think of something appropriate.

09-02-2017, 10:15 PM
My absoloute favourite is my 14 lb watchmakres hammer. Fully calibrated and I can fix anything with that:Cool::Cool:

Almost close to what you possibly used to get the ball inside the block eh John??? :D

BTW, I'm a bit surprised that the splaying wooden block and ball actually held together properly, or did they… :Evil:

But some nice nice woodworking you did. Congrats.

- Patrick

09-03-2017, 02:08 AM
Ta Patrick.

I have to admit that there is a touch of cyano in one corner and the tiny crack appeared just after I had finished down to 400 grit abrasive. After that the hard wax oil went on, so no more now, I hope??? No, it's pretty well stable now

SD, ROTFL??? Rolling Out Terrible Farts Loudly ? You nust be in Chicago, the windy city O:)O:)O:) Never forget that if it ain't broken, don't mend it mate ;D

09-03-2017, 12:33 PM
Ta Patrick.

SD, ROTFL??? Rolling Out Terrible Farts Loudly ? You nust be in Chicago, the windy city O:)O:)O:) Never forget that if it ain't broken, don't mend it mate ;D
That is soooo much better/funnier than Rolling On The Floor Laughing.

09-03-2017, 02:10 PM
That is soooo much better/funnier than Rolling On The Floor Laughing.

Love these acronyms and there are so MANY! Other similar ones: ROTFLOL (..Laughing Out Loud) & ROTHLMAO (..My A** Off) - :)

As mentioned by John, there are plenty for FART - see pic below (Source (https://www.allacronyms.com/FART)), although I like the one of many created by Gary Busey (http://www.zimbio.com/Gary+Busey's+Most+Hilarious+Acronyms/articles), i.e. F (Feeling) A (A) R (Rectal) T (Transmission) - :Cool: Dave

09-03-2017, 03:23 PM
Oh dear! What have I started:Evil::Evil:

09-03-2017, 04:31 PM
Not WHAT but WHIS I believe…
What Have I Started = WHIS

Oh dear is right… :[

- Patrick