Over the weekend of February 14th and 15th, 2009, our wood turning club was treated to a demonstration and hands on session with Fred and his wife, Mildred. Fred publishes the magazine More Woodturning
You can click on any of the images to see a larger version.
Fred demonstrated turning Chinese Balls and spheres. The making of the Chinese Balls was fascinating. A Chinese Ball is a ball within a ball within a ball. The specialized tools Fred uses allow him to make a 2 1/2″ diameter ball with four other balls inside.
After marking the ball at ten different places the ball is held in a custom chuck and a tapered hole is drilled at one of the marks.
Using the special cutting tool a series of four different cuts are made in the hole. The cut is supported by a 2 1/2″ diameter resting surface on the tool in order to control the depth of each cut.
After the cuts are made a tapered wax plug is inserted. This helps to support the cuts. The ball is then rotated in the chuck, to line up with the next mark and the process is repeated.
After all the holes and cuts have been made, the ball is removed from the chuck and the wax plugs are removed from the ball.
The finished Chinese Ball!
Fred also showed us how to turn a perfect sphere. This is the starting point for making a Chinese Ball.
I will write more about turning a sphere in another post as this is what I focused on during the hands on session.