Help with building a sphere made of wood.

I'm looking to build myself a globe but I'm having a little trouble. Most globes today have a single pivot that lets you rotate the globe along a single axis. I'm looking to build a globe/sphere that will allow you to rotate it 360 degrees in any direction. My grandpa used to have a globe that didn't have any pivots and that had a stand that you could place the sphere/globe on and you could rotate it anyway you wanted. I haven't been able to find anything close, and his got burnt down in a fire. I don't foresee the base being a problem, but I haven't really built any spherical shapes with wood as of yet and I am hoping you guys might have a few tips to help me on my way. I figure I should start with creating a skeleton of a sphere using at least three interlocking rings and go from there and see how sturdy it is. Any insight or tips are much appreciated.

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phannemann8 years ago
The best way I know to do what you are trying to do is make two bowls on a band saw or a scroll saw  when you are done glue them together this then can be finished on the lathe and sand paper
duck-lemon9 years ago
Get yourself a lathe i made one for a book end and the base should just be a would with a "pool" in it.
It's hard to make a sphere out of wood on a lathe, believe me, I've tried.
What if you made an semicircle template?
that might work, but it will still be very hard. Also, my lathe is almost 100 years old (made by delta, when it was a specialty tool shop and it didn't have the blue logo.) So it might be easier on modern lathes.
In all honesty the 100 year old one (if it's in good repair) is probably as good as a modern one (unless you're running out and getting one of the giant $5 - 10,000 monsters. What Tool Using Animal said is the key - have a jig be precise for you. I saw one on a metal lathe site a while back (I've been fixing up a 68 year old Logan metal lathe) that didn't look super complex. Also, one of the wood working magazines had an article on making a bocce set a while back with some tips on making a sphere. I think American Woodworker but don't quote me on that.
Lorek (author)  Austringer9 years ago
Sweet, I'll look around for that article when I have some free time. Thanks.
use a sphere turning jig.
and also the last time I tried to make a sphere on a lathe is when I was 9 or 10. I've been using the lathe since 8
Well that's five years longer than I've been doing it ;-), damnably addictive isn't it. I've even started salvaging logs from my neighbors tree trimmings just to practice on.
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