I came upon this cool way to make a RAM mount 1'' ball, which can cost up to $15 (or $20 with shipping) normally, when I was trying to make a RAM mount for my motorcycle.
I ride a Goldwing 1500 SE and am also a ham radio operator, so I started looking for a way to mount my Baofeng UV-5R on the bike in order to use it while on the road. But I have a pretty small budget for both hobbies and if I was doing to spend money any kind of money, it was going to be on something bigger then a RAM mount.
Step 1: Tools and Materials
you'll end up with a product that works, and looks similar to this^^
So here is are the material and tools needed, it is pretty simple.
1. Old trackball mouse. you can pick one up at a garage sale, thrift shop, or do what I did and raid my dad's old computer parts bin, AFTER you ask permission!
3. Steel 14x 3/8x 1-1/2'' spacer from Lowes, but you can adjust these dimensions to your own project, here is the link:http://www.lowes.com/pd/The-Hillman-Group-1-4-in-x...
or go to a hardware store and look for a "steel spacer", they should be able to point you in the right direction.
4. Drill press, a press is NOT required but makes things way easier, cleaner, and above all safer!
5. Drill bit, size is up to you
6. Tap and die set, whatever size of a hole you desire, I used a 1/4'' stainless steel 1 3/8''s bolt from my parts bin or you could go to any hardware store and get it
You don't have to use a tap and die set, but it is a proper construction method and you risk stripping your bolt if you don't.
Step 2: Finding a Ball
Just remove the bottom of the old trackball mouse and get the ball inside, all the balls I found (3) measured within one 1/16th of an inch of the target size of 1 inch.
drill to the size of your liking, again, a drill press is best to make sure it is a square hole, and make sure you clamp or hold down the ball with something BESIDES YOUR HAND while you drill. I went about half an inch into the ball, just to make sure I was in a good bit.
HINT: a 2x4 with a 3/4'' hole in it will cradle the ball while you drill to a depth of your liking
Step 3: Putting It Together
Tap the ball, put the steel spacer on the bolt (I cut mine down a bit as you can probably see in the above photo), and use it to attach anything you require to be mounted on a RAM mount!
Optionally you could add a few star washers on the bolt to make the bolt and accessory of your liking more secure, but I found that just a good screwing on of the bolt was more then suitable.
You can also screw the bolt into the ball, cut off the head, and then re-die the head end and screw it into a surface from the top, instead of having the bolt come from the bottom, like in my project.
I hope you have enjoyed this instructable and may it help you in making your next project that much easier!