Picture of Hurricane Balls, 3000 rpm+ spinning toy.

UPDATE: Read step 7, It shows a better build method and has a link to an Ible that shows how to make the jig.

I also posted and Ible on how to join ball bearings with soft solder here.

I discovered this fun little toy while surfing around the net in the wee small hours last night on a site called www.grand-illusions.com

Hurricane balls are just 2 ball bearings joined together, when spun on a flat surface and then accelerated by blowing a jet of air at them will spin up easily to around 3500 rpm.  over 12,000 rpm have been recorded in lab conditions

I was so amazed by this fun little toy that I decided that once I had managed to get some sleep that I would try and build a set of these.

Its a fun little project that is so much fun to play with.  Sadly my camera is not high enough spec to really show this thing of, I will try and get a high def video posted asap.

This is quite a simple build but need to be built well as they can reach over 3000rpm if you really blow hard and this provides the potential for mayhem if the balls decide to separate at this speed.

Parts list:

2 matching ball bearings about 12 - 15mm diameter.
1 3mm machine screw.
1 Biro pen, makes a great blow pipe.
A concave mirror to run it on, a flat surface will do but it will work better on a concave surface.
Superglue, this is optional but is a good idea to help lock the threads in place.

Tools used.

Drill press.
2.5mm drill bit.
3mm tap and tap wrench.
2 pair of pliers
Junior hack saw.
Small flat needle file.

The retail version of these are welded together with about 8000amps of current, I did not 8000 amps available and it sounded a bit dangerous to boot so I decided to go with with what I had at hand and went down the bolt it together road.

I have since noticed that there is another Ible for hurricane balls using epoxy to glue the balls together.  I just dont have faith in epoxy on metal to metal (or any non-porous surface) when high rpm and centrifugal forces are at play, there is the possibility of a high speed detachment. while your face is a few inches from the source of mayhem.  The contact area between the 2 balls is just to small to trust the bond the epoxy would have.

Have fun, play safe and I hope you liked this Instructable.
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Well, i just tested these out with the air compressor. Umm they kind of seperated when they reached a very high rpm....scary :P lol
Dr Qui (author)  Electroinnovation4 years ago
Crikey!  Methinks one may need to add a disclaimer now

Any damage done? 

What do you think the problem was, not enough thread or just to much rpm?

How much PSI did you use?

What size of ball did you use?

I called with friends today (typical men in sheds) and after we had got all the double entendres out of the way it soon came round to lets go get Cliffs compressor and see what speed we can get them up too, I'm glad the conversation moved on to something else. 

I will try my little airbrush compressor in my shed first before I try the big one or demonstrate it to visitors.
nerys Dr Qui4 years ago
I am thinking drill STRAIGHT THROUGH the entire ball. Loctite cut of the ends and grind smooth again.

that should be pretty stinking strong and will assure balance as well.

I REALLY need to make a set of these. not to stalk a drill press on Craigslist :-)
Dr Qui (author)  nerys4 years ago
Thanks for the comment.  Its fun to do, but does need to be done very well as they have potential for mayhem.

This took 15 mins to do and about 20 mins to post and has got over 29k view so far.

It kinda pisses all over the 3 weeks of work that went into the solenoid engine and the full day it took to do the post.  :-)
Dr Qui (author)  Electroinnovation4 years ago
Have been thinking about this,  It may need to be drilled out to take a larger size thread, maybe 4 or even 5mm.

The balls should be drilled deeper to allow more thread.

I have an idea based around adamjoe86's idea of how to make drilling the balls easier, will post the results if it works out.

I will make a new set of balls with a thicker machine screw before I try a high speed run.
badjer12 years ago
Ok Physics Doctorates out there, please explain this phenomenon. As an engineer myself, and understanding that the steel is a very inelastic material where the shiock of force easily transmits through to the next ball, I would still expect the balls to dampen the energy much more rapidly than they do. Off axis centerlines, discontinuityies in the material core (tap to thread gaps) etc. i would think would dampened this much more quickly. Any thing I am missing here?
Dr Qui (author)  badjer12 years ago
it s one of those things thats doing about 6 things at once and at a very fast speed. a very high sped camera would be required to fully understand how the balls are moving.

The balls are naturally of balance (i think) so it would take major differences in the balls to have any real adverse affect.

I found the solder method was easier, and if you have solder paste its even easier again. 
bowdenja4 years ago
instead of superglue....... may I suggest loctite.

Dr Qui (author)  bowdenja4 years ago
Loctite works well but I find that it is expensive and it don't keep all that well.

Superglue should do fine.

the first set I made have no glue at all and I cant unscrew them without using pliers.
badjer1 Dr Qui2 years ago
Actually Loctite brand thread lock comes in various strengths. The strength is determined by the color of the Loctite - blue and red is what I have used in the past. Red is for permanant assemblies... good luck pulling them back apart unless massive heat is used and then it sometimes still won't let go. I have seen millwrights use super glue as well and Loctite even sells that as a thread lock, so in effect, all are the same purpose. Lastly, for ANY locking compound to really work, you should first clean all threaded surfaces (tapped hole and the bolt threads with a good solvent (thread cleaner) to remove any cutting oils that may have been used. Loctite sells this as well.
Tkdwn Dr Qui3 years ago
I put my balls in a vice and then I just welded them together ,and now i have hurricane balls ( sounds painful )! :) I don't think they'll separate EVER!
Ouch! put your balls in a vice? ...i Guess if your into that kinda thing...
guess what Loctite is? saccharin, get it in any coffee shop its in pink envelopes.do not ask how I know.nor should you use loctite in your coffee.
mix the saccharin with glucose till you have a paste.
chaosrob Dr Qui4 years ago
Try nail-polish from your mom / wife / gf (or, if you have it) you own ;-). I use it on screws all the time when replacing them into laptops. The color also let you know exactally how much you have applied. GREAT 'Ible.
hcarmona4 years ago
how does it work?
The air pretty much just blows on the balls and the spin around at ultra high speeds.
mikaleda3 years ago
red locktight is the best but be carefull once you put red locktight on threads it will only come of with a hot wrench
Dr Qui (author)  mikaleda3 years ago
you don't heat the wrench you heat the head of the bolt , if you heat the wrench you will remove the temper from it.
mikaleda Dr Qui3 years ago
i know thats just what i have always called it because the people that taught me that called that
TXTCLA553 years ago
First of all, great instructable. Second, I almost died laughing at the comments. For someone who just saw the comments, has no idea of the subject, and has a dirty mind...well you see where I am going.
R.A.T.M4 years ago
ther is such a easer way to do this at home iv made thes befoe and unless the person that making them my way is doing it the correct way it is so much safer and easer
What is your magical way of making them then?
a specal way 2 ways actily
That wasn't "actily" an answer.....
Using high voltage high current such as a bank of caps - on one ball + on the other and the push them together they weld them self's (safety is needed) the short cut easy way is a magnet one each ball and you sand paper were you want to join them and put epoxy on each ruffed up spot the stick together the magnets help it pull and hold it together
nadav3 years ago
A great place for the balls are inside of old ball mice, just take the ball and cut the rubber coating off with an exacto knife. Under it is a perfect metal ball.
Dr Qui (author)  nadav3 years ago
I tried the metal balls from computer mice, they are soft and drill well bu tthe diameter is quite big and you will pass out trying to get them up to speed. I experimented with different sized balls to see what the best size is, I found 10mm to be the best size for speed any smaller and they tend to blow away rather than spin, when they are bigger than 12mm they start to have to much mass and you will rupture yourself or pass out from all the blowing required to get them to top speed.
nadav Dr Qui3 years ago
Ahh okay, makes sense. I probably should have looked more closely at the diameter you put in the 'ible.
wow that's pretty cool
Go4th4 years ago
JB weld would work well. It may take a whole night to dry but that stuff never comes off.
to remove the hardening :
a bucket of sand a charcoal grill get the grill hot with the bucket of sand sitting on the coals drop the bearings into the red coals when a magnet will not pick them up use tongs to grab them and stuff them deep into the hot sand.put the lid on the grill let the fire go out on its own and sand cool for a day .the bearings will then be "dead soft" and drill will work fine
after drilling/tapping bearings go back into charcoal till magnet does not stick ,toss them into a bucket of motor oil.
if charcoal not getting hot enough then use a shop vac to blow on them.
Dr Qui (author)  bikerbob20054 years ago
Thanks bob, I sort of had that idea was what i was actually taught all those years ago.

I heated the balls with a mappgas torch until they where yellow hot and let them cool on a piece of scrap wood.  only one was drillable, the other 3 I did where still to hard.  I got 3 scraped auto bearings at my cousins garage one of which seemed to have lost its coating as it was starting to have a copperish look to it, I think that one may just have been case hardened which is easier to take the temper out of. 

I picked up a few matching Audi timing belt rollers from his scrap pile, He said they all still have years worth of low rpm life left in them, so I hope to put them to use in some kind of project.
the copper looking is a plating that is first applied before nickel plating goes on. It makes the nickel stick good.
Front wheel drive cadillacs have 7/8 inch balls in the CV joints. Its a magic trick to remove them.
ZIGGYDAN4 years ago
The likelyhood of separation is due to the inherantly low holding strength of an M3 bolt and the large amount of vibration sustained, depending on the grade of bolt the approximate maximum amount of torque you can tighten to effectively is 2N/m, the use of a drop of loctite would cure this or possibly a larger bolt size, even M4 would be able to sustain 5N/m
ZIGGYDAN4 years ago
you could tap about 7-7.5mm of that hole if you happen to have a plug tap/set of M3 taps if you wanted more threads for grip :) or even drill and tap all the way through and use a longer machine screw then grind back to be as smooth as the ball bearing.
Would this work equally well with non-metal balls...for example wood?
One of the video posts is of marbles, hot glued together.
Dr Qui (author)  Tall_Tinkerer4 years ago
Probably not enough weight in wooden balls to give the momentum needed to reach high speed.

try it and see what happens.
Ferguson1994 years ago
Wow, that is awesome I want to make me one now lol.
420frosty4 years ago
has anybody like tried this with say bowling balls and a leaf blower or maybe rockets !!??
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