I wanted to make a wood ball, but I didn't have a lathe or a fancy router jig. I decided I would carve one then sand it a lot to get the final shape. This is my first instructable so bear with me.
I know this wont be perfect but it doesn't require any fancy tools either.
Step 1: Materials and Tools
you will need.
-Some type of wood. I am using a honey locust branch.
-Sandpaper. (Up to 1500 grit gives it a nice shine even without finish)
-Some type of oil to finish it with, if you want it finished.
-Optional heat gun for finishing.
Step 2: Beginning Carving
On a scrap piece of wood make a cut into the wood, then carve a curve on one side of the cut. Cut the groove deeper, then recarve your curve.
This was just a test I did before I started so I wouldn't mess up on my ball. My dad had me go buy a Bowsaw for trimming, and I wanted to try it out in a project. So I decided to make a ball.
Step 3: Starting the Ball
To begin carving the ball draw guide lines on the branch the same distance apart as the branch itself. Then saw these guide lines down a little bit all the way around the branch. Start carving the curve of the ball on the insides of the lines. I just eyeballed it.
Step 4: Keep Carving
Continue sawing and carving until you have it mostly round. Saw one side off and then start sanding that end while you still have a handle.
Step 5: Releasing the Ball
After some sanding with a low grit. Around 80 or 100. Release the ball using the saw. After that, start sanding.
Step 6: Sanding, Sanding, Sanding.
The most important sanding in this process is the low grits, to actually get the desired round shape. After this just progress through the grits. I finished sanding with 1500 grit.
Step 7: Finishing.
Oil or some kind of finish will bring out the grain and give it a shine. I just used coconut oil because I absolutely love the smell.
(this is optional) I use my heat gun to heat up the wood and expand the pores in it. I then melt the coconut oil and let it seep into the wood. This makes the finish penetrate much deeper, and even after it loses some of its shine you can just work the ball in your hands a little to bring some of that oil back to the surface before you show it off again.
Again I know this isn't perfect or the only way to do it, but a lot of people don't have fancy tools so i thought i would see how it went.
Please vote for me in the "on a budget" contest.
Thanks for reading and please leave a comment below with thoughts or suggestions.