Introduction: Pool / Billiard Ball Polisher

About: im just a regular guy that like regular things

O,K so I have been wanting to do this for a while.  I am an avid pool player, and the balls on my table get dirty from playing with them a lot. Every one knows what its like to play with dirty balls.  They roll slow.  They don't react right.  Kinda takes away from the game.  You can go out ad buy a Ballstar for $500 bucks, but who wants to do that.  Enter my handy dandy ball cleaner I made for less than $30 dollars.  With it I can polish my balls and it gets um nice and clean.   

Step 1: Materials Needed

Ok so here is what you need:

A five gallon Bucket
Price: Around $5 at home depot. I got mine free.
A piece of shag carpet
Price: Go to a carpet store and get a remnant for couple bucks. I got mine free.
A turtle wax 9-10 inch Orbital polisher
Price: $23 at Wal-mart
About 25 Zip Ties about 12 inches long
Price: Auto Zone for like $3

Step 2: Cut Bucket

OK, so you have your buffer.  If you notice the handle sticks out off center from the buffing pad, so what we need to do is cut the bucket so the buffer can sit in it upside down.  Easiest way to do this was to just eye ball it.  But if you are wanting picture perfect you can measure and cut exact holes.  Me, I just jammed it down in the hole and looked on the outside for a bump where it was getting pushed out.  Then cut a square the width of the handle.   Anywhere it is bulging cut a hole.  I myself took the buffer out every time so I didn't cut the buffer.  To cut the holes I just used a 3 inch cut off wheel attached to the air compressor but if you don't have that you can use a knife.

Step 3: Drill Holes to Hold Buffer in Place

The holes where the handle of the buffer sticks out made it real easy to find the handle for drilling holes.  What I did was drill a hole above and below the handle of the buffer At every square hole I made then eye balled a few extra holes for the other handle that doesn't stick out of the bucket.  Don't forget to cut a hole for your cord to stick out.

Step 4: Zip Tie the Buffer in Place.

Once all the holes are drilled, plug the buffer in and turn it on.  Once it is running unplug it without turning it off.  I guess you could relocate the on/off switch or cut a hole where the button is, but if I'm not using it I don't need it plugged in anyway.  So now that it is turned on, but unplugged, set the buffer in place. One by one stick a zip tie in the bottom hole, stick your hand down the side of the inside of the bucket and guide the tip tie through the handle then out the other hole.  Only loosely fasten them do not tighten them at this time. 

Once all the zip ties are in place, methodically go around and slightly tighten each zip tie, While making sure the buffer stays in the center.  What I did was tighten up one then spin the wheel and make sure it doesn't hit then do the next one.  Once they are all tight make sure tit doesn't hit when you spin it and then plug it in.  If it is not hitting the walls of the bucket then move on to the next step.   It does not have to be perfectly centered, it just cant hit the walls.  Once you have this working properly go on to the next step.

Step 5: Cut Your Rug.

Now that you have the buffer set, take your piece of rug and figure out what length you need.  You can either eye ball it like I did or you can measure.  What I did was, loosely place the rug in the bucket where it would go and I pinched it where it overlapped.  Then I just took it out and cut it about an inch longer than that.  My rug was a piece from a throw rug, so it had a nice edge to it so I used that for the top.  To get the height I put the rug in upside down form where it would be when it was actually installed, then I made sure it was about a half inch away from where the buffer wheel was.  Then I marked it in a few places.  Once I took it back out, I laid it down on the table upside down and with a sharp razor found my markings and followed the line of the grid on the back f the rug all the way across so it was the same width the whole way. 

Step 6: Drill Holes for Rug.

At the top of the bucket where the lid snaps on, drill some 3/8 inch holes.  Size of bit does not matter, but you need it big enough to slide the zip ties through.  I drilled them about 2 inches apart, and all the way around the top.  For the second hole I just held up my rug and eyeballed where the second one would go.  It was about an inch above where the bottom of the rug would lie.  Everywhere you drilled a hole in the top, drill a corresponding hole about an inch up from where the rug will lie.

Step 7: Poke Holes in Rug and Zip Tie in Place.

Taking a coat hanger that I had straightened at the ends, I started at the first hole and poked it through the bottom hole first and through the rug then as soon as i took the hanger out, i shoved a zip tie through the hole then through the rug.  Then I would poke a hole through the top hole and the rug and then feed the zip tie back through that hole.   Tighten the Zip tie tight then do the next one.   Continue like this till you get all the way around to the end.  If you have any overlapping rug, cut it off so it does not over lap.  Mine actually has a gap in it about a half inch wide.  It wont hurt anything. 

Step 8: Tighten Everything Up.

Go through and tighten all the zip ties holding the rug.  Make sure to pull the nap of the rug out from under the zip tie on the inside so it kind of nestles down inside the nap.  I just used the coat hanger and kind of pulled the nap out then tightened the zip tie.  Once everything is tight cut the excess off of the end of each zip tie. 

Step 9: Use

Now all you have to do is put all your balls in, mine will hold 16, and plug it in.  You can use a ball cleaning and polishing solution if you want and they will clean faster, but if you don't want to you can just turn it on and walk away. 

Step 10: Tips.

1.) Hang it up while its running by its handle and its actually fairly quiet.  If not it will make a lot of noise.  the handle rattles like crazy.

2.) Don't sit it on a table, turn it on and walk away.  Trust me it walks.  Learned that one the hard way.

3.) If you pre-clean the balls with a ball cleaner solution, they will come cleaner faster and polish up nicer but you don't have to, It will clean them just as good EVENTUALLY.  The key word here is eventually., I find a couple seconds on each ball saves me minutes in the polisher. 

4.) Gerbils probably will not like "riding" in this.  What?  I'm just saying, they probably wont.

5.) Cats might.

6.) The more balls you put in, the slower it goes, but the cleaner it seems to get them.  Go figure.

Step 11: Conclusion.

All in all, it works pretty well.  I have a friend with a Ballstar and this does just as good as that but only cost me 6% of what his did.  Its not as pretty but I don't care.  Well I hope you like my instructable,  If you have any questions just ask.

Hack It! Contest

Participated in the
Hack It! Contest