What to Do With a 'misbehaving' Golf Ball




Introduction: What to Do With a 'misbehaving' Golf Ball

About: I'm retired and have always liked to tinker. I have restored a couple of old cars and have a couple more in line. My latest project was building a CNC router and have been using it to make signs and LED lights…

In the past, I thought that some of my golf balls must be 'defective'. They would never go where I aimed them. They went into the woods, into the water, into the rough - sometimes never to be found. I never aimed them there, but that's where they went. So, being the analytical type, I changed brands of balls ... guess what ...no change. I decided that they all must have a mind of their own and are just 'misbehaving'. Revenge is sweet, so I repurposed one of the offenders.

My drill press has one of it's knobs broken. The handle was welded on by a previous owner, so I could not replace it. Rather than buying a new knob, I dug into my bag of 'found' balls that other golfers hit into the woods. (Lots of other guys must also have 'defective' golf balls). This Instructable will show you how I fixed my drill press with a golf ball.

Step 1: Gather What You Need

A golf ball (obviously)

A piece of scrap wood (I didn't show the piece of wood. You already know what that looks like.)

2 clamps of any style


2 drill bits as explained below

1-1/4" Frostner bit

A tap the same size as the threads on the handle

The size of the drill bits and the tap will depend on the size of the threads on whatever you want to screw the golf ball onto. You need to determine what thread size you have before drilling the hole. A 'drill size / threading chart' can be found on many websites. Just do a search on "drill tap chart" and you will find one that you will like for downloading. I found one that I liked, so I printed it out, laminated it, and hung it on the wall behind my drill press.

Step 2: Prepare the Board

The first picture shows what is left of my broken knob. It seemed like each time I needed to drill something, the broken one was the one that I needed to grab. It is uncomfortable and just looks ugly.

Grab your board and clamp it to the drill press table. Just about any kind of clamps will work. You just don't want the board to move around. The board I used was a piece of 3/4" thick plywood, but anything over 1/2" thick will work.

Step 3: Make Some Chips

With the Frostner bit, drill into the board. The Frostner bit needs to be smaller than the golf ball. I used 1-1/4", but the size is not really important. This just makes a depression for the golf ball it sit in. That will allow you to drill in the exact center of the ball without it wiggling around (note the highly technical term).

Try not to drill all the way through the board, since you will damage your drill press table and the Frostner bit. Ouch !

Install the small drill bit and set the drill press depth adjustment to stop drilling just above the top of the board. This prevents you from drilling completely through the golf ball.

Step 4: Drill the Ball (revenge!)

Now's your chance to get even with that ball. Never again will you have to chase that ball through the woods or fish it out of the creek.

Rest the ball in the hole in the board. It should not wiggle around. If it does, drill the hole a little deeper. With your small drill bit (I used 1/4"), drill a pilot hole in the ball. It drilled eaisly and I held it with my hand. If it does try to spin, you can hold it with some pliers.

Remove the small bit and install the bit required for the thread size that you need. Since the new bit will probably be a different length, you need to reset your depth adjustment on the drill press. My handle had 12 x 1.75 mm threads so I drilled the hole 13/32" dia., which is close enough to the 10.2 mm that the chart called for. Realize that you are drilling into what is basically a hard rubber ball, so the cut threads will deform a lot. Drill it all the way to the stop.

Step 5: Tap the Hole

Lightly squeeze the ball in a vice if you have one. If not, you can easily hold the ball by hand. Screw the tap into the ball all the way to the bottom. It's always a good idea to run the tap in 3 or 4 turns and then back it out to clear out the material trom the hole. Do this until you hit the bottom of the hole.

Blow out the hole to get all the debris out.

Step 6: Install Your New Knob

Screw the ball onto the handle. Then stand back and admire your work. You just solved two problems. Your drill press has a new knob and you will never again lose that ball. This does not guarantee that the rest of your golf balls might start 'misbehaving'. You may have to make more knobs.

If you liked this Instructable, found it interesting, or are just feeling charitable, please vote for it in the Black & Decker Fix and Repair contest.

Thanks for looking.

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    5 years ago

    Great revenge !


    8 years ago

    Great use of an old golf ball!