Wooden Pokeball




About: I am a 22 year old woodturner from Sydney. I have been wood turning for about 6.5 years and have completed my apprenticeship in cabinetmaking. I left my full time work to try and make it as a wood turner

As a wood turner, I can see anything that is round and know that it can be made in wood. This pokemon go craze made the pokeball a great challenge.

This was a project where I challenged myself to get it done quickly, so all the measurements are done by eye and the sphere isnt perfect but you get the idea.

It is a simple project for anyone with a lathe and drill press. The timbers I used for this project are red cedar, american walnut and jacaranda

Step 1: ​Preparation of the Blanks

Sizes 75mm x 75mm x 35mm

Mark your center on the 2 pieces. I did this by going corner to corner. With a 8mm drill bit, drill a hole in the center. This prepares it for the screw chuck on the lathe. Sand the face surface on a disc sander (I have one on a face plate for the lathe)

Step 2: Shape the Top and Bottom

Use a gouge to shape the dome. To get an even shape start by taking away the bulk with some quick cuts. For the final cut, move the tool and your body around at an even pace, pivoting on you feet. Providing you move the tool at the same rate as you move your body, the shape should be close to right. The tool should always be rubbing the bevel on the timber.

2 ways of being more accurate.

- Sphere jig. Accurate but expensive

- Use a template. I would use a forstner bit to drill a hole (same diameter) in 3mm mdf. Cut that into half or a quarter and hold that against the turning. Where there is contact are the high points that need reducing.

Sand through the grits and then finish. I used a friction polish so i would have a finished project as soon as possible.

Step 3: Mid Section

I used hot glue to fix this piece to the lathe. This is a small piece, so one drop of glue is enough to fix it. Use the tail stock to center the piece. Turn away the corners and face off the surface. Sand and finish the edge. Using the jacobs chuck, drill an 8mm hole. Using a chisel, this should just pry of the glue chuck

Step 4: Glue

The 8mm holes are already in it so you just need the 8mm dowel. Depending on where you clamp it, it can slip. you want the clamp to be centered. A quick grip clamp is ideal

Step 5: Drilling the Hole

This has to be done in a drill press with a forstner bit. Holding it its the tricky part. Fortunately I had just turned a torus. You need to have a cradle to hold it. With an anti-slip cloth it holds it well.

Step 6: Button

The button is 2 parts.

Part one is the walnut to match the mid section of the ball. Its slightly domed to match the ball. This has to be turned accurately to match the diameter of the hole. If its too loose, you will see more of a line. Drill a hole in the center. Make sure the thickness matches the depth of the hole

The jacaranda part of the button is also and easy shape to turn. To get a tight tenon to go into the walnut piece, use calipers to get the measurement of the drill bit and match it on the turning.

Both these pieces are held with hot glue. Glue them in into the ball and clamp with the quick grip

Step 7: Finish

Glue the button pieces in into the ball and clamp with the quick grip. If the hole is a little off center, pack up one side of the hole to make them an even distance. The pva (tightbond) doesnt take too long to get a hold.

Good luck and go catch 'em all

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    7 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Very nice finish. Beautiful work!


    2 years ago

    I never knew a pokeball could look so beautiful!

    Carl Jacobson

    3 years ago

    Great job Simon! I really like the natral wood look.


    3 years ago

    This tutorial made my day


    3 years ago

    This is really cool! I love the natural wood.