TimV

Cutting a Golf Ball

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I was asked to cut a golf ball in half for a trophy plaque. I was thinking of using a wooden screw clamp with the bandsaw. Does anyone have any experience or recommendations of how to cut a sphere in half?

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Do both halves need to be presentable? Or can you screw the ball onto a board for passage through the saw? (i.e. the falloff would be presentable but the other side would have a hole in it.)

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Try a dot of hot melt glue to hold it to a carrier board. I would use 2 points of contact in an L shape, back and side to prevent any twist or spin.

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All these out of work comedians capnjack.....

No both halves do not need to be presentable because they want the logo visible. There is only one logo per golf ball so I will cut two in half so I can use two halves each with the logo.

Will the hot glue will resist the force on the bandsaw?

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I'd be most inclined to slice it with a very sharp blade. Seriously, no pun intended. Think guillitine <sp?> trimmer, or plane iron in a bagel slicer type of guide... If a power tool blade catches, and the ball doesn't stay attached to the carrier, things can get ugly in a hurry.

I've sliced many, many, tennis balls that were being repurposed as school chair silencers. A few hundred were done on my bandsaw. Here or there, one would catch, and give me the heebie jeebies. Nowadays, I use a Fein Multimaster or recip saw with a fine blade.

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I was asked to cut a golf ball in half for a trophy plaque. I was thinking of using a wooden screw clamp with the bandsaw. Does anyone have any experience or recommendations of how to cut a sphere in half?

I would just stic with the simple hand screw idea. Be sure to offset your cut for the blade thickness so you hactually have half. Also have a wedge handy to put into the kerf as you pass through the ball. Also make sure you cover your table some balls have a gel core.

Don

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You could use a golf ball cutter (click on the two small picture for a bigger view). I’m not sure where a U.S. supplier is. Or, if you know someone who runs a picture framing shop, they may have one of these you could try. Here’s a guy who takes the covers off of golf balls to carve caricatures into the underlying rubber. He’s modified a PVC pipe cutter to cut through the cover, but like the golf ball cutter, it looks like it may cut all the way through. It also looks like a lot of work to do the modifications.

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Be very careful, to my understanding the center of a golf ball is under very high compression and when you cut it, it will almost explode! Bottom line is, I certainly would not use any power tools on it.

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I know a guy who carves golf balls. Most of them are now filled with a rubber / rubberish material. He uses a really sharp knife (like an X-acto) from what I remember. He tried once to cut one completely in half, and the ball did not separate like he wanted. Since this is exactly what you want, I'd say it should be fine.

If you're feeling cautious, make a home-made "bagel slicer" frame for it with scrap.... bracketed five faces out of six (think cube). Cut through front and top with the band saw so you can see the kerf, leave the sides and back alone. (Okay, maybe just a nibble on the back, so the blade actually goes through...)

I'll see if I can get some photos of his carved golf balls..... they are absolutely amazing...

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Got an idea.

A 2x4 10" long

A flat bottom hole just smaller and deeper than the dia. of the ball, a few inches in from one end.

A generous dab of hot glue and pop the ball in.

Set band saw and feed the ball in away from ya.

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Got an idea.

A 2x4 10" long

A flat bottom hole just smaller and deeper than the dia. of the ball, a few inches in from one end.

A generous dab of hot glue and pop the ball in.

Set band saw and feed the ball in away from ya.

that's the way to go right there!

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Got an idea.

A 2x4 10" long

A flat bottom hole just smaller and deeper than the dia. of the ball, a few inches in from one end.

A generous dab of hot glue and pop the ball in.

Set band saw and feed the ball in away from ya.

drill a hole, so you can pop the ball out...

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I'm not meaning to stir the pot too much, but is this over-thinking things a bit?

I know safety is paramount, but I'd use a clamp and keep my fingers away from the blade (and wear eye protection) - the worst that could happen (IMHO) is the ball gets grabbed and goes (BANG) very loudly and makes me soil my shorts-- my fingers would be way away from the blade... heck, if I had a golf ball I'd go and try it now for ya to see what would happen (I propose nothing)....

I'm not meaning any disrespect to anyone here, but it just feels like we may be being overly cautious - but that's the great thing about taking individual responsibility... we all do our own risk management and make our own decisions.

Lawrence

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==> is this over-thinking things a bit?

like many kids with too much free time, i sawed-up a few golf balls when young. I seem to remember that the hard-packed spun rubber banding, then firms rubber layer, then core made a clean cut quite difficult. I but you could do it with a fine band saw blade, but not much else in a typical wood shop... You could also try a fine rip tenon saw...

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I have cut a few in half for my kids before, curiosity is high in them! I remember one was solid with some very hard grey material inside and one was rubber strands with a rubber ball inside that. I cut them by hand and this is the only way I would do it. Since you need the cut to be perfect I would cut it a little off center allowing room to hold it on a beltsander to perfect it.

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