Golf Ball & Socket Clamping Device

pages 10 – 11

Occasionally while woodworking, we all find the need to work on tapered parts. But how do you hold those parts in a vise or with a clamp in order to do the work?

I saw a product in a catalog that used the age-old concept of a pivoting jaw mounted to a sphere to clamp a tapered piece. It occurred to me that I might be able to use some type of ball to make a similar device in my own shop. After careful consideration, I decided to try a golf ball.

At first, I considered cutting the golf ball in half to mount it to a block of wood using a screw, glue or both. Cutting a golf ball in half seemed rather dicey considering that some golf balls have liquid centers under pressure, so I had to find another solution.

I’m not a wood turner, but I recently saw a jig for turning a sphere where the ball was held in place by friction. The jig basically consisted of a piece of wood with a hole slightly smaller than the diameter of the sphere to be turned. The partially turned ball is jammed into the hole then turned to completion in the “jam chuck.”

Read the rest of John’s trick and five more from our readers in the April 2014 issue, #210


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