Thread: Golf Ball carving WIP
28th Sep 2009, 11:37 PM #31
Fantastic GB Joe. Well done. I just love the different results various carvers bring to this little project. You've given me an idea about the mouth now... I'm going to have to try one with an 'O' expression on the mouth.
Yes.. definately drill a hole first. First, so you can confirm that the inside of the ball is carvable. (Why go to all that trouble of getting the cover off only to find its filled with something you can't carve anyway) ,secondly, to provide a place to fit a handle (you now know why) and third, to give you some point to mount it when its finished. Lots of guys use these as bottle stops.
Hope you enjoyed it. If you are like me and hooked, have another go and try for a different expression. Don't forget to post your result.
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9th Oct 2009, 03:56 PM #32
If,you do not mind me asking, what sort of money are you getting for your golf ball heads.
I have made a few and put them on bottle stoppers and got $15 each for them. but at the price of bottle stoppers today, I think I will go to $20 or do you think maybe more.
9th Oct 2009, 06:56 PM #33
I've been asking $20 for my golfballs. I market them as Golf Ball Trolls (GBT's). Each troll is mounted on a small oak base with a humourous saying suited to the facial expression.
I originally priced them at $20 because it used to take me 2 hours to make them and as most of my stuff has negligible material cost, I just set $10 per hour to make as my arbitrary pricing structure. They have stayed at that ever since even though I can make them a lot quicker now, I've never seen the need to reduce the price.
As for what you should charge... I'm a firm believer in charging whatever the market will bear. You go for it! We carvers get little enough for our work. I'd be interested in hearing what you decide and how well it works out for you.
Lets have a look at what you've made so far.
BTW... I've just about finished that WIP on eyes. I'll try to find time to post it soon.
10th Oct 2009, 10:27 AM #34
Thats great Whittling, look forward to seeing your making of the eyes.
I have entered mine in our local club exhibition for sale, so will take a photo one day next week.
13th Oct 2009, 07:21 AM #35
Hey these look cool. Thanks for the WIP.
I tried carving years ago, but it didn't stick. I completed a small "representational" bunny in Qld white beech I think, and that was it. This has inspired me to give it a go again (just don't know what the wife will say to me starting "another" hobby. Oh, and don't tell the guys in the pen turners forum ).
Do you think these are suitable for a newbie carver? Would a carving glove be a good idea? At 50c a ball max, at least this is one thing that fits in my budget for a change
13th Oct 2009, 09:30 AM #36
Certainly possible Russ, but like anything it takes practice to perfect. I do these in a 'whittling' style... that is I hold them in my left hand rather than having them bolted or clamped. (not sure how you'd clamp a golf ball so it stayed still anyway). This is going to put your left hand (right hand if your left handed) at some risk. The techniques of whittling are designed to minimise this and are not hard to learn if someone shows you, but they are a bit complicated to try to explain on the net.
Do you have anyone nearby who has some carving experience who can give you a few pointers?
Some tips I do endorse:
Drill your ball first. Not all golf balls have carvable centers. This is an easy way to find out without going to the considerable trouble of getting off half the cover. I use a 9mm drill.
I cut right round the circumferance of the ball using a dremel. I know others who use a saw. Just get through the cover, don't go into the interior. Keep the side of the cover with the hole, on the ball. Use a small screwdriver to pry off the other half. Wear a glove on the hand that holds the ball to prevent injury if the screwdriver slips in this process.
Get a 300mm length of broom handle or some other similar sized dowel and whittle down one end so you can jamb it in the hole in the golf ball. This fit should be tight so that the ball doesn't rotate during the carving process. This will help you keep you fingers at a distance. It can't do everything, but it will help you with gripping the ball too. Probably wouldn't hurt to continue wearing that glove on the 'off' hand while you get used to the process.
I'll try to get the WIP for doing the eyes on line sometime today.
Good luck with it. Let us know how you go. Don't forget to post your results.
13th Oct 2009, 08:54 PM #37
I know it's more dangerous than mounting and holding, but I'd rather survive hand-held due to the portability issue. I see Carbatec have a Kevlar carvers glove for $17, which doesn't seem too bad, although it's almost impossible for me to get there to try on for size.
I'm a bit of a book nut too, so I may see what books are available and worth getting on the subject.
Thanks for the advice.
13th Oct 2009, 09:02 PM #38
14th Oct 2009, 12:06 AM #39
The lathe idea sound ok, just remember about the hole in the ball. Shouldn't effect anything as long as its away from the cutting line. I might even give that a try myself if I can ever get my lathe working.
I also think that whittling techniques are definately the way to go for you if you want portablility and flexability. The glove sound ok too but an ordinary riggers leather glove works just as well. You can get those in most hardware stores. Try for as close fitting a size as you can as glove in general tend to make gripping your work slightly more awkward. Its largely a matter of choice but in your case, without instruction in the techniques, a glove will probably save you some cuts.
I've found a good 3 bladed pocket knife, modified and sharpened, will do for about 90% of the time. Three chisels... 11/10, 11/4, and 12/6 will do the rest. You'll also need a stropping leather, preferably mounted on a paddle, and some honeing compound. If you do not have these things and are in the market, I can provide you with the knife, strop and honing compound. The chisels are available from Carbatec mail order.
As for books, I haven't found one yet that deals specifically how to safely handle a knife in the whittling context. There are lots of them which do step-by-step projects but they tend to focus on the project itself and not on the technique required to execute each step.
Having said that, if you are really wanting to have a go, I can recommend Pete LeClair's books, 'Carving Caracature Faces' and 'Carving Caracature Figures From Scratch'. The latter is particularly good as it shows you how to prepare a blank with just a knife. The principles he teaches can be applied to lots of different mediums, such as golf balls or walking sticks. Another one is 'Caricature Heads in Wood and on Paper' by Marv Kaisersatt. This one is a bit advanced but its brilliant for the analysis of human expression. It has helped me a great deal in learning how to manipulate the components of the face to create predictable expression. All of these should be available from one or other of the various book sites on the web.
Hope all of this helps. Let us know how you go.
Oh.. one last thing. If you do use the dremel to open the golf balls, don't use cutting disks. They weren't made for cutting golf balls and often break, throwing bits out everywhere at high speed. Use the top edge of a large cylindrical cutter and cut on the side of the ball opposite the hole. Otherwise, your lathe idea sounds good.
14th Oct 2009, 12:31 PM #40
With your handy skills you don't even need a lathe, with 2 bolts, 4 nuts, 4 springs and a few bits of wood, you could make this awesome Golfball Cutter (patent pending )
14th Oct 2009, 07:15 PM #41
14th Oct 2009, 07:29 PM #42
Actually you know, with a little extra work, you could also put circular inserts and a locking mechanism on each end and have a handle to turn the ball while it's still gripped, without have to use your hand.
Then once done, if you lock the end under the dremel and keep turning, I wonder would the cover then twist off?
If only golf ball carving were a billion dollar industry, we could become millionaires with this idea!!
14th Oct 2009, 10:38 PM #43
15th Oct 2009, 08:40 AM #44
OK here's a picture of the carving tools I have to date. Most of it was purchased for chip carving. The stones are two grades of ceramic. The strop is thin leather with the rough side shown, and a smooth piece is fixed to the other side.
So what's re-usable for gold balls, and what new do I need? Happy to look for a whittling knife for the basics. The flex cuts suitable to substitute for the other chisels needed? I lost my honing compound somewhere too
15th Oct 2009, 11:04 AM #45
Like a bull in a china shop, I charged off down to the shed, grabbed the first hunk of wood I found on the floor, and tried to turn one end of a ball chuck. Sort of got that done, bit narrow, bit uneven, and figured I'd chuck a ball in and see how it went with that part just forced onto the tailstock live centre. The point is fairly short, so I hoped it wouldn't poke through the casing and wreck the inside of the ball.
Tried first with a parting tool - it made a bit of a mess of the case. Changed to the skew, worked well, although I had a slight catch on the outside of the case (been a while since I've skewed) and got a little overzealous on going into the inner ball. Hopefully those marks will carve out.
Tried to pry off the outer case once I was through and had some trouble getting under to lift it off, so back on the lathe and skewed away some more of the case. That made it easy to get the casing off then. Bit more practice and it should be a 30-second job.
Photo's below show the end results. I need to remake my chuck a bit wider & better shaped, and the biggest problem, do something about the outer casing getting wrecked on the back.
But at least the first part is licked. Now just need some tools to get started
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