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Old 12-27-2012, 08:42 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Machinists; how to hold a ball in a milling machine?

All joking aside...

Last year I bought a clear acrylic ball to drill for a Phantom pump handle ala pool ball pump. I might actually get around to doing it this winter lol.

I've having a devil of a time trying to figure out a good way to hold the ball, without marking it all up. Once I got that part, the rest is cake.

Keep in mind I have to hold it in such a way that I can drill it out for the barrel and thread it for the cocking rod.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:48 AM   #2 (permalink)
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When I was in high school in machine shop we milled out two flat pies of aluminum to make a jaw for the vice.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Acrylic is going to be tough, I would probably use some 3/16' thick 80-90D rubber and hold it in a mill vice with a V block. Do all the drilling and tapping without re-fixturing. you will probably have to polish the ball again when you are done anyway.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:17 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I tried the rubber and V-blocks....didn't work out that well. Tried aluminum tape, tried 3M double sided tape. Still not so great. Problem with the V-blocks is that they only contact a very small area of the ball. Also doesn't keep it from rotating when trying to mill it off center.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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a pair of soft jaws cut to the same diameter?
that will give you atleast a ring to hold it by....
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:42 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Make a pair of soft jaws out of whatever (aluminum or plastic) and then bore out the diameter of your pool ball. Use a shim or gage pin to leave a small gap between the jaws, that way when you clamp your ball you will have the right diameter and get some clamping force.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:52 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Hot glue or suction cup?
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Wooden soft jaws you can cut it out so its a ring then when you smash it in the vice the wood will pack around it giving you a nice tight clamp on the ball
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The forum machinists are showing their rank...

Take the allen head bolts out of the front and the back vice jaws on either the left or the right side.

Place ball into jaw, locating it in the holes. Clamp. Enjoy... If the diameter is too large, then make some aluminum soft jaws with holes in them to hold your sphere.


Don't ever use wood, rubber, or any other stupid soft drek to clamp a part under machining forces.
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Old 12-27-2012, 10:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Don't you think this would be rather situational though? If your just making one and your just drilling a hole in it (thats what I would assume for a pump handle) I dont see any problem using some wood to hold it. If I wanted to make any more than one I would look into something more but for what amounts to a one off drill press operation quick and dirty is going to be the easier way to go. That being said I would never put it in a CNC though you will need to "feel" the cut.
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