Turning a wooden Sphere on the Lathe

  • Published on Jan 22, 2014
  • Sam Angelo shares his process for turning a near perfect sphere on the lathe.
  • Howto & StyleHowto & Style

Comments • 541

  • Melanie Westberg
    Melanie Westberg Month ago

    for Carl - There are much faster and more accurate techniques to perform this task - study the methods used by a sand foundry patternmaker. Wood patterns are made to a total tolerance of 1/64th inch. Templates should be 1/4 in. thick, put the chalk on the template, not the wood, or use a wax pattern crayon. The use of the cup chucks is correct. Never sand to size, only scrape. I understand that "perfect" is a relative term, maybe you should use tolerance dimensions instead. If you are intending to use a lathe for precision work, study patternmaking.


      Melanie, well I guess you schooled me.... Are you a woodturner? A woodworker? I checked out your channel and I see no videos of your own but lots of playlists. You are correct that "wood patterns" are and must be made to tolerances to match the item to be cast in sand. But working with wood-as the final product- is an inaccurate process. It may be 100% accurate within certain tolerances today, but with moisture and wood movement, those tolerances will change tomorrow. Thanks for your advice and comments. I look forward to you, publishing your own videos to show how things should be done. Sam

  • sk13ppy
    sk13ppy 2 months ago


  • FingerAngle
    FingerAngle 3 months ago

    Chunk them out of Trebuchet.

    • FingerAngle
      FingerAngle 3 months ago

      If your lathe indexes, make another one with ribs, and it will produce a really cool magnus flight.

    • FingerAngle
      FingerAngle 3 months ago

      Send me one and I'll fling it 200 mph.@WYOMINGWOODTURNER

      WYOMINGWOODTURNER  3 months ago +1

      Boy, that would hurt

  • The_ Joker
    The_ Joker 3 months ago


  • Doug In Texas
    Doug In Texas 3 months ago

    Spears are pointy not round.

  • Doug In Texas
    Doug In Texas 3 months ago

    Today's topic... The spear 😬

  • Bill K
    Bill K 4 months ago

    You can buy expensive jigs to help with much of this project, but if you can master this technique it is a step on the way to becoming a real wood Turner.

      WYOMINGWOODTURNER  4 months ago

      Right on. Yesterday our club turned spheres---always fun Sam

  • piggybladder
    piggybladder 5 months ago

    'No beginning and no end'... to infinity and beyond...great vid fella!

  • Charles Dawson
    Charles Dawson 5 months ago

    The project demonstrates great innovative skills for turning. Thanks

  • DrippyKidBrett
    DrippyKidBrett 6 months ago

    you have a fan base out here at our school.... #wyomingwoodturner

      WYOMINGWOODTURNER  6 months ago

      Thanks, very cool. I worked in schools for 40 years.....The last 18 at our local middle school. Sam

  • Philip Dawes
    Philip Dawes 7 months ago


  • Benjamin McMillan
    Benjamin McMillan 7 months ago

    this guy was my guidance counselor in middle school. really good guy.

      WYOMINGWOODTURNER  7 months ago

      Ben, thanks for watching the video. It's nice to hear from you. And thanks for the nice comment later Sam

  • zippy
    zippy 7 months ago

    Vert precise sphere method

  • Neil Lawrence
    Neil Lawrence 7 months ago

    Thank you, I learned a lot

  • Richard Perron Jr.
    Richard Perron Jr. 8 months ago

    Another great video, as always.

  • Robert Hogue
    Robert Hogue 8 months ago

    Thanks for this. Good tips

  • Gabriel C
    Gabriel C 8 months ago +2

    11:10 the technique makes sense, but I doubt that the object will not end up off-center when it's positioned in the cups. Ideally a sphere should be done without un-mounting and re-mounting the piece

  • Cave Man
    Cave Man 9 months ago

    How do you make the tail live center with the wood jig? Thanks

    • Cave Man
      Cave Man 9 months ago


      WYOMINGWOODTURNER  9 months ago

      Look at 11 minutes and 13 seconds into the video. My live center has threads on the end of it that will accept various accessories that came with it. You can buy a nut at the hardware store that has the same threads per inch etc that will screw onto it. My cup center, wooden jig has the nut glued into it and screwed onto the live center. Oneway and powermatic live centers have this feature. Sam

  • Elmer Bback
    Elmer Bback 9 months ago

    Skittles, Croquette, lots of uses, very skilled machining work

  • farooq shaik
    farooq shaik 10 months ago

    thumbnail looks like you are holding a baby.

  • Tim 1967
    Tim 1967 11 months ago

    You made a sphere. And anyone who can accomplish this by what ever means has accomplished something. I think the dreaded skew would have been a perfect tool to this project. Nice work and accomplishment all the same. Thanks for your approach to the sphere.

  • Reece Zimmerman
    Reece Zimmerman 11 months ago

    is he a pedo?

  • Ernie Schroder
    Ernie Schroder Year ago

    Great video, but actually, you paraphrased Winston Churchill, not FDR


      “Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR’s First Inaugural Address 1932 historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057
      I would venture to add that little is original- Churchill was in his 50's in 1932 when FDR made this speech. I am not sure what Winston was doing then and if he said those words. I could not find it.....interesting question. Thanks. Sam

  • 31Sparrow
    31Sparrow Year ago

    glad I watched till the end for the Franklin quote

  • Ali Sh
    Ali Sh Year ago

    Very good work

  • Darin Vaughan
    Darin Vaughan Year ago

    What's the chalk for?


      The chalk shows where the high and low spots are on the surface of the wood. I can then turn down the high points to the level of the low spots. This is low tech but works very well. Sam

  • TheLouki68
    TheLouki68 Year ago


  • Chris Jacobsen
    Chris Jacobsen Year ago

    I’m glad I waited until the end for that amazing Roosevelt pun!!! Also, great information as always Sam! Thank you.

  • Clara Obelenis
    Clara Obelenis Year ago

    It´s such satisfying to watch this.... Thanks!

  • Aaron Wolfe
    Aaron Wolfe Year ago

    Awesome video. Thank you.

  • terry Sullivan
    terry Sullivan Year ago

    And now you can make your own bocce balls.

  • OneLiterPeter
    OneLiterPeter Year ago

    Or... you could do it the easy way like this guy... ru-clip.com/video/PtIjFg_XarU/video.html

  • Franchise City
    Franchise City Year ago

    We have nothing to sphere except sphere itself.

  • mrslayer92
    mrslayer92 Year ago

    Sounds like Raymond from everybody loves raymond

    • mrslayer92
      mrslayer92 Year ago

      I don’t understand the Kermit the frog either! But either way man your sphere is awesome

      WYOMINGWOODTURNER  Year ago +1

      No worries. I actually do a very good Ray Romano impersonation....How about Manny from ice age. I also get Kermit the frog---but I don't see that one. All good fun. Thanks Sam

    • mrslayer92
      mrslayer92 Year ago

      WYOMINGWOODTURNER nothin against you mate and your woodworking is exquisite!


      Yes I get that a lot.....

  • Alan Griffiths
    Alan Griffiths Year ago

    Love the wyomingwoodturner, very clear and precise instruction. From a greatfull Brit

  • William Pardoe
    William Pardoe Year ago

    Lol nice ending

  • will S
    will S Year ago

    01.15 AM, Sydney australia for me

  • Gaviano Fernando
    Gaviano Fernando Year ago


  • Sponzor
    Sponzor Year ago

    I live in Wyoming

  • Joel B
    Joel B Year ago +3

    Someone might ask 'why' make a wooden sphere or bearing... did you know that one of the hardest, most dense wood called "Lignum Vitae" was used to make WOODEN SHAFTS GUIDES and BALL BEARINGS for the first nuclear submarine (USS Nautilus) and other marine/maritime use? It was (and possibly, still?) used for propeller shaft bearings have been used in conventional ships, and for moving shaft parts hydroelectric plants. Resistant to both fresh and saline waters, and its natural oils provide a natural lubricant for the component...


      And....Lignum was also used for block and tackle on the old Tall sailing ships.
      Yep, great wood and really very pretty. Sam

  • A O
    A O Year ago

    Turning a wooden sphere, the hardest and much complicated possible way.

  • xMPOZIDISx 25
    xMPOZIDISx 25 Year ago


  • raymond goodman
    raymond goodman Year ago

    the FDR quote = subscribed

  • James Hager
    James Hager Year ago

    oh and good use for those spheres are wood bearings

  • James Hager
    James Hager Year ago

    i have to point out that theres no need to take multiple diameter measurements, if its a true sphere then the diameter is the same no matter the direction.


      Good point.....however my spheres are seldom round, haha.
      Yes I must agree I did one or two things in this video which were unnecessary.

    • James Hager
      James Hager Year ago

      in the video near the beginning he took multiple diameter measurements as if he were working on an elipse, a true sphere only has only 1 diameter dimension.

    • Joel B
      Joel B Year ago


  • Jack Miller
    Jack Miller Year ago

    Nothing to sphere but sphere itself

  • lebomm johnson
    lebomm johnson Year ago

    The cross-grain circumference of the sphere midway between the centers is accurately referred to as the equator. FYI

  • HamiltonSurrey
    HamiltonSurrey Year ago

    I have made a good few of these over the years using not dissimilar techniques but none have passed the acid test! For it to be a perfect sphere it has roll along a flat surface without any wayward movement. Have you made a good sphere or a perfect sphere? Just another 15 seconds need adding to the video to show the acid test:)

  • Guy Collins
    Guy Collins Year ago

    So nobody picked up on the pronunciation of sphere to spear? Nope just me.

  • Gg K
    Gg K Year ago

    keep up the good work Sam

  • 7SlotFever
    7SlotFever Year ago

    Thank you Sam! I am about to have a go at this and SO appreciate your guidance.
    My grandson has requested a Wizard's Staff, this will be on the top. Wish me luck!

    • 7SlotFever
      7SlotFever Year ago

      well.... practice makes perfect I guess. This is a lot harder than it looks!

  • Nunya Bidness
    Nunya Bidness Year ago

    Guess you haven't seen the holesaw guy.


      Guess you haven't seen all my "sphere-mailing videos"
      Using the hole saw is the oldest trick for making a sphere. You really think I haven't seen it? I just can't put everything in every video.

  • Wee gee
    Wee gee Year ago

    Boo this man for that pun!
    Interesting vid.

  • Mature Patriot / Vernon Currier

    It's been over 40 years since I've turned any walnut, but I can smell the sweet smell, just watching you. The mind is an amazing thing. I like your tool support. Great work. A true craftsman.

    • Joel B
      Joel B Year ago

      Nice comment, it is good to find appreciation for any artist's work.

  • Jack Morgan
    Jack Morgan Year ago

    The quote was from Winston Churchill

    • Joel B
      Joel B Year ago

      Franklin Roosevelt spoke this in his first inauguration speech. Falsely attributing quotes to Winston Churchill was once the national sport of England and remains a popular spectator sport...

    • Jack Morgan
      Jack Morgan Year ago

      When England was being bombed by the Germans


      Jack Morgan Thanks. When did he say it? I do believe you. Sam. I know a lot of quotes are just stolen from somebody else.

    • Jack Morgan
      Jack Morgan Year ago

      Churchill original said we have nothing to fear but fear itself


      Jack Morgan Churchill said ‘“nothing to sphere but sphere itself.” .? Seriously did Churchill say that first? Sam

  • NoCheating
    NoCheating Year ago


  • Tiffany Case
    Tiffany Case Year ago

    Awesome - loved watching this video and have taken away some great tips. Thanks

  • Пафа Эсперанто

    :) хорошая работа!

  • DiY Dof
    DiY Dof Year ago

    Nice vidéo.. good explainations, good images. Tks à lot !!

  • Cerne
    Cerne Year ago

    Some handy tips here. Thanks for sharing...

  • Colin Edwards
    Colin Edwards Year ago

    Many years ago I visited a museum in a fruit growing and wine producing area named Franchhoek, South Africa and one of the displays had a number of ball shaped wooden spheres and the curator told me that they were used to make depressions in woodwool during the off season so that the ripe fruit could be packed during the harvest. Modern packaging methods have of course gotten rid of the craftsmen who must have turned thousands of these moulds.


      Thanks, an amazing story from the past. Back in the day, they got things done and usually better than how we do it now.

  • Pat Lowney
    Pat Lowney Year ago

    That would be so cool a pyramid. That looks like cannonballs. I'm a wooden Cannon. to go with it. Wouldn't that be something every patriotic American would want display in the den in their house. Or in a Civil War Museum.

  • Karen laughing
    Karen laughing Year ago

    Back in the day, how do some of these butheads (asking why would you do that) they think they had crochet balls made. Makes them sorta dumb huh! Beautiful work. i love them. Thanks for sharing.

  • nike12000
    nike12000 Year ago

    That’s really cool

  • Jared Numbers
    Jared Numbers Year ago

    Ending with a dad joke. Nice! Great job. Gonna go make my own.

  • Ryan Haynie
    Ryan Haynie Year ago +2

    Pope Boniface VIII was looking for a new artist to work on the frescoes in St. Peter’s Basilica, so he sent a courtier out into the country to interview artists and collect samples of their work that he could judge. The courtier approached the painter Giotto and asked for a drawing to demonstrate his skill. Instead of a study of angels and saints, which the courtier expected, Giotto took a brush loaded with red paint and drew a perfect circle. The courtier was furious, thinking he had been made a fool of; nonetheless, he took the drawing back to Boniface. The Pope understood the significance of the red circle, and Giotto got the job.

  • Ergul Tasez
    Ergul Tasez Year ago

    Ne çok konuştun be alsana dislike

  • Brent Cooper
    Brent Cooper Year ago

    oh how much easier things have become. Have you every heard of the Perfect Sphere? Made by Carter Products in Grand Rapids Michigan. Check them out

  • Neville Landscaping

    I'm from Wyoming too!


      Where? Stop by for a tour if you are ever passing through.

  • famille de smet cariou

    une sphère sans sphèreuse .....MERCIIIIIIIIIIIII

  • Oscar Fuentes
    Oscar Fuentes 2 years ago

    The thumb nail looked like a baby's head being cradled

  • Cody Begley
    Cody Begley 2 years ago

    15:07 best dad joke ever

      WYOMINGWOODTURNER  2 years ago

      CodyI add to go back and check that one out. Yep that is a classic that never gets old. It doesn't really get funnier it just doesn't get old. sam

  • nashcarlos
    nashcarlos 2 years ago

    Wooooooowwwwwwww...... he made a wooden ball. My life is now complete

  • elbay2
    elbay2 2 years ago

    "Nothing to sphere, but sphere itself" .... Oh good grief!
    That being said... good job!

  • Kid Sundance
    Kid Sundance 2 years ago

    Fuck you old man