Ball and dowell weaving
I have had a lot of folks ask about the ball and dowel weaving I'll try to explain it. I am trying to get my scanner hooked up so I can send some pictures.
Balls and dowels can be ordered from "Woodworks Ltd. they have good merchandise. I use the birch dowels and the birch balls. either 3/4 ,1 ,1 1/2 inch ball.
First using a scrap piece of 1 X 4 I use a forstner bit to drill a hole the size under the ball size ie 3/4 hole for a 1 in ball. Drill about 3/8th deep so the ball will rest in the hole. Then I center that hole under the drill so the drill hits the center tip mark of the forstner bit. I use a pair of padded channel locks to hold the ball centered and drill a hole 1/64th larger than the dowel size through the verticle axis of the ball. this is fun when you have 800 balls to drill.LOL. I then use some short pieces of the appropriate dowel, insert it through the hole and hold the ball side ways and drill a 3/32 hole 1/2 way through the ball again centering the hole as close to the center of the ball as possible, so it just goes into the inserted dowel. This will be at a right angle to the dowel hole.
Then useing a piece of 1X4 long enough for 10 or 15 holes drilled in the same way 1/64th over, and centered at what ever spacing you choose. I normaly use from 1 3/4 to 3 1/4 OC depending on the size of the ball and the size of the opening I have to fill. These holes should be excactly spaced at the desired center, and along a line drawn through the center if the 1x4 length way. This spacing is critical as we will soon see.
once you determine the size and shape of the area you want to fill choose the spacing that will fit the opening and leave a small distance between the edge of the opening and the assembled weave.
Cut the selected size dowel to an appropriate length, about 1 1/2 in past the opening size.
(now here comes the fun)
Thread the number of balls you need to cross the opening if it is long and narrow use the small distance, if it is just some irregular shape choose what ever crosses the narrowest part. lets use 8 balls for instance. It may be 3 or it ay be any number.
First center the long 1x4 and block it on both sides so that it will slide evenly under the drill and exactly along the line of holes you have predrilled in the jig.
You will then place the balls on the dowel, and position them so they each fit exactly in a hole, and the dowel should protrude about 2 in past either end of the line of balls.
Now you should have your 1x4 jig fixed under the drill and the balls all in the pre set holes. At this point line up the tiny 3/32 hole as close to the top dead center of the ball and using a syringe with the needle broken off intruduce a small amount of glue into each small hole, allowing just a small amount to squeeze out by the dowel, wipe it off and try to keep the small holes lined up at the top. The ball will seeze quite fast onto the dowel so you have to move relativly quick, trial and error will soon give you the feel.
Great now you have 200 dowels with a varied number of balls glued on them all stacked neatly so they can dry for 24 hrs.usually at this point I go up and get a cup of coffee and sit down and question my sanity for ever doing this to begin with HaHAHAHAhA.
Now you will take your jig and place it on the drill press,being sure that the drill is lined up exactly over the center marks Draw a line through the center of each hole, and extend one line through to the piece that is holding the sliding jig in place. this will give to an index mark the will assure you that each hole is the excact distance apart. Drill a few holes along the jig such that you can screw a small strong back over the dowel to hold it secure it's critical that the dowel and balls don't turn. You will find the the balls may not fit the holes excatly because one they are not round, and two only God can get them picture perfect.
Now using the small glue hole as a guide, line up the index marks and drill cross holes in the balls, these will cut the dowel in half, so its important thet they have been glued well in the last step.
Finally after you have drilled all 200 dowels, (I wish I knew how to put in smileys) and if God loves you you can thread cross dowels through these hole and you will have your weave to put into you project and it will be spectacular.
Trust me it takes a bit of trying so I would start with maybe a weave of maybe 5 balls and 5 dowels to test the waters. I will follow this mess with some pictures of my jigs and the drilling prcess.