This site is a static archive of Process Arts, an open online repository of arts learning resources that was active from 2009 - 2017

01 - Balsa Sphere

Balsa Sphere
Balsa blocks stuck together and sawn roughly to shape.
Balsa sphere being turned on a hardwood mandrel.

Although technically a botanical hardwood, balsa is a commonly used model making material, due to its softness and ease of working.

Produced as a counterpart to object number 11, the technique of turning on a lathe had to be adapted to ensure the drive centre did not shear the relatively soft material. Assembling the wood sections around a hardwood mandrel, which itself would drive the balsa, solved the problem.

It's square hole could then be filled with a balsa plug, and hand finished.

The spigot left attached to the hardwood sphere, object number 11, illustrates the necessity for the lathe process to have some amount of material remaining for the body of the work to turn.

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