Yes, I can certainly confirm that if the balls pop out of the holes, it does virtually destroy them. However, my Bludworth polisher has lasted me 25+ years and has spun roughly 25,000 sets of balls. The only replacements I’ve done on it are putting on new felt pads about once every year.I've personally seen plenty of sets of balls destroyed from using the Bludworth ball polisher, how many have you seen?
On a recent visit to recover all our tables, Ernesto did replace the piano hinge on the lid and installed a lock mechanism to keep the lid from possibly popping up while spinning. It’s now working even better than it was when it was brand new 25+ years ago.