DIY Polisher...be gentle :-)

JayB93

Member
So, I have been wanting a ball polisher and see the usual professional equipment and a range of diy buckets to Gold Crown. My son just turned 15 and wants to be an engineer, so I started showing him Youtube vids and pictures of lots of different ways to build one and challenged him to come up with a design. His main two criteria were to not use a polisher as the oscillation makes the balls jump or crash into each other - depending on the design and also that each ball had it's own pocket vs all loaded on a pad and bumping into each other.

We set a budget of $100ish. We took a different path than I have seen others take - how it works is still TBD.

We bought a $22 20" box fan because it met his requirement of smooth spin and it is already in a box and already comes wired with speed controls.

We removed the blades and filed the spindle down to slide inside an insert nut that we drilled the threads out of and press fit with epoxy a 12" plywood plate ($12 from Lowes) covered with carpet. The shaft was D shaped and it retained some of that after filing it down. I dipped two toothpicks in epoxy and hammered them into the gap to tighten up the fit. Seemed to work really good. I have built golf clubs and they are an easy insert fit (not press fit) and glued with epoxy. You can hit golf balls at 100mph and the ground and they don't fail. I feel pretty solid about the connection of the polishing plate. I would have liked to thread it on, but the D shaped shaft didn't permit that.

Under the plate is a fiber gasket to set it off some space from the motor. For that, we used a round furniture pad with adhesive on one side. Drilled a hole in it and pressed it down the shaft and adhered to motor. That was free from the junk drawer.

We will staple over it a used microfiber towel so the carpet acts as some cushion and the towel is better for polishing.

We could have gone with an 18" plywood circle, but were. concerned the fan motor might struggle with the load. We plan to encapsulate fan into more of a wood box and have a top that has holes drilled in with carpet strips so the balls each have their own pocket. It will run 5 balls at a time

Early progress pics showing the plywood polishing plate and some bracing on the back of the fan to keep the motor stable.

Whatever it is, it is. He is getting his feet wet with design and building and that is the main goal. Maybe it will work - or maybe we will learn something and try again - or maybe I'll buy a Diamond when we are done...LOL.

Polisher1.jpg

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RRfireblade

Grammer Are For Stupids
Silver Member
Interesting. However I don't think that fan motor is going to have enough power to do much of anything. You can stop one of those things with your finger and not even get hurt. Don't ask me how I know. LOL.
 

GoldCrown

Pool players have more balls
Gold Member
Silver Member
Interesting design/concept. Regardless how this turns out it will lead to a better design if this needs fine turning. Good luck with the balance of the project. Your son is innovative.
 

JayB93

Member
Interesting. However I don't think that fan motor is going to have enough power to do much of anything. You can stop one of those things with your finger and not even get hurt. Don't ask me how I know. LOL

I have some concern about this and you are right...you can stop a plastic fan blade that only weighs a few ounces. Once the plywood is spinning at top speed (being heavier at approximately 3x the weight of the fan blade assembly) it's got more momentum. I can press my fingertips on the carpet (not with extreme pressure) and it keeps on spinning. I'm giving it a 74.83% chance of working.

Your concern is very valid though - we'll just have to see what happens when it has 5 pool balls worth of weight and friction working against it. May have to overclock it with extra voltage... LOL.
 

RRfireblade

Grammer Are For Stupids
Silver Member
I have some concern about this and you are right...you can stop a plastic fan blade that only weighs a few ounces. Once the plywood is spinning at top speed (being heavier at approximately 3x the weight of the fan blade assembly) it's got more momentum. I can press my fingertips on the carpet (not with extreme pressure) and it keeps on spinning. I'm giving it a 74.83% chance of working.

Your concern is very valid though - we'll just have to see what happens when it has 5 pool balls worth of weight and friction working against it. May have to overclock it with extra voltage... LOL.


Yeah, ultimately you need torque not speed. With weight and resistance on it, it's probably going to slow down until you start smelling that smell. You know that smell? LOL. Good luck anyway. At least there's not much invested.
 

Renegade_56

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
interesting idea, I built mine with a 19 dollar polisher and a bucket. Works well with 7 or 8 balls at a time. I doubt the fan motor has enough torque but who knows.
 

VarmintKong

Cannonball comin’!
Gold Member
Way to frickin’ be Dad! Threw down a challenge, set the criteria, and let him do his thing. You might see an improvement, but let the boy learn for himself. You’ll be able to improve it together after the first iteration.

Too many damn parents leave education up to the local school and then wonder why their kids have no common sense. “I got off my couch for 8 hours today and this is my time to set on my rear. Why should I work with my kid? That’s the school’s job.” Eff that, We’re raising adults not children! Keep kickin’ ace poppa!
 

JayB93

Member
Thanks for the feedback guys. We had a lesson this morning about torque and speed. I asked him to hold a hand drill collet and he couldn't stop it from turning. I asked him to hold the 12" plywood plate on the fan motor and stop it from turning. Clearly a difference.

Next step is to learn about DOE so we can test out the fan configuration before we use our expensive materials to finish it out only to find out that it doesn't work. He came up with a way to do that.

More to follow...
 

JayB93

Member
OK guys...for our DOE we made a cardboard version of the top plate we would build and cut out a few circles.
Had a good talk about the value of cardboard for use as templates when building.

We cut our microfiber towel and stapled it onto the carpet covered plywood disc. Turned out great.

With carpet lining the holes in the cardboard top plate, there was too much squeeze on the ball. Holes are 3" and
carpet is 5/8" so just too tight. Perhaps with a high torque motor it might work, but I think too tight anyway.

Pulled the carpet ring out and lined the hole with two strips of an old towel - no squeeze on ball and ball would spin
great and no noticeable slowing of plate speed. Limiting friction on our low torque motor is key. Below is a pic. We
took video but it's too big to upload.

Like other DIY efforts, the balls spin on one plane - but I don't mind. We are going forward. Here are a couple of pictures
showing how we are boxing in the fan. Note boards are proud of fan box by 1/2" so the ball drops down 3/4" before making
contact with the polishing plate. Top plate will either be 1-1/4" thick plywood (3/4+1/2) or 1-1/2" thick (3/4+3/4).

We are going to put some corner blocks on the bottom and put furniture pads under it so it can sit on floor and run quietly.
It should easily slide under our pool table to be out of sight when not in use.

I'll have to figure out how to post a longer video.

Polisher7.jpg



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