Time spent with these instructors have lasted from ninety minute seminars to two weeks. I’ve taken multiple classes from many of the instructors.
I have kept a list of my favorite brands and models within those brands. There are many more brands and models that are enjoyable to carve but be aware there are models that are not “2 piece” construction. They are made with multiple covers, multiple layers and of course the wound rubber band. Since I lean toward the Titlest brand, I keep a list of Titlest models I avoid. They resist even the sharpest tools or have rubber bands. I’ve included them in the “Not Acceptable” category at the bottom.
An acquaintance named Tom Rhodes has a book that will provide inspiration for thinking inside AND outside the ball. The book also has an extensive list of ball characteristics for hundreds of balls.
HP and a number
DT 2 Piece
HVC and a number
HVC Soft Feel
Infinity Awesome Distance
Infinity Absolutely Straight
XL2000 Exceptional Spin
XL2000 Super Titanium
XL3000 Super Feel
Noodle Long and Soft
Gold – FX Long
Gold – FX Soft
384 90 Compression
Anything with titanium
Tour Distance SF
Pro V 1
Pro V 1*
DT and a number
Anything with “wound”
A tip to establish a center line starts back when the ball is placed in the template. (See the post on Opening a Golf Ball) The cardboard is positioned perpendicular to the brand name printed on the ball with one complete brand name showing on each side of the template. Notice the pencil line on the template to aid in positioning the brand name. After the cover has been removed, it’s easy to continue the imaginary brand line around to the exposed rubber.
Small reference mark.
I make a small reference line on the rubber to indicate the middle of the brand line on both (and opposite) sides. (Click on image to enlarge.)
Compass point on reference mark. Pen near middle of rubber.
Adjust a compass, that uses an ink pen, so it reaches from one cover edge where you just made a reference mark to your best guess at the center. Make a small mark there.
Using the second reference mark to locate the middle of the rubber.
Without adjusting it, move the compass to the reference mark on the other side and check to see how good your center guess was. If you are lucky, or just very good at guessing, the pen will land on the first center mark.
Compass adjusted to make first center line.
Otherwise, adjust the compass to split the difference between the two center measurements and draw a complete line from “top” to “bottom” on the rubber.
Line drawn from second reference mark.
It’s important to reposition the compass at the other reference mark and draw a “top” to “bottom” line from that side, too. Rarely do the two lines match perfectly but you now have a center reference.
I remove the cover as follows. (Click on the picture to enlarge.)
Cardboard template used to draw line on ball.
I made a cardboard template with a hole cut slightly smaller than the diameter of a standard ball. I position the ball in the hole so there is just a slight bit more cover on one side of the cardboard. I use a ballpoint pen to mark the ball tracing the template. I clamp the ball in a vise having a jaw used for holding pipe or bicycle frames. I cut along the line with an Xacto saw. Forty-two teeth per inch.
Sawing on the line while ball is in the vise.
After the line has been cut, I use small screwdrivers to remove the cover. It is very important that you wear a glove to hold the ball while you work with the screwdrivers. I force one screwdriver into the cut and under the smaller side of the cover. That allows room to place a second screwdriver next to the first one.
Inserting the second screw driver under the cover.
Try to keep the screw drivers perpendicular to the cut to reduce the risk of slipping and stabbing your hand. Remove the first one and insert it on the other side of the second, alternating this way, each one reaches further under, until the cover pops off. I normally keep the loose cover with the ball.
Cover is breaking free.
While taking a weekend class in 2006 with the Bishops, Vicki told me about the new class projects she was designing. The one that really caught my interest was a pirate bust. I ordered one to be sent home when the roughouts were available. The plan was to prepare the surface for the one day class I would take with the Bishops in March. As I worked on the piece, I decided to do a little carving, too. Before I knew it I had finished carving. I painted and mounted the piece and it was ready to show to Vicki in March. She and Phil encouraged me to enter the piece at the 2007 Woodcarving Congress show in Davenport, Iowa. Much to my surprise and delight, I won 2 blue ribbons. The piece was entered in Group Q, Carvings from a Roughout. I received the first place award for that group and also for the Class (981 Humans). Here are some shots of the piece.
I began a project 12 years ago that took about 10 years to complete. Following a visit to the Pacific Northwest, I wanted to carve a totem pole. I approached the director of a church camp north of Pittsburgh and presented the idea. With his approval the search began for a suitable log and a pattern. After several years a poplar log was acquired and by then I had a design and a prototype carved. It wasn’t exactly a traditional design so I began referring to it as a theme pole. The theme was Noah’s Ark. The work site was 90 minutes from home and I was still working full time so progress was slow. You see here the finished project but for the full photo documentation of the project, click here. There captions and comments for each of the pictures.