View Full Version : Billiard Science Art

02-20-2005, 07:19 PM
I am adding a new theme around my Billiard Room and was thinking about some real different billiard artwork. Not the same ol'--same ol' you see all the time but unique items. Possibly new artwork or pictures for the walls that might portray the science of the game. Anyone know of anything I might take a look at? Thanks

02-20-2005, 08:06 PM
You can get copies of patents on billiard items they look pretty neat what framed. Also three dimensional stuff. I cut some balls in half for a girl making an art piece.

02-21-2005, 08:45 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I cut some balls in half... <hr /></blockquote>How did you do that? I've been trying to figure out some kind of jig to use with the band saw...

02-21-2005, 08:52 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> <blockquote><font class="small">Quote Popcorn:</font><hr> I cut some balls in half... <hr /></blockquote>How did you do that? I've been trying to figure out some kind of jig to use with the band saw... <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> SPetty:

A band saw is not the best option for cutting a resin ball in half. However, if that's all you have, you would have to friction cut it. That involves using an old worn out bald and running the saw spped as fast as it will go. A better option would be a stone cutter or an abrasive cut off wheel. If you have acces to a milling maching, I would bring you a bit that woould mill th eball down. Better yet, next month, when I am there, if you have a ball you want cut in half, I'll bring it home and do it here, then send it back.... </font color>


02-21-2005, 09:26 AM
I put up graphics of fundamental shots around my table(which I made myself with Adobe Photo Shop). Like the 30 and 90 degree rules, shots from 99 critical shots, shots from Dr. Daves DVD, Jimmy Reid's DVD, and Billiard Sanctuary Academy of the Cueing Arts DVDs.

They seem simple and straight forward to me, but visitors think they are some sort of Einstein physics thing which no normal human could possibly understand.

My plan was to use these diagrams for practice, but after I stapled 30 of these to the wall, I couldn't find the shot I was looking for. I wound up with 60 basic shots, so I put them all in a 3 ring binder in the order in which I practice them. So now I can just turn the page and there is my practice shot. No hunting on the wall or in books for the shots. So I will spend more time practicing these things.

Some shots from books were not accurate, so I have modified my diagrams to what works best. As I practice these, I'll add additional information or modify the diagrams as needed.

Unfortunately they are all from copyrighted books/videos, so I can't provide copies. But here is a sample of what I have (They are all categorized and numbered)...

[Bank 1] natural long bank angles.
[Bank 2] natural short bank angles.
[Bank 3] banks less than one diamond from pocket.
[Bank 4] parallel bank aiming system.
[Bank 5] exact banking system.
[Bank 6] rail track system.
[Position 1] 90 degree rule.
[Position 2] 30 degree rule.
[Position 3] object ball close to rail and position.
[Position 4] reverse english to kill CB when hits rail.
[Position 5] draw drag shot.
[Throw 4] single ball throw shot.
[Throw 5] double ball throw shot.
[Throw 6] off the cushion throw shot.

02-21-2005, 09:47 AM
On page 5 of the below link is an example of what my diagrams look like. See "Diagram 5 Using the 30 rule to plan an avoidance shot".

Initially I just copied these graphics and placed them on the wall. But the graphics from different sources were all different sizes. Some were small and hard to read, others large, and different graphics had different tables - some easy to see shots, arrows, etc. - other difficult to see shots, arrows, etc.

So I just made my own table graphic, as large as would fit on an 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper, then transfered the information. So all my graphics are now on the same size table and you can easily see lines, arrows, and text.


02-21-2005, 11:21 AM
I do it on a lathe. I put the ball in the chuck with more then half sticking out, (It still grabs it) and bring a cup center up against it then just use a parting tool. It only takes a few seconds, they cue very easy with a sharp tool.

02-21-2005, 11:53 AM
After making my post about cutting the balls in half I went out to the shop to do one and take a few pictures on how to do it but the batteries are dead and I have to wait for them to charge up but I did one anyway. There are different ways you can do it. I parted it completely off and dressed up the flat side on a fine disk sander. It got me thinking that you could also cut them and not part them completely off leaving it connected with about a 1/4 left. Then just split them with the band saw and knock the nub left off with a disk sander. It could even be done on a wood lathe between live cup centers if someone has a steady hand. Keep in mind they produce a lot of dust so you must use a shop vac right where you are working.
Cutting them in half with just a band saw even with a jig would not be the right way to do it. The results would be bad and inconsistent. You may be able to do one with a few tries, (and I am not sure you could ever get two perfectly symmetrical pieces), but to make hundreds of them you have to use a lathe. I have a digital clock in my shop because I like to know how long it takes to do things and I can do the balls in 1 1/2 minutes each with perfect results every time.

02-21-2005, 12:49 PM

This sounds cool but I am a bit skeptical about holding a spherical object in a lathe chuck and not having the pressure from the tool cause it to come loose from the chuck. I am looking forward to seeing the pics of the setup and the cutting itself.

Loof /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif

02-21-2005, 01:43 PM

An idea....Cut one almost in two, then break them apart, cut a hole in a window the size of the parting nub you have left. Super glue it back together form each side of the glass and you'll have everyone guessing how you did it. You can even add a cracked look to the window and claim it just got stuck when you hit it into the window!

I want one....

02-21-2005, 01:49 PM
It's actually easy, you just need the right tools. This lathe has a chuck on each end and if I wanted to make a lot of them all the same I would put a dowle through the head as a stop so each ball went in the same and keep the cutting tool in the same position on all the cuts.
After I took the picture I relized the chuck was too big and the QC would hit it before the cut was through so I had to put on a smaller chuck in the tail piece. To do a lot of them I would use an actual live cup center for the tail piece

02-21-2005, 01:56 PM
Very nice....
What is the width of the lathe bit you are using?
I might try that at work later this week.


02-21-2005, 02:07 PM
I'm glad you know what you are looking at the pictures are not very good. It is an 3/32 cut off tool. I sharpen it with the tip at an angle so one side parts off smoothly leaving kind of a cone on the other side. If it is left square it has more of a scraping action and they don't part off as well. I use the same cutter when I am making collar rings for cues. It eliminates tear out in the centers.

02-21-2005, 02:39 PM
Deeman2 - Muellers had a mirror like that several years ago. Wifey and my daughter got it for me as a Christmas present. Definitely a conversation piece.


02-21-2005, 02:44 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote loofnicnad:</font><hr> Popcorn,

This sounds cool but I am a bit skeptical about holding a spherical object in a lathe chuck and not having the pressure from the tool cause it to come loose from the chuck. I am looking forward to seeing the pics of the setup and the cutting itself.

Loof /ccboard/images/graemlins/smile.gif <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue">Loof,

Knowing Popcorn as we do, he probably chalks up the jaws real good before plunging in the cut-off tool... /ccboard/images/graemlins/grin.gif </font color>

nice set-up Popcorn...

02-21-2005, 05:02 PM
The six jaw chuck holds it well with very little pressure and with a sharp tool it cuts like butter with almost no resiance. If I wanted to make them and be sure I didn't make any marks on the ball with the lathe jaws I would not put the ball in the jaws at all. I would make a large cup center that would be held in the jaws to drive the ball and a live cup center in the tail piece. I would just not part it off and leave a small connecting piece that I would saw off later and sand flat on a disk sander.

02-21-2005, 06:45 PM
Nice, Popcorn. Thanks. I'm surprised to see a white middle in the middle of the six ball.

Any other ideas on how to halve a ball if you have only "normal" shop tools?

02-21-2005, 07:46 PM
The problem is the ball being round is difficult to hold. I could see it being done half assed with a saw but for precision pieces that could be used in a project where you want a nice outcome you really need a lathe. I would be curious if anyone has any ideas, I can't really think of anything. You have to take into account the time involved also and the cost of material. Balls can be expensive, you don't want to be wasting half your time trying to get them right as well as the number of balls that may end up in the trash. The only thing I can think of would be a vacuum holding device and a wet saw like you would use for tile. It would work but the final results would be questionable. The thing with a lathe also is the cut ends in the middle of the ball and away from the finished edge. If you try to saw a ball in half where the blade exits the ball it will for sure chip.

02-22-2005, 06:52 AM
Great pictures and ideas, Thanks to all. I had thought of the cue ball in half idea when I saw the cue ball that Tim White showed a cue ball in half on one of the videos. He was describing the core and actually showed it. I like the idea of the window. I also like the picture ideas with the frames of specific shots. The science of each will certainly intrigue my guests.

02-23-2005, 05:24 PM
This may not work in actuality, but seems to in my head. Take a 1x board about 7 or 8 inches long and as wide as you need. Drill a hole through it near one end that would be big enough for the ball to sit in comfortably. Now use a couple of those suction cup hangers you would use to put a decoration in your window. Put these on either side of the ball over the numbers and make sure that you have them even. These will be your handles. Put the ball in the hole with the handles protruding on either side. Slowly feed the board and ball into the saw. I would try to rotate the ball into the blade or make a cut, back out, rotate a 1/4 turn, make another cut to eliminate the break out action. Using a fence might be difficult but it should be possible to attach a strip to the bottom side of the board that could go into the miter slot on your band saw table. You could chamfer the edge of the hole the ball sits on or lube it up to make rotating the ball easier. I wouldn't cut all the way through. Most of the way, then use a chisel or screwdriver to finish it off. Make the board long enough so that the cut doesn't ruin its structual integrity. Of course, the cheapest, easiest way would be to use a C-clamp. However, you definitely wouldn't be able to cut all the way through, so lining the ball back up perfectly as you rotate it might be a hassle. If you are not worried about perfection, though... Hmm, I was just thinking that the c-clamp idea might work better than the suction cups for a handle. It might be easier to keep the ball on line if it is still sitting in the hole in the board when you reposition the clamp. Plus you would have the cut line in the board to line up your previous ball cut with. Watch your fingers!

02-24-2005, 08:56 AM

Here's a cool site for you...

02-24-2005, 09:15 AM
Have someone, like Popcorn, with a lathe, cut out two (2) concave hemispheres with kerf clearance in the middle (these would be square blocks from the outside). The internal radius should be a few thousandths smaller than the ball geometry to allow a snug grip when assembled.

Clamp the ball in the cneter and cut useing a C-Clamp and band saw it. The kerf relief provides a pretty good guide for the band saw blade and can be reused almost forever.

I have not done this but it would seem to work. Of course, when you were 90% or so through the ball, you would want to disassemble and free hand (or better yet, C-Clamp the ball) the last bit to aviod the clamp squeezing the blade when the ball starts to part.


02-24-2005, 09:19 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote SPetty:</font><hr> Nice, Popcorn. Thanks. I'm surprised to see a white middle in the middle of the six ball.

Any other ideas on how to halve a ball if you have only "normal" shop tools? <hr /></blockquote>

<font color="blue"> Hey, SPetty. Remember I brought you a one of a kind artwork pool related thingy last time. Did you end up displaying it or hiding it...It was non-political...

Deeman </font color>

02-24-2005, 11:01 AM
I think that could work with some kind of vacuum holding device. They are not that hard to make with a simple vacuum pump. It is surprizing how strong you can hold an item with vacuum. Set up right you could just put the ball in and slice it in two. I don't know how good the cuts would be though. You would have to get the right blade.

02-24-2005, 11:22 AM
This is almost exactly what I had in my mind to cut the balls, until I was told here that it couldn't be done!

I put Frooze Pops in the artsy box. Love that box!

I wish I had the idea to decorate with classy scientific pictures. That would've been so much nicer than my bar style decorations - and so much cheaper!

02-25-2005, 12:28 PM
Popcorn we had a Clock with silver hands and the Billiard Balls were cut in half by the contractor building the room.
It was quite impressive to the eye, I don't think any new customer didn't first remark about the clock.####

02-25-2005, 12:41 PM
Jpeters get yourself some yuppo paper[plastic paper] and watercolors and a Vinnie VanGogh book and copy his style of painting. He did some pool scenes which are easy to paint with a loose style which that paper gives you. Just don't touch the paper use a napkin fingerprints don't take paint.####