OK - Nothing is impossible to the great minds on Orchid. After all
there are people amongst us who can cut even diamonds.
Between us all we can probably invent a dozen ways to cut up
But what does “cut up billiard balls” mean? In half? Into slices?
Into segments like a tangerine? Is just one piece wanted or is the
whole ball wanted? in other words, can one drill holes into the
"waste" portion of the ball or make other modifications to the ball
to enable it to be held safely? The question simply didn’t contain
enough to allow a useful answer.
Some of the suggestions had some merit, or might have had, if we
knew what was wanted. For example, someone suggested sandwiching and
clamping the ball between two pieces of plywood which had round
holes into which the ball might nestle. I thought that was a pretty
good start. But how tightly would you have to clamp the wood
together to keep the ball from rotating under the influence of the
saw, whether the saw was used with reciprocating motion (like a hand
saw) or if it were some kind of circular saw? And if the ball did
turn, what would guarantee it would rotate without its axis shifting
and thus deviating from the intended plane of the saw cut? And if it
were held tightly enough, how soon would the pressure close the cut
against the sides of the saw?
It is probably no deep secret, but who has taken the trouble to find
out what kind of plastic billiard balls are made of? We know from
their intended use that they must be very hard material to withstand
repeated point impacts from others of their kind. But how would the
material behave under a drill or saw? Would it melt or create an
impossible gunk or unclearable chips? Abrasive cutters (diamond
wheels and the like) seem to get nowhere but into trouble with most
plastics. The little work i have done with drilling and cutting
(some) plastics tells me that drill bits and saws have to be shaped
much differently than for cutting in wood or metal or stone. Edges
have to be ground into quite surprising shapes - nothing I would
have guessed at without informed advice. Cutting speeds and pressure
also is different. Wrong shape or too much pressure and wild
chipping, melting, or fractures suddenly appear to spoil your day.
I really am sorry if i seemed to Brenda to be discouraging. It was
not my intention to discourage. Quite the opposite. I’m not any kind
of expert on plastics or billiard balls, not having squandered my
youth in pool halls. But the question was a sort of "blue-sky"
effort, not specific enough to attempt an answer - except by the
rare bird who actually has cut up billiard balls. Anyone? By the
way, by observation I am fairly confident that bowling balls are
made of a very different material than billiard balls, if for no
other reason than that bowling balls have to be easily drill-able
for finger holes, something which is done post-manufacture.
Marty the cheerful old grump.