Claude Ouellett’s Bowling Ball Welding Table

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When welding on bits and bobs around the shop, it can be quite useful to have a full range of angles at which you can clamp your object. There are special tools, called 3 way vises that can tackle this task fairly easily, but then you still have to deal with the workbench they’re attached to.

Claude Ouellette took a rather inventive approach to creating a welding rig which involves an old motorcycle jack, a bowling ball, and a couple disk brakes. As you can see in the video above, when the jack is engaged, it clamps the bowling ball in place, locking the position of the welding clamp. When the jack is released, the ball acts as a giant pivot point allowing a very wide range of movement of the clamp.

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In this 2nd video you can get a glimpse of how the whole contraption was made. What a great idea and fantastic execution.

6 thoughts on “Claude Ouellett’s Bowling Ball Welding Table

  1. Scott Tuttle says:


  2. JohnM954 says:

    Now that is something someone would pay good money for!

  3. Nigel Tolley says:

    I’ve got to make one of these.

  4. Adric Menning says:

    I love it, the reuse of bowling balls has kinda stumped me. thought of making a giant newton’s cradle. or huge lazy usan with them as berrings. but this is practical and cool. and could see it being used for a levelable in a camper, or a large panavice, or even as a optics or antenna alignment table.

  5. Delivery McGee says:

    Neat, like a ball-head camera tripod mount writ large.

  6. Brett says:

    Ditto…going to make one of these…great idea! I’ve got some perfect parts, may use the clutch disk from my old truck. Maybe I should put some of my projects on here.. :)

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Senior Editor for Make: I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

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