A more perfect world (or globe)

Posted By on November 16, 2009

Lots of trial and error learning goes on in our workshops. Sometimes the emphasis is on “error.”

One of our students from an early workshop, Reggie, wanted to make a globe. We said “sure.” Our strategy was to build it out of layers of pine — and that was REALLY hard.

The Globe

We all took turns rasping and sanding that #$%@ thing:

Janet in motion Reggie Rasps the Globe

Perfect Form or Zen Rasping The World is Getting Rounder

We made a “skin” for it using gords painstakingly laid out with huge rulers and large homemade compasses and Reggie drew his ideas of an old-fashioned map onto them.

Reggie's maps

In the end we had an OK first effort definitely falling into the “Done Is Good” category.


If we were going to do it again I’d unhesitatingly buy a big wood lathe and simply turn the big ball on a lathe.

Or, I’d take other’s beautiful work as a good example:

Today I saw this great project at the MAKE blog

Image by davesbit from Flickr

Image by davesbit from Flickr

From MAKE: Flickr member davesbit built a globe by making a mold from a beach ball, and designed a map for it using The Generic Mapping Tools.

The globe is about 20 inches in diameter, made from fiberglass and filled with foam. The map parts are built with the Generic Mapping Tools and glued on…

Making-of photos on the Flickr photo page.

About The Author

Dan is the Director of Studio Operations and co-founder of Autistry Studios which means that he's the guy who keeps everything working. Mechanical, Electrical, and Computational. In his spare time he teaches many "build stuff" workshops and if any time is left over after that he builds model trains or anything else he is momentarily interested in. Dan@Autistry.com http://www.facebook.com/daniel.swearingen http://www.polyweb.com/danno