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Gyro Balls

Started by Other Dave, Jul 11, 2016, 07:59 pm

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Other Dave


How to make a reasonable facsimile of the Console Gyro Balls!

Buy a pair of 2 3/4" clear plastic Christmas ornaments from Hobby Lobby.


Also purchase several packs of 5mm or 6mm adhesive Gem Stones.  I got these from WalMart. There are a lot more online.

Take some acetone and wipe the gloss off each ball half.

Trace the outline of the ball, and then step off 0.3 inches around the outline.  Also estimated where the centerlines of the ball is.

Cut off the plastic hook part.  Push the halves together and mark a 1/2" circle on one end. This is where the acrylic rod will be going through.

Use a Dremel to grind out the opening.

On the opposite end, (and using the paper template as a guide) drill a small hole to put a small wood screw in.

Place one of the halves onto the outline on the paper and mark the points along one side. You only need to do this for one side, not both.

Now glue the two halves together.  Cut a piece of 1/2" wood dowel about 6" long. Drill a small hole on one end, and fasten it inside the ball as shown and fasten a small screw on the end.

This is where it gets weird.

Place the dowel/ball into a drill press or something similar. Set the drill to its lowest speed.

Using a Sharpie, place it at one of the lines - hold your hand steady and turn on the drill.  Turn it off, reposition to another line and re-start the drill again. Do this for all the lines.


Now with the gem stones, if you look closely, you will see that the stones are glued onto the backing with a stripe of adhesive. Rather than peel them off one-by-one, carefully peel off an entire row from the backing.

Place rows of gems on the ball using the lines as a guide.


Prime and then paint silver.

Push a 1/2" O-ring on the shaft next to each ball to give it a finished look.

Use a round head wood screw that is the same size as the gem stones to secure each ball to the rod.



I used 6mm gems.  I think the 5mm would have looked better.

- Other Dave


Gosh! Thats alot of effort when all I was going to do was use one of those textured massage balls!

Good job!
Kind Regards,




Jul 11, 2016, 11:07 pm #2 Last Edit: Jul 11, 2016, 11:18 pm by galacticprobe
This is another amazing... thing, that would fit well in the Console Tutorial section! That's ingenious! Well done, Other Dave! And for those that don't have a Hobby Lobby near them, you can also find those Christmas ornament balls at places like A.C. Moore's and Michael's. Not sure about the Gem Stones - at least the adhesive ones - but if you want to go mad gluing them on one by one, you can also find them at those craft stores. (They might have the adhesive ones; I've just never had the cause to look.)

As for the size, I think those 6mm gem stones look just fine. As it is, depending on how the light hits the original prop, with the resolution we have on our TV screens and the film/video tape used, it's a 50/50 split on whether those Gyroscopes (balls) are "spiked" like you've created, or "dimpled" like a large, plastic golf ball. So I think you've done a spectacular job on these, and those 6mm gems are just that: gems!

On a separate note, those looking to make that "studded finial" ball seen on the 2005 console in her early days can use this same method. You would just have to place more gems on the Christmas ornament so they're touching each other in an offset manner. And of course, you'd need a larger ornament ball (about 3.5 to 4 inches). And I never would have thought of doing that if not for this brilliant stellar idea, Other Dave! Those studded finials are very hard to come by, and when you do find one, they're usually expensive as heck. For just a few dollars you could build your own and have it look just as good as one of those expensive ones!

You really are brilliant, Other Dave! (I hope you stick around the Forum for a long while!)

"What's wrong with being childish?! I like being childish." -3rd Doctor, "Terror of the Autons"


I'm enjoying these posts.  I want to do a console build, but with an 800 square foot house I haven't figured out an excuse to do it yet.  If I do, it will be Hartnell-inspired.  Not accurate to the level of yours, but with a dish at the bottom, the counterbalances, and the two rotating "cylinders" with the "semaphore flags" on top.  I look forward to seeing you do those (and on your solution to a 21" diameter plexiglass housing). :) 
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.

tony farrell

Quote from: volpone on Jul 13, 2016, 04:36 am
I'm enjoying these posts.  I look forward to seeing your solution to a 21" diameter plexiglass housing). :) 

I too am enjoying this thread - the solutions to the 'parabolic array' and 'gyroscopes' are both elegant and beautifully described! Well done indeed David (other David?!  ;D).

By the way Steve (Volpone/'improper' or 'other' Steve?!  ;D), the central column's diameter was 22 inches throughout the classic series' run!