Home / Projects / Home Projects / Golf Ball in a Block of Wood

Golf Ball in a Block of Wood

  • 3.3/4
  • 25 ratings
25 ratingsX

Golf Ball Inside a Block of WoodI saw a golf ball in a block of wood a couple of years ago, and I’ve been wanting to make one ever since.  I finally got around to making it and what a fun and easy little project this turned out to be.  You’ll need a block of softwood (I used basswood) and a golf ball.  I trimmed the block down and used a drill press to clear out the space for the golf ball to go.  To get the Golf Ball into the wood you need to heat up a pan of water and put your block into it.  Let it soak for a few minutes and the wood will expand enough to squeeze a Golf Ball into it.  With just a few tools you can make this whole thing in about an hour.

If you make one of these be sure to post a picture of it over on the WoodLogger Facebook Page.  I’d love to see how yours turns out.



Material List

  • (1) 1-3/4″ x 1-3/4″ x 5″ – Softwood (I used Basswood)

Cut List

  • Drill out center section using a 1 – 1/4″ Forstner Bit

Milling & Assembly

Golf Ball in a Block of WoodTo get started on my block; I cut down a block of bass wood to 1-3/4″ x 1-3/4″ x 5″.  To drill out the middle of the block I used a 1-1/4″ Forstner Bit.
Golf Ball in a Block of WoodGolf Ball in a Block of WoodI marked the ends of the block at 3/4″ this will be my guide when it comes to cutting out the middle.  I also measured to the middle of the block to give myself a reference point when centering the block on the drill press.
Golf Ball in a Block of WoodNext up I used a 1-1/4″ Forstner bit to clear out the middle of the block I did both sides all the way through.  I put a piece of scrap underneath my block to protect the bottom of the block and my bit.
Golf Ball in a Block of WoodAfter I had my holes drilled out; I sanded all over the block and cleaned it up.
Golf Ball in a Block of WoodNext up I heated a small pot of water to near boiling and put my block in it for approximately 4-5 minutes.
Golf Ball in a Block of WoodI then took the block out and squeezed the golf ball in between the rails.  If it doesn’t want to go then you may need to soak your block longer or use hotter water.  It takes a little bit of pressure to get it in there.  I’ve made 4 of these and one of them I busted the rails.  If it simply won’t go don’t force it, and let it soak a little longer.
Golf Ball in a Block of WoodDepending on what you’re going to do with this you may want to apply some finish to the block.  If so, be sure to cover the golf ball with some tape.


Enter your email if you want a free subscription to this site(we’ll never share your email):


Items Used to Finish this



  1. Hi
    So what if I wanted to buy one of these as a gift? Any idea where I could find that? This is the perfect combination of some of my dads favorite things, and father’s day is around the corner 🙂

    • hi rachael, I am Paul from Candymanssawdustpile, and I am from Oakmont Pa site of this years U S Open Golf Tournament. I am in the process of making some of these which will have a commerative U S Open golf ball in it. Unfortunately, those golf balls cost $15.00 each, so if you wanted one I could make it and sell it to you for $29.00 which would include shipping to you before Fathers Day. Please let me know

    • Hi Rachael, I have some made but not a tournament golf ball just a plain old golf ball. I am not trying to under cut Paul or take any business from him, I sell mine for $15.00 w/S&H included. If you are interested let me know. My email is dailer47@live.com. I am from Michigan.

  2. Pretty amazing. Love it.

  3. Hey, this looks like a really cool little project. I intend to give it a try if I can find some 2″ Basswood.

    In case there might be some interest, the diameter of the American golf ball, according to Google, is 1.68″. The European ball is slightly smaller. Using a 1 1/4″ drill bit will cause the slot in the wood to be about 0.43″ smaller than the diameter of the ball. Project should work providing the hot, wet wood allows it to bend sufficiently to accept the ball diameter.

  4. I made something similar to this it was a bass block with a nail in it and also did a light-bulb with a basswood arrow through the bulb. Tricky drilling the hole in the bulb.

  5. TaDa….. I just did 2 of these they turned out very nice. Now I have to figure out what to do with them. I have a little sanding to dress them up and maybe might stain them. I have a craft show coming up I would like to know roughly how much to sell them for. I have enough wood to make 2 more, they were easier to make than I thought all in all I think it took about 15 minutes to cut then I soaked them in boiling water for about 20 minutes each the balls slipped right in with no problem. I better not count my chickens before they hatch.

    • Hah, that’s awesome. This was definitely a fun one for me.

    • To price out anything, figure what you should be paid for in a day (8hours) at $400 / day , gives $50 per hour. Now many can you make in an hour. Add cost of material.
      That should be your selling price. So if you make 4 in hour 12.50 + material.
      Adjust if you value your daily rate lower.

      • Thank you that will help some. Many people are cheap at the craft shows. They work at their jobs and get $15.00 per hr+, they don’t take in consideration how long it takes to make something a lot of them think that you are over charging for your items. My hobby is making walking staffs I ask $40.00 average. each one takes about 35 hours to make from start to finish, all hand carved, the staffs I find when I am out walking I pick them up and recycle them. Then there is the stain and finishes after complete I think I might be making under $1.00 hour. I don’t do it to get rich just to give me something to do since I am retired with little spare time on my hands, I mostly enjoy seeing the smile on the persons face when they buy one.

        • A lot of folks underprice thier time. As you say you are doing it for fun. Some people begin as fun but expand then don’t know how to price the craft correctly.
          Mine is just a suggestion and when the snow melts I hope to make a couple for the grandkids.
          No need to,price those

    • I made some with pro, college, and local interest logos on the golf balls. I found that they sold before other regular golf ball items. I have sold mine as inexpensively as $15 and as high as $40

  6. Brilliantly simple project, but great fun. Ideal gift for the golf widows.

  7. I’ve made 2 of these so far for golfing friends. What a great little project; thank you for sharing.
    I see in the video that you left your’s unfinished. But I wanted to stain and finish mine for better contrast. But that needs to be done after the ball is installed. So what I did on my 2nd one is tightly wrap the ball in Saran wrap and put a piece of cellophane tape on to keep it in place. Worked very well and I didn’t have to worry about getting stain or finish on the ball. And easy to take off when you’re done. BTW, 8 minutes in almost boiling water worked well for me.
    Another thing I did is use my spindle sander after drilling which is faster than hand sanding since you are contacting 2 surfaces at once. If you’re making a bunch of these you can clamp on a fence (opposite the sanding side) to get straight, repeatable results.
    After the hot water soak to get the ball in I noticed that one of them ended up being quite a bit out of square after it dried, probably due to the grain differences. So on my next one I will boil the block before I even start and see if that helps.

  8. is it possible to make it out of hardwood like oak or maple ? Anyone tried it with hardwood ? Thanks.

    • Just made one out of soft maple. Extended the length to 6″ to give the pillars a little more flex and boiled for about 10 minutes. Worked fine.

  9. I just made one from a piece of pine and it worked perfectly! Thanks for the instructions, I think I’ll make a few to give away. It’s a fun project.

  10. I love the idea, so I started one this evening but I made a mistake.

    I drilled my 1.25″ hole in this pattern: “outside, outside, then middle”.

    That worked fine for the first oblong hole.

    When I flipped it 90 degrees and started to drill the second oblong hole, the “middle” hole (which would connect to the two outside ones) didn’t have the stability on the thin crossing pieces and it snapped pretty quickly.

    My suggestion: Drill: “Left, Middle, Right” so that each hole still has some wood supporting the cross pieces.

    Tomorrow night: Take two.

    • Interesting observation! I must have lucked out, think I did it the way you said. I have made 4 with help from grand daughter (she did the water and putting ball in side. We also wrapped ball in plastic wrap before insertion, sanded with Dremel before putting ball in. For us water temp back off when boiling starts, reduce heat to simmer, then hold wood in for 5 minutes.
      Grand Daughter will give the as presents. Took photos , oh she is 11
      Good luck

  11. Two more tries, two more shattered blocks of wood.
    Looking at the most recent one, I see that I tried to drill a hole overlapping the previous hole, and the result was that the forstner bit drifted off axis very slightly towards the void, and that was enough to catch an edge and cause it to grab. (yes, the piece was clamped down)

    For the next attempt I think I’ll try drilling distinctly separate holes, then cutting between them with a coping saw, or similar.

    • I did mine center then outside r/l , rotated repeat. Lining up outside edge of Bit to get he 3/4 line. This left small raised between holes, that I sanded down. I have made 3 and came out fine.
      When do they crack? During ball insertion ( more time in water just below boiling) or drilling (less pressure, lower speed)?
      I didnot clamp mine.
      Good luck

      • They’ve all cracked while under the drill.

        Forth(?) time was a charm. Instead of cutting the piece to size first, I started by drilling out of my large chunk of wood, then cut the “block” out once the drilling was complete. That worked well and the rest proceeded as expected.

        I used a previous gift, a personalized golf ball, and gave it to my father for Christmas.

        Thanks again for the idea!

  12. christopherjarvesr

    I’ve made one. It was out of hard wood. Yeah, it snapped when I inserted the ball, but luckily it only cracked. I glued it back together and sanded it. Came out looking pretty good. No one has been able to see the crack. I plan to teach some of the nephews how to make them. I think this is a great project for kids of all ages. Even us “older” kids!

  13. Thanks for the project idea!! Really had fun making this!! I made a triple one with Blackhawks balls for my uncle who’s a die hard Hawks fan! Too bad I can’t post the picture but it turned out very cool!!

  14. Probably an obviouse statement, but be sure the grain of the wood is running the length of the project and not across. That allows for more stabilty in the wood for both the drilling and pushing the ball through.

  15. I need help i would like to make these for Christmas present but i need at least 60. where can or what kind of wood can I use in bulk that will not cost me a lot I can not fine Basswood in bulk Can you help

  16. Do you know how to put wooden arrow thru a golf ball?

  17. Terry can you use a 1in bit Because i a 11/2 dem. instead a 1/3/4

  18. Neat project. I did a prototype just to see how it works. Now I am going to mount one of my Hole-In-One golf balls, add a medal to the top and call it a trophy. Bob, Nov. 9, 2016

  19. not sure what I am doing wrong. I have tried with purple heat, walnut, and oak and I end up with bad tear out or when drilling the center hole it collapses the entire block and rips out the side wall. is there anyone else out there experiencing these issues? thanks.

  20. Do you sell these, if so species of wood used and how much would they be?

  21. Sorry, reading expands the mind, duh!!!

  22. Do you still have US Open golf ball in a log of wood? Great Christmas gift for my brother-in-law.

  23. I didn’t have the right size bit, so I did the cutting with a scroll saw. Worked out well. This was my first attempt, didn’t have the correct size wood, so glued 2 pieces together then cut to size. Worked, but now there is a seam, which looks like 2 pieces glued together??!!??!!
    Learn by trial and error, off to the lumber store.

  24. Third time’s a charm! I broke one block and butchered another but the third block came out just fine.

    Thanks a lot for this wonderful project. It wasn’t easy to keep the wooden block in place, so I stuck it between two rails with the exact spacing.
    I did it in Europe. For info: 13cm * 4.5cm *4.5cm, with 2cm on either side and 30mm (a bit smaller than 1-1/4″) Forstner bit worked out just fine.

    I wonder if the golf ball gets noticeably smaller when frozen. This might help to make the holes even smaller.


  25. I have made a number of these using a lot of different woods from Red Oak to Black Walnut all insides cut on a scroll saw Just needs to Boil longer the harder the wood.

  26. Is the Youtube video on the drill press in real time? I am just asking because I needed much much longer to drill through my piece (I used some soft wood). My forstner bit was new but fairly cheap.
    Also the lateral forces were quite high. I had to clamp it down. In the video you just hold it with your hand…there seems to be almost no effort to hold it?!
    Also I couldn’t just clean up the little spikes standing out with the forstner bit. Just hitting a little piece caused way to much lateral force – even the clamping down wasn’t enough. Does that mean my forstner bit is very bad? Can’t be just because I used different wood I think. Maybe my wood was not 100% dry?

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Rockler Ad

Send this to a friend